Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

February 13, 2013

Ill. Senate OKs doctors' license fees increase

(Continued)

The medical society would agree to a $500 fee for a three-year license, an increase that the association has previously suggested.

Manuel Flores, secretary of financial and professional regulation, said even if that money is restored, it would only keep the fund flush until 2016 so a higher increase is still necessary.

The $300, three-year fee physicians currently pay hasn't increased since 1987. The medical unit operates solely on doctors' fees.

If the House measure gets an OK and moves to the Senate, the competing bills potentially could both be approved and sent to the governor for him to decide. Typically, though, differing bills on the same subject become part of a House-Senate compromise.

But Madigan's sponsorship of the Senate option indicates he prefers it. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said Thursday evening he was unfamiliar with Madigan's action and could not immediately comment.

The medical community is urging legislators to fix the problem quickly. A deadline for medical school graduates to decide on residencies at teaching hospitals is Wednesday. Failure to reach a decision by then jeopardizes placements if Illinois cannot assure doctors-in-training they will be licensed to practice in the state before late summer when their jobs start.

Since the layoffs, processing times for licenses for physicians and medical residents have increased from 16 business days to six months, as only one employee is processing licensing applications.

Before the cutback, the medical unit each year processed nearly 2,600 license applications from new doctors and 2,300 temporary-license applications from medical residents. It also renewed almost 46,000 licenses for doctors every three years.

 

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