For many, March is a time for filling out your brackets and cheering on your favorite college basketball teams. But while the public is carefully tracking their picks and hoping for a Cinderella run, sports medicine professionals are working tirelessly to ensure the care of their players as they travel to games across the country. In just this tournament alone, more than 130 men’s and women’s teams are traveling across approximately 20 different states for their chance at a national title. Yet many of these states do not provide legal protection for professionals treating injured athletes on the road. And forcing team providers to choose between treating injured athletes at great professional risk and reducing athletes’ access to timely, high quality healthcare services is a losing proposition for everyone involved.

Legislation introduced by Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group Senate Commerce chair to renew push for regs on self-driving vehicles Hillicon Valley: Facebook co-founder calls for breaking up company | Facebook pushes back | Experts study 2020 candidates to offset 'deepfake' threat | FCC votes to block China Mobile | Groups, lawmakers accuse Amazon of violating children's privacy MORE (R-S.D.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar: 'Don't think' there are reasons to investigate Mueller probe's origins Klobuchar: Trump plan doesn't deal with 'comprehensive immigration issue' Buttigieg condemns 'voices on Fox' for spreading 'fear' and 'lies' ahead of town hall appearance MORE (D-Minn.) in the Senate and Reps. Brett GuthrieSteven (Brett) Brett GuthrieBipartisan House panel leaders ask agencies for maternal mortality data Carole King lobbies lawmakers in support of bill to protect the Rockies Democrats drill EPA official over decrease in polluter settlements under Trump MORE (R-Ky.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.) in the House offers a solution to the current system. The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2015 would clarify medical liability rules to ensure team providers are properly covered by their professional liability insurance while traveling with athletic teams in another state. From high school to college to professional levels, it is important that the men and women who are trained to protect and care for athletes and who best know the players’ medical histories are able to engage in the treatment of injured athletes.

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The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2015 is a common sense solution that does not bypass state licensing rules and regulations or allow a medical professional to practice on the general population. Rather, the bill would deem health care services provided in a secondary state to have been provided in the professional’s primary state of licensure when determining applicable liability laws and liability insurance coverage. The legislation is also limited to treating team athletes and staff that the medical providers are contractually hired and insured to treat and it does not include care provided at a hospital or clinic.

The legislation has gained wide support from provider groups including the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). The bill has also received support from sports industry groups including the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Even outside the March Madness excitement, sports teams travel across state lines every day. These athletes give their all to represent their teams, their colleges and universities, their cities or our country. And every day, there are team providers ensuring the health and safety of these athletes – approximately 14,000 physicians and athletic trainers provide care to athletic teams in the United States today. This March, in the spirit of the big dance, we urge Congress to pass the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2015 and protect the providers who are keeping our athletes safe.

Williams is president of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Anderson is president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). Sailor is president of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and department chair/professor at Fresno State University. Divine is president of American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and professor of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine/head team physician at the University of Cincinnati Athletics.