Leawood, KS - Today, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) testified before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on HR 921, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act. AMSSM was represented by Chad A. Asplund, M.D., MPH, , Chair of AMSSM’s Practice and Policy Committee and the Director of Athletic Medicine and Head Team Physician for Georgia Southern University. Dr. Asplund spoke in support of this important bill that would protect team physicians and athletic trainers when traveling with their teams across state lines.
Most states do not recognize the license of out-of-state medical professionals therefore when a team travels to another state for a game, match or meet, the medical teams in charge of keeping the athletes healthy, safe and on the field put their medical licenses and malpractice insurance at risk. Even in states that will allow for some temporary license, those licenses can be costly and take weeks to get. This might work for some teams when they know their schedules in advance, but not in times like Bowl Season or the upcoming NFL playoffs, when teams might get one or two weeks’ notice about where they are playing. Bowl Season is especially critical, in that there is not always an in-state home team to assist before, during and after games. It is a situation that puts both the medical professional and the athletes they care for at risk.
HR 921, the Sports Medicine License Clarity Act, is an attempt to remedy that problem for traveling team medical professionals. HR 921 has three main components:
•To ensure that medical professionals’ licenses are valid when crossing state lines with their teams for officially sanctioned events, as long as care is confined within the parameters of the bill
•To ensure the medical practice act in the medical professional’s home state dictates the scope of practice, licensure requirements and laws, rules and regulations governing their actions
•To ensure that a medical professional’s medical malpractice and liability coverage can and will cover them when they are traveling outside of their state borders for an officially sanctioned event
“Having physicians and athletic trainers who know their athletes’ medical and injury history always results in the best protection and care for that athlete. But there is no need to continue to put both physicians and athletes at unnecessary risk,” Dr. Asplund shared during his testimony. “Today, you can take a significant step to solve this problem. You can choose to protect athletes and medical professionals; by ensuring athletes have access to the best care available and by ensuring that the medical professionals that provide that care during a sanctioned sporting event are protected regardless of where that care is given.”
The Sports Medicine Licensure clarity act is supported by:
•Leading Sports Medicine Organizations: The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; American College of Sports Medicine; National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
•Collegiate/Professional Sporting Bodies/Associations: National Collegiate Athletic Association; National Football League; Major League Baseball; National Hockey League; United States Tennis Association; NFL Team Physician's Association; Major League Baseball Team Physician's Association.
•The Malpractice Insurance Community: The Physicians Insurance Association of America
About AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 3,000 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