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How Has COVID-19 Affected Medical Licenses in Illinois?

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IL defense lawyerThe global pandemic COVID-19 has hit the U.S. especially hard, with over 199,000 confirmed cases in Illinois alone. From the beginning, this virus has led to overfilled hospital beds and overworked medical professionals. With no vaccination in sight and a high demand for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, the U.S. has been forced to reevaluate their licensing procedures and state-by-state restrictions. It is common for states to adopt emergency licensing processes in response to natural disasters and their aftermath. Many states have followed this trend by enacting emergency-response licensure laws to allow volunteers from other states to practice their profession without being required to seek out licensure in that specific state.

Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioner Act

The Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioner Act (UEVHPA) is legislation that was initially developed in 2006 and is being modeled by many states during the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation allows any participating state, Illinois included, to recognize out-of-state medical licenses during a declared state emergency. All practitioners who wish to participate in this reciprocal-licensing program must register to do so.

Illinois-Specific Legislation

Aside from the UEVHPA, which has been adopted by most states during this time, Illinois has enacted a few regulations of its own. Under Gov. Pritzker’s direction, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is allowing healthcare workers whose licenses have recently expired to temporarily restore their licenses to assist with COVID-19 patients. Physician assistants and doctors who have expired or inactive licenses from less than three years ago are able to return to work without paying any required licensing fees or making further progress on their education requirements. Additional leeway has been given to nurses and respiratory therapists, giving them a five-year pass rather than the three-year allotment given to doctors and physician assistants.

Contact an Illinois Medical License Defense Attorney

Before volunteering to support another state’s COVID-19 recovery efforts or joining the medical workforce with an out-of-date license, be sure to consult with a reputable attorney. Since no COVID-19 treatments have been nationally recognized, your decisions as a medical professional may be questioned if the patient does not survive. Going into these situations without a valid medical license, even if recent regulations allow you to do so, can leave you with a lawsuit on your hands. The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, Inc. remains up-to-date on all recent regulations regarding medical licensure in Illinois, especially in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you need guidance on your role during this pandemic or have recently lost a patient and are a volunteer from a different state, contact our Illinois medical licensure defense lawyer at 630-310-1267 to schedule your free consultation.



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