Now is the Time for States to Expand Access to Telemedicine

For Immediate Release

ERIC calls on 21 states to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Commission Compact

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is urging the governors of 21 states to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Commission Compact (IMLCC) which would enable their states to expand access to telemedicine during the COVID-19 crisis. The IMLCC is an agreement among 29 states and the District of Columbia that allows for a qualified health care provider to receive a license for each participating state through a streamlined application process.

“The need for telemedicine has never been greater. It enables everyone, no matter where they live, to have access to health care and mental health services using technology. But it only works if a health care professional is available to answer their call,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO, ERIC. “By joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Commission Compact, states would give their residents needed access to physicians, psychologists, and other health care providers.”

ERIC’s letters to the governors of Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia called for the immediate introduction and passage of legislation authorizing the state to join the licensing compact. By expanding access to telemedicine, the states would be addressing the issue of doctor shortages in rural and underserved areas. Additionally, it would allow residents without access to broadband internet, transportation, or those at unable to leave their homes – including the elderly and those with underlying health issues that put them at a higher risk for severe illness due to the coronavirus – to receive care.

Separately, ERIC sent a letter to Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas asking him to temporarily waive telemedicine medical licensure requirements for all out-of-state health care providers. Arkansas is the only state that has not proactively waived licensures requirements in some form during the pandemic.

“Governor Hutchinson must act now and remove the barriers keeping his constituents from accessing accredited health care professionals. At a time like this, it should not matter if a physician is in-state or on the other side of the country. The only thing that matters is someone receives care when they need it,” said Guarisco Fildes.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.