The US House of Representatives has passed the recently reintroduced Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2017 (HR 302) via voice vote on January 9.

The bill’s next step will be its introduction to the 2017-18 US Senate. If it passes, it will then go to the President’s desk for final signature to make it a law.

The 2015-16 version of the bill (HR 921) garnered 190 sponsors and passed the House on September 12, 2016, but was not approved by the Senate before Congress adjourned in December.

HR 302, which was reintroduced by Reps Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), clarifies medical liability rules for sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers, and other medical professionals to ensure they’re properly covered by their liability insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state.

Under the bill, health care services provided by a covered physician, athletic trainer, or other sports medicine professional to an athlete, athletic team, or a staff member in another state will be deemed to have satisfied any licensure requirements of the secondary state, explains a media release from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).

Representatives from AMSSM, as well as a coalition of sports medicine organizations such as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, have worked with members of Congress in recent years to draft the original bill, speak in favor of the bill, and help it gain momentum, per the release.

“It’s encouraging to see the US House of Representatives recognize the importance of this legislation,” says AMSSM President Matt Gammons, MD, in the release. “The college football bowl season represents a perfect example of how this bill can protect athletes and healthcare professionals as they travel with teams to do their jobs. I would like to thank Representatives Brett Guthrie and Cedric Richmond for their leadership and the House for its strong showing of support.”

[Source(s): American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Newswise]