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December 2015
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  • Top ISMS Headlines¬†December 25, 2015



    What's This? A Dose of Holiday Cheer from a Cook County Court?

    As we go to press, good news emerged from the Cook County Circuit Court. In Kakos v. Butler, a circuit judge ruled that a recently enacted law removing the right to a civil jury of 12 is unconstitutional.

    The 2014 trial lawyer-backed bill that limited the number of jurors to six instead of 12 for civil trials was signed into law during the final days of Governor Quinn's administration. Trial lawyers pressed for the change, reportedly, to limit the variety of perspectives among jurors and because smaller juries tend to deliver larger awards.

    ISMS strongly opposed this legislation when it was considered and has actively supported legal and legislative remedies to restore a party's constitutional right to a 12-person jury.

    While this is very good news, the Circuit Court ruling will likely be appealed. ISMS will keep you updated.


    Meaningful Use Stage 2
    Washington Lawmakers Vote to "Fast Track" Hardship Exception Processing

    To avoid a penalty in future years under Meaningful Use Stage 2, physicians must attest in 2015 that they met requirements for a period of 90 consecutive days.

    However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not publish the updated Stage 2 reporting rules until October 16, leaving less than 90 days remaining in 2015.

    So what is being done to accommodate physicians affected by the late release?

    >> Read more

    Planning to Change Your Medicare Participation Status? The Deadline is December 31

    Toward the end of each year, physicians have an opportunity to determine if they want to change their Medicare participation status for the following year.

    If you are planning to make a change for 2016, you must do so between now and December 31.

    Here's how.

    >> Read more

    Learn About Medicare's Final Payment Rule for 2016

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the Final Medicare Physician Payment Rule for 2016. The new policies in the Rule will apply to payments under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for services delivered on or after January 1.

    ISMS prepared a helpful summary of the Rule. Updated fee schedules are available on the Part B home page of the NGS website.



    Pop Quiz:
    What's Hanging around Your Neck ... And Carrying Bacteria?

    The answer may surprise you: your stethoscope. While the fingertips of health care professionals are the main routes by which microorganisms are transmitted among patients, recent studies suggest that stethoscopes may also contribute.

    >> Read more

    Boost the Shots: National Flu Vaccination Rates Stalled at 40%

    It's hard to imagine that the flu season is already upon us, with Illinois' unseasonably warm temperatures and lack of snowfall.

    Yet, despite the lack of freezing temps, 'tis the season to offer influenza vaccinations to your patients to protect their health.

    Stay one step ahead of this infectious bug by tapping these ISMS resources.

    >> Read more



    Encourage Patients to Participate in their Care - the "Old Fashioned" Way

    Are all your patients tech savvy?

    For the patient who prefers the "pen and paper" method, ISMS offers a holiday stocking stuffer: Your Personal Health Record.

    This convenient tool is a handy pocket-size record keeper that allows your patients to actively participate in their care by keeping their own account of previous medical visits and medications they are taking.

    So if you have patients who don't rely on the latest apps for their health care monitoring, offer them a copy of this popular booklet. ISMS members may request up to 50 copies of this paper record keeper at no cost! Just send us an email with your name and address.


    Do You Have What it Takes to Lead ISMS Forward? Application Deadline is December 31

    ISMS is the voice of Illinois physicians, and our officers and trustees are the voice of ISMS. You and your colleagues depend on capable, dedicated physicians to step up and lead in these turbulent times.

    Applications for 2016 ISMS leadership positions will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2015, at 4:45 p.m. Elections will take place at the April 2016 House of Delegates meeting.

    >> Read more

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