Passage of Sports Medicine Clarity Act Improves Care for All Athletes

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is proud to have been part of the process to cross the finish line with the passage of the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (H.R.302) which was signed into law this week as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislation provides legal protection for traveling team physicians and safeguards injured athletes’ timely access to the health care professionals who know and understand their medical history best.

“The licensure clarity act will now officially recognize and permit the medical care of athletes by their team physicians when the teams travel out of state,” said AOSSM President, Neal S. ElAttrache, MD. “This has been a great advocacy team effort among many of our members, and between multiple societies, including the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and National Athletic Trainers’ Association. There is no doubt that this piece of critical legislation will benefit our athletes and team physicians for years to come.”

Advocacy efforts on behalf of team physicians and sports medicine professionals began in 2015 when several members of the sports medicine community, including AOSSM Past President Allen Anderson, MD and previous AOSSM Council of Delegates Chair, Christopher Kaeding, MD were called by Congress and state legislators, respectively, to address the issue and provide common sense solutions which would allow medical professionals to comply with state licensing rules. This new legislation clarifies how healthcare services and medical liability insurance are provided outside of a professional’s primary state of licensure.

“Previously, the circumstances for treating our athletes during a game or practice in a different state was complicated by a law that didn’t allow for optimal care to be provided. With this legislation, team physicians can now give the same excellent services to their patients no matter their location and without fear of licensure violations and repercussions. This is a big win for the care and treatment of our athletes,” said AOSSM Team Physician Committee Chair, Claude T. Moorman, MD.

The Senate bill (S.808) was introduced in April 2017 by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The House version (H.R.302) passed in January 2017 and was introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA)

Published in timesunion 10/05/2018

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