Bill to protect medical athletic staffs awaits Senate vote — 5 takeaways

Orthopedic Sports Medicine

A bill proposed last year and awaiting Senate approval seeks to extend licensure to medical professionals treating athletes in secondary states, according to The Post and Courier.

Here's what you need to know:


1. The Sports Medicine Licensure Act protects physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists who travel with high school, college and professional sports teams. It would also allow athletes to be treated by familiar medical professionals.


2. Currently, physicians are allowed to treat patients in a state where they have obtained a medical license. Medical liability insurance issues make it tougher for physicians to treat patients in a state they aren't certified in. This is especially problematic for medical professionals who travel with athletic teams.


3. Obtaining a state medical license can take several weeks or months. This process may limit medical professionals' ability to work with sports teams, as deciding between treating an injured athlete and risking malpractice or declining to travel with the team isn't ideal.


4. The National Athletic Trainers' Association, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons support the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La.


5. The bill was passed by the House just before Congress adjourned in 2016. The Senate will now review and vote on the legislation.


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