The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act

Athletic trainers work hard and even more important, they are crucial to keep athletes in peak performance. Many athletic trainers are required to travel for work, often over state lines. What happens when an athletic trainer is in a different state where they are not licensed to practice? Medical liability insurance does not cover an athletic trainer when they cross state lines. Should the athletic trainer have to choose whether they treat their injured athletes or abandon the teams to whom they provide care for?

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On May 16, 2017, approximately 100 members of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) from 30 states went to the nation's capitol for the organization's annual Capitol Hill Day to educate members of Congress about the profession of athletic training. The purpose was to request support from their senators for S. 808, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act. 

What is it?

The legislation, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 302 on January 9 of this year, clarifies medical liability rules for athletic trainers and other medical professionals to ensure they are properly covered by their malpractice insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state. Under the bill, health care services provided by a covered 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.

H.R. 302 / S. 808 

  • H.R. 302 / S. 808 will provide legal protection for athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals who travel to other states with an athletic team to provide care for that team.
  •  For the purposes of liability, health care services provided by a covered athletic trainer or sports medicine professional to an athlete, an athletic team, or a staff member of an athlete or athletic team in a secondary state will be deemed to have occurred in the professional’s primary state of licensure.
  • H.R. 302 / S. 808 allows athletic trainers and sports medicine providers to engage in the treatment of injured athletes across state lines without the fear of incurring great professional loss.
  • This bill aims to preserve sports athletes and athletic teams’ access to sports medicine professionals who provide high-quality health care services.

Why is this important?

“The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act will guarantee that athletic trainers and other sports medicine professionals have full protection and coverage when they are at home or on the road across state lines,” said NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “Ensuring the best sports safety practices for athletes and providing the best quality of care is paramount.” 

The Athletic Edge loves and appreciates athletic trainers- let's encourage other U.S. senators to co-sponsor the bill. 


- Athletic Trainers to Meet with Federal Legislators during Annual Capitol Hill Day on May 16: https://www.nata.org/NR05152017
- Licensure Clarity Act Reintroduced in Senate: http://www.nata.org/blog/jordan-grantham/licensure-clarity-act-reintroduced-senate


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