CHICAGO — Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Medical Coordinator Dr. Brian Zachariah was elected treasurer of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission during its inaugural meeting in Chicago on October 27th and 28th. The Compact aims to improve health care access for the expected millions of new patients entering the nation’s health care system by lowering the barriers to multistate and interstate practice of medicine by physicians. Illinois is among eleven states that have enacted the medical licensure compact, while seven additional states have introduced legislation. In addition, both Zachariah and IDFPR Secretary Bryan Schneider will serve as Illinois representatives to the Commission.
“The development of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is an important step in improving physician portability and in increasing access to healthcare for citizens in Illinois and throughout the nation,” said Dr. Brian Zachariah, IDFPR Medical Coordinator. “I am honored to be a part of this historic commission as we look to new, innovative opportunities to help solve our nation’s looming physician shortage.”
Among the issues driving the need for a Compact is the growing necessity to increase access to health care for individuals in underserved or rural areas through the use of telemedicine. Telemedicine’s time-consuming, state-by-state licensure process for multiple-license holders is often cited as a key barrier to its long-term growth. The Compact would expedite the multi-state licensure process for physicians, helping extend the impact and availability of medical care at a time when demand is expected to grow significantly. Initial surveys estimate that nearly 80% of the physician population licensed in the United States would be eligible for expedited licensure.
“I commend the Commission for electing Dr. Zachariah to their executive leadership team,” said IDFPR Secretary Bryan Schneider. “He will be a great asset as the Commission explores new avenues to advance the licensing of physicians seeking to practice medicine in multiple states. I am equally honored to serve as an Illinois representative to the Commission and look forward to exploring additional means by which the Compact can bolster our state’s ability to protect the public through the sharing of interstate regulatory information.”
For more information on the Interstate Compact, please call (202) 463-4000 or visit www.licenseportability.org.