Licensure Compact Should Not Require Current ABMS Certification, AAPS Tells Wisconsin Legislature

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August 21, 2019

The Honorable Nancy VanderMeer
Wisconsin State Assembly
PO Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708-8952

Dear Representative VanderMeer,

Thank you for your service to the citizens of District 70 and the State of Wisconsin.

We are writing today to suggest an amendment to your bill (AB 70) seeking to extend Wisconsin’s participation in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons opposes the Compact for a number of reasons. One harmful aspect, in our view, is that the Compact removes aspects of States’ autonomy over licensure by turning over control to a commission largely unaccountable to citizens of a State.  

In addition, the Compact does not meaningfully lower the costs or red tape physicians encounter when seeking licenses in multiple states. In some ways, the Compact licensure process actually increases costs and bureaucratic requirements.

For example, the Compact requires a fee of $700 in addition to the full licensing fees in each state in which the physician seeks a license.

Another way the Compact increases red tape for doctors, is by requiring board certification through an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board. In our view, it is unsound public policy to make eligibility for licensure through the Compact contingent on the purchase of proprietary ABMS-controlled certification products, particularly given the current controversies surrounding the ABMS and its subsidiaries. 

So we are writing today requesting that AB 70 be amended in a manner that prohibits the requirement of ABMS certification to be eligible to participate in the Compact licensure process. 

Thank you for considering our request. Please let us know if you would be willing to put forward this amendment. We would be happy to discuss further and work with you on wording.