Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act Passes House, Moves to Senate
On Monday, September 12, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (US HR 921) passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, which had 190 cosponsors and was co-sponsored by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), represents a bipartisan solution that protects team physicians and athletic trainers when they travel across state lines with their teams to treat the athletes under their care.
The bill will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration (US S 689). If the bill receives a passing vote in the Senate, it will go to the President’s desk for his signature in order to be enacted.
“Passing HR 921 is a huge step to protect athletes and healthcare professionals as they travel with teams to do their jobs,” said AMSSM President Matt Gammons, MD. “I would like to thank Representatives Brett Guthrie and Cedric Richmond for their leadership and the 190 members that cosponsored the bill.”
AMSSM’s Chad Carlson, MD was instrumental in the development and passage of HR 921. AMSSM has worked over the past four years with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and multiple other healthcare and sports organizations to gain support for the bill.
The bill stipulates that health care services provided by a covered sports medicine professional to an athlete, athletic team, or team staff member in a secondary state outside that professional’s state of licensure will be covered by the appropriate medical malpractice insurance provider. Currently, in most states, sports medicine professionals who travel outside of the state to provide care for athletes are not covered by their medical malpractice insurance – largely because of jurisdictional issues. By removing legal ambiguity, these bills would allow sport medicine providers to engage in the treatment of injured athletes across state lines without taking on unnecessary professional and financial risk.
“This commonsense bill will bring certainty to the health professionals tasked with taking care of our athletes,” said Rep. Guthrie in a statement. “It’s a win for everyone involved and ensures those that know our athletes best are responsible for their care, even when playing and traveling out of state.”
AMSSM will call on its members to reach out to their respective Senators, asking them to support the amended House version of the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act.
AMSSM thanks our advocacy partners, NATA and AAOS and others, for their efforts in passing this bill. We also want to recognize all of our members who took the time to reach out their Member of Congress on our behalf. This bill would not have passed without AMSSM’s members’ support. Passing HR 921 out of the House of Representatives has truly been a team effort.