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Illinois Braces for the End of the PHE


On April 27, the Governor of Illinois signed legislation that provides a pathway to licensure in Illinois for the healthcare workers from other states who obtained a temporary out-of-state permit during the Public Health Emergency ("PHE"). The Healthcare Workforce Reinforcement Act ("the Act") also codifies temporary changes that were made allowing hospitals, healthcare facilities and pharmacies to deliver healthcare during the pandemic. The PHE is set to end on May 11, 2023. 

Under the Act, anyone who obtained a temporary out-of-state permit pursuant to a Covid-19 related proclamation or action will be able to continue to practice under his or her permit after May 11, 2023, provided he or she has submitted an application for licensure by endorsement to the Department of Professional Regulation on or before that date. If the application is submitted by May 11, 2023, the permittee may continue to practice until the Department issues the license or denies the application, at which time the temporary out-of-state permit shall expire. If the Department has not issued the license or denied the application by May 11, 2024, the temporary out-of-state permit will expire. If the licensee has not submitted an application, the permit will expire on May 11, 2023. The Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation may extend the May 11, 2023 deadline for submission of an application for licensure by endorsement by an additional 60 days.

The provisions of the Act discussed above apply to physicians; registered nurses; practical nurses; advanced practice registered nurses; full practice advanced practice registered nurses; pharmacists; occupational therapists; occupational therapy assistants; physical therapists; physical therapist assistants; clinical psychologists; physician assistants; clinical social workers; social workers; dietitian nutritionists; professional counselors; clinical professional counselors; and respiratory care practitioners.

The Healthcare Workforce Reinforcement Act also amends the Pharmacy Practice Act to expand the definition of the practice of pharmacy to include: vaccination for Covid-19 or influenza; ordering and administration of Covid-19 therapeutics; and ordering and administration of tests and screenings for (i) influenza, (ii) SARS-COV 2, and (iii) health conditions identified by a statewide public health emergency. The Pharmacy Practice Act is further amended to provide for pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists to administer Covid-19 and influenza vaccines and therapeutics. 

Parallel amendments to the Illinois Insurance Code provide coverage under plans amended, delivered, issued, or renewed on or after January 1, 2025, for the services by a pharmacist under the expanded practice of pharmacy if the same services are provided by a physician, APRN or PA.

For questions about the effect of the Healthcare Workforce Reinforcement Act or the amendments to the Illinois Pharmacy Practice Act, please contact your Quarles & Brady attorney or:

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