Applying for a medical license is often a tedious process, especially when you’re a telemedicine provider who will be providing services in several states simultaneously. With most states taking one to two months to review initial license applications and sometimes an additional two to three months to issue the license, obtaining a license can also be very time consuming. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is an expedited process for physicians (who qualify) to use as a pathway to licensure. It helps eliminate the headache of going through the application process in multiple states and tremendously reduces processing times at state boards. This is why the IMLC process is most ideal for physicians who are providing telemedicine services and the companies that employ them.
In order to offer IMLC services, through legislature state boards have agreed to share information across state lines based on the similarities of licensing requirements. Not all state boards have agreed to participate in the IMLC process, but so far the number of participants is 25 states. Even with only 25 states currently participating in the IMLC process, stats show that upward of 80 percent of physicians meet the qualifications to utilize IMLC as an option to licensure.
A physician may qualify to use IMLC if he or she is licensed and either lives in, conducts business in or pays taxes in one of the states of principle license (SPL). Once it is established that a physician meets the requirements, a short application is to be submitted and all information is tranferred to your SPL to review. The SPL will request a background check (via fingerprinting) and any additional information that it deems necessary to process your application. Outside of the background check, any other requirements are usually minute compared to what is required for the standard state licensing process.
Many telemedicine compaines tend to seek out physicians who are eligible for IMLC, for employment due to the ease of licensing for those physicians. Fulfilling and keeping track of the long list of requirements that have to be met for each standard state license application versus IMLC tends to take away from time that can be spent providing patient care, especially in hospitals that benefit most from telemedicine services due to physician shortages.