The next testimony was introduced Feb. 1, 2023, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Home Committee on Well being & Homelessness.
To: Home Committee on Well being & Homelessness
Rep. Della Au Belatti, Chair
Rep. Jenna Takenouchi, Vice Chair
From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Jonathan Helton, Coverage Researcher
RE: HB 666 — RELATING TO THE INTERSTATE MEDICAL LICENSURE COMPACT
Expensive Chair and Committee Members:
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii want to supply its feedback on HB666, which might enter Hawaii into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
If this invoice is enacted, the Legislature will take an vital step towards addressing Hawaii’s physician scarcity, an issue that has existed for years and has develop into a severe impediment to healthcare entry in our state.
It’s properly established that Hawaii is affected by a doctor scarcity. In line with the latest report from the Hawaii Doctor Workforce Evaluation Mission, the state is at present quick by roughly 776 full-time equal physicians. Whereas the best space of want is major care physicians, the shortage of specialists — particularly in rural areas — can be extreme
Furthermore, that scarcity doesn’t apply to solely medical doctors. Throughout the state, and particularly in rural areas, Hawaii is dealing with shortages of skilled well being professionals, from major care suppliers to nurses, specialists and employees.
Fixing the issue requires a multipronged technique that may tackle every part from Hawaii’s excessive price of dwelling to the state’s regulatory scheme for healthcare amenities. Maybe most vital, nonetheless, is the necessity to reform licensing rules for healthcare professionals.
One-fourth of all licensed staff within the U.S. work in healthcare. These licenses might be troublesome to acquire, are costly and carry geographic or “scope of apply” limitations.
In gentle of Hawaii’s shortages of healthcare professionals, restrictions on healthcare staff who already maintain licenses in different U.S. states appear redundant and self-defeating. Because the Federal Commerce Fee famous in a report on occupational licensing portability:
There may be little justification for the burdensome, expensive, and redundant licensing processes that many states impose on certified, licensed, out-of-state candidates. Such necessities doubtless inhibit multistate apply and delay and even forestall licensees from working of their occupations upon relocation to a brand new state. Certainly, for occupations that haven’t carried out any type of license portability, the hurt to competitors from suppressed mobility could far outweigh any believable shopper safety profit from the failure to offer for license portability.
In different phrases, although medical licensing is meant to guard the general public, there’s a level at which the extent of regulation reduces the variety of individuals in apply with out an considerable public profit.
One examine of licensing amongst medical professionals discovered that, “licensing is related to restricted labor provide, an elevated wage of the licensed occupation, rents, elevated output costs, and no measurable impact on output high quality.”
That is the place we are able to profit from the teachings of the coronavirus scenario. The governor’s emergency modification to state licensing legal guidelines demonstrated a have to embrace license portability, making it a easy matter for a physician licensed in one other state to apply in Hawaii.
The interstate compact method outlined on this invoice would streamline licensing for physicians, making it simpler for medical doctors from collaborating states to apply in Hawaii with out dealing with time-consuming, expensive and redundant regulatory hurdles.
The state would retain its management over Hawaii licensure necessities, however would concurrently enhance the pool of medical doctors in a position to apply in Hawaii and shorten the time it will take for them to start working right here.
At current, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact consists of 37 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. 5 extra states have launched laws to affix as properly. Years of profitable implementation testify to the protection and effectiveness of this method to license reciprocity.
In line with the IMLC, its goal is to function “an administrative clearinghouse of licensing and disciplinary data amongst collaborating member states and territories. The Fee doesn’t have regulatory management over physicians or the apply of medication. It neither points nor revokes licenses. Its solely goal is to facilitate interstate cooperation and the switch of data between member states and territories.”
Becoming a member of the IMLC could be an vital step towards attracting extra medical doctors to our state, thereby addressing our doctor scarcity and bettering healthcare entry for all.
Thanks for the chance to submit our feedback.
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
 “Annual Report on Findings from the Hawai’i Doctor Workforce Evaluation Mission: Report back to the 2023 Legislature,” College of Hawaii, December 2022, p.1
 Ryann Nunn, “Bettering Well being Care Via Occupational Licensing Reform,” RealClear Markets, Aug. 28, 2018
 Karen Goldman, “Choices to Improve Occupational License Portability,” Federal Commerce Fee, September 2018, p. 25.
 Sean Nicholson and Carol Propper, “Chapter Fourteen — Medical Workforce,” “Handbook of Well being Economics,” Vol. 2, Elsevier, B.V., 2012, p. 885, cited additionally within the beforehand talked about FTC examine, footnote #9, p3.