On October 5th, 2018, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump. After several years and initiatives by the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Act has passed both sides of Congress. A collaborative effort with several key legislators and other sports medicine professionals has brought awareness for this topic. The legislation has also garnered the support of the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Neurology, and numerous other physician and sports medicine organizations. Additionally, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and every major American professional sports league has endorsed the bill.
The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act aims to alleviate this problem and preserve athletes and athletic teams’ access to high-quality health care services provided by athletic trainers and other sports medicine professionals.
Under the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act:
- Health care services provided by a covered sports medicine professional to an athlete, an athletic team, or a staff member of the team outside of his or her home state would be deemed to have occurred in the professional’s primary state of licensure.
- This legislation simply treats medical services in the secondary state as occurring in the primary state if the secondary state’s licensure requirements are substantially similar to the primary state.
- Sports medicine professionals can engage in the treatment of injured athletes across state lines without fear of great professional harm, such as loss of license to practice, while protected from monetary loss with professional liability insurance.