Senate & House Health Committees Pass Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

By Greg Reed

The Alabama Senate Health & Human Services Committee and the Alabama House Health Committee both adopted legislation today (SB125/HB202) that will enter Alabama into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, a streamlining effort spearheaded by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and the Alabama Hospital Association. Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper), deputy chairman of the Health committee, and Representative Paul Lee (R-Dothan) are sponsoring the bill. Six other states have already adopted the compact, and nearly a dozen more legislatures are considering it this session.

“One major benefit of this compact is the doors it opens for more doctors to practice medicine in Alabama, which will improve medical care in underserved and rural areas,” said Senator Greg Reed. “I’m glad to sponsor legislation that will give patients increased access to healthcare.”

By expediting the licensure process for the best doctors through the compact, Alabama will create a dynamic and state-based solution to expanding access to get patients the care they need. This is important because the economic footprint of just one new doctor in a community is approximately a million dollars.

“The Interstate Medical Compact will be a shot-in-the-arm to Alabama’s ability to attract the most highly qualified physicians to practice here,” stated Ron Franks, M.D., president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.

Currently, it can be a difficult process for a physician in one state to become licensed in a second state. This compact could provide an invaluable avenue to improve access to care.

“The Alabama Hospital Association supports this compact because it will speed up the process of issuing licenses for physicians who wish to practice in more than one state, while ensuring quality of care is a priority in approving those who seek licensure through the compact,” said Mike Horsley, president of the Alabama Hospital Association. “It will improve licensure portability and enhance the state’s ability to recruit physicians to rural Alabama.”

Senate Majority Leader Reed represents District 5, which includes all or parts of Fayette, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston counties. He is vice president of Preferred Medical Systems, a supplier of Samsung ultrasound equipment. Sen. Reed is married to the former Mitsy Harbison, and they have three sons: Andrew, James and John Michael.