Groundbreaking advances in technology have opened new doors of opportunity for physicians, allowing them to reach patients in medically underserved communities throughout the United States. With a video-enabled device, an internet connection, and a few clicks of a computer mouse (or taps on a screen), a patient can instantly communicate with a physician anywhere in the nation.
A subset of telemedicine, teleradiology refers to the practice of a radiologist interpreting medical images while not physically present in the location where the images were captured. In recent years, teleradiology has earned widespread acceptance as an effective way for providers to transmit medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, from one physical location to another for diagnostic and consulting purposes. In addition to improving health care on the whole, teleradiology particularly benefits patients who live in rural areas and lack access to high-quality medical services, as well as small health care organizations that are unable to maintain a full staff of radiology subspecialists for financial or logistical reasons. It also benefits radiologists who are seeking a better work-life balance.
What Are the Licensing Requirements for Teleradiologists?
Although teleradiology is a highly successful health care model, some challenges remain. For instance, the licensure laws that regulate interstate teleradiology practice currently vary from state to state. Therefore, a key issue faced by teleradiologists is where to obtain and maintain a license to practice when images are produced in one state and read in another. Does the interpreting radiologist have to be licensed to practice in the first state, the second state, or both?
Although the current requirements are murky and still evolving, the answer is likely “both” for two main reasons. First, many states require physicians who practice interstate telemedicine or teleradiology to acquire a “full, unrestricted medical license to practice medicine” in the respective state. Thus, it is important for teleradiologists and their employers to know and uphold the laws of both the production state and the interpretation state.
Second, both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American Board of Radiology (ABR) are actively pushing for legislation that would require out-of-state physicians to obtain and maintain a license to practice teleradiology within a particular jurisdiction. The ACR already requires teleradiologists who interpret images in a state other than the one in which they are located to be licensed in both states—the state where the image was produced and the state in which the interpretation takes place.
Consider Joining Real Radiology
As a leading national provider of teleradiology solutions, Real Radiology is always looking for experienced and self-motivated radiologists who take pride in their work. If you’re interested in a career in teleradiology, consider becoming a Real radiologist. Our practice is managed by physician-owners who read studies for our clients every day and therefore fully understand the licensing requirements, quality-of-life benefits, and financial rewards of a career in teleradiology.
Additionally, even though you work remotely, you’ll never be on your own with Real Radiology. Our dedicated support team is available 24/7/365 to assist with credentialing, patient care, and IT issues, ensuring you have everything you need to be successful. You can feel confident that Real Radiology will value your time and contributions as a teleradiologist.
To learn more about joining the respected team of experts at Real Radiology, please contact us today. Let’s talk and find out if we’re a good fit for a long-term relationship.