The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Sends Open Letter on Physician Licensing Delays

In a recent open letter, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (the "Department") advised providers of cuts in the Department's Medical Unit that will negatively impact the state's healthcare profession. The open letter explained that the Department's costs have doubled, in part due to physicians' fee levels remaining unchanged since 1987 and due to a cut in funding, the Department can no longer provide the level of service previously provided in processing physician license applications and renewals.

What Providers Should Know: The Impacts of the Department's Cuts

The Department will now have one employee to process all physician licensing requests in Illinois. The letter predicted the effects of this to be as follows:

  • It will take between 12 and 18 months to process physician licenses for new or transferring physicians and newly graduated medical students looking to match in Illinois.
  • Currently licensed physicians will see similar delays of up to 18 months to renew their license, which needs to be renewed in 2014.
  • Given the renewal delays, some current licenses will expire before the Department can process the renewals, making it unlawful for these physicians to provide medical services without a valid license.
  • The ability for nurses, physicians' assistance, pharmacists, and other professionals to provide services to physicians without a timely renewed license may be affected.