Virtual Radiologic (vRad), a telemedicine company employing over 450 physicians, has announced its support for a plan by the Federation of State Medical Boards that would allow doctors licensed in one state to more easily treat patients in other states in person, online, or via video conferencing.
According to Benjamin W. Strong, MD, chief medical officer of vRad, the interstate licensing plan would have a significant impact on vRad’s business. Currently, some states require physicians to appear in person to present a photo ID and a medical school diploma to obtain licensure. Processes may be either paper- to web-based, and it requires an average of 4 months after hire for a radiologist to become fully operational. “The complexity of current state licensure processes means time and money for our practice—and that means delays in getting doctors up and running quickly for patient care,” Strong said.
The plan is detailed in a New York Times story by Robert Pear, indicating how proposed legislation will speed the licensure of doctors in multiple states. According to vRad, simplifying existing procedures would decrease costs, increase physician mobility, and improve patient care by more easily and efficiently connecting physicians and patients.
“At 3 am in an emergency room when an ED physician is waiting to have an image read to determine if a patient is having a stroke, does it matter if the radiologist is reading and diagnosing from the basement of the hospital, an in-state office, or a home office equipped with state-of-the art diagnostic tools across the country?” asked Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, president of the Federation of State Medical Boards. “Seconds count. With today’s cloud-based tools, geography should no longer be a barrier to excellent clinical care.”
vRad reads imaging studies for more than 7 million patients annually. On average, its physicians are licensed in 14 states and credentialed to read for 175 different facilities. For more information, visit vRad.