Last year included many advances for patient access to therapy and nursing services thanks to compact licensure. Just a few days into 2020 and more states are joining the push for healthcare provider mobility. Here’s a look at the current compact agreements:
PHYSICAL THERAPY COMPACT
Already in 2020, Virginia and Oklahoma have begun issuing and accepting compact privileges, bringing the total number of active states to 18. There are currently eight additional states who have enacted their compact legislation, and we’re excited for them to change to active status. Those states are Montana, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. PT Compact legislation has been introduced in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Keep an eye on the map on the PT Compact website.
Update, February 27, 2020: Arkansas will issue compact privileges on February 28, 2020. Wisconsin has enacted legislation. And Rhode Island, Ohio, Alabama, South Dakota and California (yes, California!) have introduced PT Compact legislation.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY COMPACT
In August 2019, the American Occupational Therapy Association announced a multi-year contract with the Council of State Governments National Center for Interstate Compacts to create a professional licensing compact for OTs and COTAs by 2024. The current timeline projects circulation of a compact draft to start by June 2020, legislative work through 2021, transition activities and an inaugural commission meeting between July 2022 and July 2023, with the interstate professional licensing compact in place in 2024.
AUDIOLOGY & SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY INTERSTATE COMPACT
Once 10 states enact the compact, licensed SLPs residing in active member states can apply for compact privilege to practice in ASLP-IC states. The nine states that currently have agreed to participate are Washington, California, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, New York and Massachusetts.
NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT
Alabama is the most recent state to join the NLC and implemented their licensure legislation on January 1, 2020. This addition brought the total number of active states to 32. New Jersey and Indiana have enacted their NLC but have not set a date for implementation. Three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts) have pending NLC legislation. Stay up to date here.
These compact licensure agreements increase patient access to care by allowing licensed healthcare professionals to practice in other member states without the hurdle of having to obtain extra licenses. We hope this will be the year for SLPs, and we look forward to 2024 when OTs and COTAs will have an easier time obtaining their licenses for travel opportunities.