SPARTA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Governor Scott Walker visited Mayo Clinic Health System Monday to sign a new law that will help physicians more easily practice in other states.
With his signing of Assembly Bill 253, Wisconsin will now enter the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which will give physicians an accelerated licensing process to practice in other states also in the compact.
"Being a part of the compact allows us to have similar standards all throughout the Midwest and in surrounding states," said Walker. "And that’s good, it’s good for the state as a whole but it’s particularly good in rural areas so that ultimately from a standpoint of being able to attract and retain good physicians this is one more step that speeds up the process."
Wisconsin joins 11 other states, including Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, to offer this expedited license.
Until now, medical professionals in Wisconsin would have to go through a process several months long to be able to practice in other states.
Now, it will just take days.
For patients, this means faster access to the healthcare they need.
"We have a lot of rural areas in our part of the tri-state region that are underserved according to federal standards which means we don't have enough providers and physicians to care for patients," said Eric Tempelis, Director of Government Relations at Gundersen Health System. "What this licensure compact does is it allows us to bring in physicians from other states more quickly but it also allows us to tie in and tap in to physicians who can practice in other states who can provide care here, or vice versa in those other states."
"As we practice across borders, especially electronically, this becomes very important," said Timothy Johnson, CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare.
One thing this new law will help with is the use of telemedicine, which utilizes technologies like webcams to connect patients with doctors across the country.
Walker also says it will help the economy by attracting medical talent to the area and retaining businesses.