Illinois Issues Initial Guidance Under New Nurse Staffing Law

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The Illinois Department of Labor published general guidance on June 24 on the new record-keeping and reporting rules under the Illinois Nurse Agency Licensing Act. The guidance is effective July 1, although the obligation of nurse agencies to file quarterly cost reports with the department will be deferred until subsequent guidance is issued. Similarly, further guidance will be issued as to when agencies must submit client invoices.

ASA and a coalition of nurse staffing agencies were successful in removing onerous rate cap provisions from the new law, but the bill’s proponents were able to persuade lawmakers to enact “transparency” rules that require agencies to include in their contracts with health care facilities additional information relating to the cost of services. ASA and the coalition have been working with the department in the development of the rules, which very much remain a work in progress.

The department does not have prior experience with nurse agency operations and sought input from the staffing industry on how the new requirements would apply. The department stressed that the guidance issued Friday was only a starting point and that formal regulations will be issued in a process that might take up to a year. In the meantime, the department said agencies will be expected to use good faith efforts to comply based on the statutory language. Education will be a prime department focus, and officials said they are adding staff to assist with compliance and will conduct statewide webinars to help in the effort.

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