As of February 4, 2016, out-of-state athletic team physicians are permitted to provide care to their own team’s players while in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Senate Bill 685 and 686 amend the Medical Practice Act of 1985 and Osteopathic Medical Practice Act of 1978, to provide a limited exemption to physicians to practice without licensure in Pennsylvania. In order to qualify for the exemption, the physician must be licensed in good standing in his/her home state, and have an agreement with the sports team to provide care while the team is in Pennsylvania. The exemption lasts for up to ten (10) days per sporting event. However, if physicians believe they need the exemption to last longer, they can request that the appropriate board provide an extension for up to twenty (20) additional days.
There are other limitations to the exemption. Out-of-state physicians are not permitted to provide care at a health care clinic or health care facility, including an acute care facility. Also, out-of-state physicians are not permitted to prescribe medications, under the exemption.
The legislation is based off of model legislation provided by the Big 10 Conference. It is meant to afford teams the ability to have physicians that are already familiar with their players to actually provide consultation and care on the sidelines. Pennsylvania becomes the 22nd state to enact such legislation.