Chicago, IL –The Illinois State Medical Society urges General Assembly support for House Bill 1001, which restores previously swept monies to the Medical Disciplinary Fund. Recently, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) reassigned Medical Unit employees to other positions due to a Medical Unit funding shortage. The lack of staff has caused a backlog in new medical licensure applications. Further threatened is Illinois residency matching for the approximately 2,500 medical school graduates expected to begin training in our hospitals later this year. This bill restores IDFPR Medical Unit funding, secures necessary future revenue, and provides stability to Illinois’ medical practice environment.
“ISMS urges quick passage of H.B. 1001,” said Society President William N. Werner, MD. “Without immediate action, Illinois stands to lose physician recruits and medical residents who are interested in training here. Graduating medical students are currently ranking their preferences for medical residency positions that begin this summer.”
ISMS is extremely concerned that many students will opt for out-of-state placements leaving Illinois residency positions unfilled. Residents provide direct patient care during training and their loss will diminish health care access.”
ISMS-backed H.B. 1001 will:
- Transfer $9.6 million from the General Revenue Fund to the Medical Disciplinary Fund to return previously swept monies that were used to finance other state programs. This funding enables the IDFPR Medical Unit to fully operate until new licensure revenues are received in 2014,
- Increase physician initial licensure and renewal fees to $500 (a 67% increase) to ensure that the Medical Unit is well-funded in the future, and
- Extend the sunset date of the Medical Practice Act for 10 years for consistency with other regulated professions.
Dr. Werner added, “The consequences of inaction are too great. ISMS urges quick consideration for H.B. 1001, which will reopen Illinois for physicians seeking to provide medical care here.”
ISMS is a professional membership association representing 11,000 physicians practicing in all medical specialties statewide. Dr. Werner is a Chicago internal medicine specialist.