Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

December 2018

New Law Helps Sports Medicine Professionals & Athletes

By Deborah L. Vence

Sports medicine practitioners and athletic trainers are important professionals in helping athletes stay healthy. And now, those professionals can work across state lines with liability protections following a new law signed by President Donald Trump in October.

The new law, HR 302/S. 808 that includes the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, helps to reduce the hurdles in treating and caring for athletes.

“As advocates for sports medicine professionals working with athletes, we supported this bill throughout the process and were active in ensuring its passage,” stated Jim Whitehead, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “This legislation is a welcome change that will allow our members to do more of what they do best: treat and protect athletes and facilitate optimal performance.”

Under the new law, liability insurance coverage of a state-licensed medical professional is extended while the professional is traveling to another state and provides medical services to an athlete, athletic team or team staff member. Prior to the law’s passage, clinicians traveling across state lines with their teams could face allegations that they were practicing medicine without malpractice protections. The new law remedies that problem.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill in October with a 93-6 vote, prior to President Trump signing it.

“The bipartisan support for this bill by Congress and the president underscores the critical value sports medicine professionals provide to athletes and teams,” Whitehead said, “and this law will allow them to significantly increase the positive impact they’re already having.”

The ACSM, located in Indianapolis, is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. Its mission is to advance and integrate scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

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