Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act Reintroduced, Passes House
LEAWOOD, Kan. -- As the national college football championship game kicked off between Alabama and Clemson, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (H.R. 302) by voice vote January 9, 2017. The next step for the bill, which was reintroduced by the U.S. House last week, will be its introduction to the 2017-18 U.S. Senate.
The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and a coalition of sports medicine organizations, including the National Athletic Trainers' Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, have worked closely with members of Congress during the past few years to gain momentum for the bill. The 2015-16 version of the bill (H.R. 921) garnered 190 sponsors and passed the House on Sept. 12, 2016, but the bill was not approved by the Senate before Congress adjourned in December.
H.R. 302, which was reintroduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), clarifies medical liability rules for sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers and other medical professionals to ensure they're properly covered by their liability insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state. Under the bill, health care services provided by a covered physician, athletic trainer or other sports medicine professional to an athlete, athletic team or a staff member in another state will be deemed to have satisfied any licensure requirements of the secondary state. If it receives a passing vote in the Senate, it will go to the President's desk for final signature to make it a law.
"It's encouraging to see the US House of Representatives recognize the importance of this legislation," said AMSSM President Matt Gammons, MD. "The college football bowl season represents a perfect example of how this bill can protect athletes and healthcare professionals as they travel with teams to do their jobs. I would like to thank Representatives Brett Guthrie and Cedric Richmond for their leadership and the House for its strong showing of support."
AMSSM's Chad Carlson, MD, was instrumental in working with members of Congress to draft the original bill in 2013. He has made multiple visits to Washington, D.C., to gain support for the bill during the past four years. AMSSM's Chad Asplund, MD, also testified in front of the US House subcommittee on health in 2015 in support of the bill and fielded questions during four hours of testimony. AMSSM would like to thank them and the thousands of AMSSM members who have reached out to members of Congress in support of this legislation.
ABOUT AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. www.amssm.org