Bill Summary for H 681 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Apr 18 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 681 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Intro. by K. Baker, Reeder, Lambeth, Potts.

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Bill summary

Enacts new Article 1M, Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, to GS Chapter 90. States the purpose and objectives of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (Compact) and sets forth 15 defined terms. Grants licensed physicians the opportunity to apply for issuance of an expedited license to practice in Compact states, subject to the requirements and restrictions provided in the Compact. Requires designation of a state of principal licensure where the physician has a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine which is the physician's principal residence, where the physician conducts at least 25% of their practice, and is the location of the physician's employer, or if no state applies, the state designated for federal income tax purposes; allows for re-designation of the principal state at any time.

Details application procedures for a physician seeking licensure through the Compact, including (1) applying to the member board of the selected state of principal license, (2) the member board of the selected state of principal license conducting a criminal background check prior to the issuance of a letter of qualification either verifying or denying the physician's eligibility to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (Commission), (3) completion of the registration process established by the Commission to receive a license in the member state selected as the principal license state, including payment of applicable fees, and (4) issuance of an expedited license by any member board authorizing the physician to practice medicine in the issuing state consistent with the medical practice act and application laws and regulations of the issuing member board and member state, subject to issuance or renewal fees. Provides for eligibility appeals to be made to the member state where the application is filed. Provides for the expedited license to be valid for a period consistent with the licensure period of the member state and in the same manner as required for other physicians holding a full and unrestricted license within the member state, and terminated for failure to maintain a license in the state of principal licensure for nondisciplinary reasons without redesignating a new state. Details expedited license renewal requirements and procedures. 

Requires the Commission to establish a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and investigative information on all licensed individuals and applicants in members states. Provides for reporting and access by member states. Provides for joint investigations by member states and related authorities. Deems any disciplinary action taken by any member board against a physician licensed through the Compact to be unprofessional conduct subject to discipline by other boards in addition to violation of the medical practice act or regulations in the state. Provides for licensure status following disciplinary action to be automatically mirrored by member states who have issued licenses to the physician, with each member state maintaining individual reinstatement procedures following reinstatement of the principal state of licensure. Provides for a 90-day automatic suspension of licenses issued by member states when one member state revokes, surrenders, or suspends a license.

Establishes the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (Commission) as a joint public agency created by member states. Provides for Commission membership, voting, meetings, powers and duties, executive committee, financing, recordkeeping, and member qualified immunity, defense, and indemnification. Among the 21 powers and duties charged of the Committee, includes prosecuting legal proceedings and actions, and the acquisition and disposal of property. Provides for Commission rulemaking procedures and effect, as well as member state rejection of a Commission rule.

Details dispute resolution procedures between member states and Compact enforcement. Provides for member state default grounds and procedures, member withdrawal procedures and dissolution. Provides for the Compact to become effective upon enactment in the seventh member state. Details initial Commission powers, effect of Commission rules on joining states, and Compact amendment parameters. 

Deems the provisions of the Compact severable and advises on its construction and effect on other laws. 

Enacts GS 90-12.02 authorizing the issuance of military relocation licenses to a physician or physician assistant who is not actively licensed by the NC Board of Medicine (Board) to practice as a physician or physician assistant if six listed requirements are met including that they are a servicemember or the spouse of a service member in the US Armed Forces, resides in the State pursuant to military orders for military service, and holds a license in another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements substantially similar to or exceeds the licensure requirements of the State. Specifies that the military relocation license will remain active for the duration of military orders for military service in the State and upon completion of annual registration. Specifies that the license becomes inactive when the license holder relocates pursuant to military orders (1) to reside in another state or (2) expiring for military service in this State, or the servicemember separates from military service. Provides for notification to the Board upon events that render a license inactive. Allows for a military license to become a full license by completing an application for licensure under Article 1M. Allows the Board to waive the application fee if the application is submitted within one year of the issuance of the military relocation license. Permits the Board to impose additional requirements by rule.

Makes conforming changes to the following statutes: GS 90-5.1 (authorizing the Board of Medical Examiners to appoint Commissioners to the Commission); GS 90-11 (authorizing background checks for Compact applicants); GS 90-13.1 (regarding licensing fees of the Board of Medical Examiners and the Commission for Compact applicants); GS 90-13.2 (regarding Compact licensing renewals); GS 90-14 (authorizing the Board of Medical Examiners to take disciplinary action for violations of the Compact); and GS 90-14.2 (regarding automatic disciplinary action upon Compact licensees).

Effective October 1, 2023