(PN 161) Fixes the criminal background check aspect of Act 112 of 2016 (Interstate Medical Licensure Compact), which provides a streamlined process that allows physicians to become licensed in multiple states. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has not be able to fully join the compact due to concerns about sharing criminal background check information raised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Effective in 60 days. The bill is supported by HAP, Dept of State, PAMED, POMA and the compact itself. Rep Topper noted that the Senate supports the legislation, and that the compact was a key part a 2016 telemedicine package. He said this legislation will help many physicians practice over state lines through telemedicine. The bill unanimously passed the House by a vote of 201-0.
(PN 213) Amends the Medical Practice Act to reduce the number of clinical residency years an international medical school graduate must complete prior to applying for an unrestricted Pennsylvania medical license from 3 years to 2 years. This change would establish parity between foreign educated medical students and medical students educated in the United States. Effective in 60 days. The bill is supported by HAP, PAMED and Dept of State. The bill unanimously passed the House by a vote of 201-0.
(PN 299) Amends Title 63 (Professions and Occupations (State Licensed)) permitting licensed professionals to receive advice from licensing boards concerning the meaning or interpretation of an act or regulation pertaining to the license. Effective in 60 days. This would apply under licensee request only. Rep. Greiner noted that the advisory opinions would be public record and they may be published, they are not binding on the board and they are specific to the licensee. The bill is supported by the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants, PAMED, PA Funeral Directors Association, PA Academy of Family Physicians, PA Speech-Language-Hearing Association, PA Chiropractic Association, PA Dental Assoc. The Dept of State had expressed concerns and opposed the bill. The bill unanimously passed the House by a vote of 201-0
The bills now head to the state Senate for its consideration. The bills were referred to the Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee.
(Pictured: PA delegation at the U.S. Capitol during Legislative Conference)
Pennsylvania Chapter, American College of Cardiology