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February 2015
In this Issue
  • Top ISMS Headlines February 6, 2015


    Help Stop Bill to Allow Independent Practice for APNs, CRNAs spring-capitol

    The Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing seeks to remove the requirement that nurses practicing outside of a hospital, hospital affiliate or ambulatory surgical treatment center maintain a collaborative agreement with a physician. The bill would also remove the requirement that certified nurse anesthetists enter into an anesthesia plan with a collaborating physician. 

    CALL TO ACTION: Please contact your state representative and urge him or her to VOTE NO on H.B. 421, Independent Practice of Advanced Practice Nurses. State legislators are in the district offices for the next week (Feb. 6-13)

    ISMS physicians are committed to ensuring that care is centered on each patient's needs and that each patient receives high-quality care by a well-trained team of professionals supervised by a physician.  

    Read the full ISMS Legislative Alert.


    First-Time Medical License Applicants Now Subject to Background Checks

    Effective Feb. 2, 2015, a new law kicked in requiring criminal history background checks for physicians applying for their initial medical license. The law only applies to first-time applications postmarked after February 2.

    Please note: Criminal background checks are not required for renewal and restoration applications for medical licenses, nor do they apply to individuals applying for temporary or visiting medical licenses.

    Guidance for complying with this new law is included with the application packets available at www.idfpr.com.  


    twoUpdated for 2015
    Two Essential Medical Records Guides 

    Every year rules on medical records change. And every year ISMS keeps you up-to-date with these popular resources.

    • Our 2015 Medical Record Quick Guide covers the latest copying rates, retention guidelines and the impact of HIPAA, which must be followed, along with Illinois law, when copying and sending medical records.

    Both of these resources are for ISMS members and ISMIE policyholders only. Call 800-782-4767 or send an email if you have any questions.

    Start the Conversation about Advance Directives with A Personal Decision women

    Discussing end-of-life decisions with patients is a necessary part of medical care. To help with this process, ISMS developed A Personal Decision , a booklet that covers practical information and guidance on future medical care. This resource is newly updated and includes:  

    • Living wills
    • Powers of attorney for health care
    • Mental health treatment preference declarations
    • Uniform DNR/POLST form
    • Organ donation

    The booklet is available online so download and print your copy today. Also, ISMS members may receive up to 300 free print copies per year! To order your copies, contact us at 800-782-4767 or send an email.  

    Also, check out this patient video guide for A Personal Decision


    Watch for a CPT "Code Probe" for 99233  

    Your Medicare contractor, National Government Services (NGS), will conduct prepayment reviews of CPT code 99233 (subsequent inpatient hospital care) for claims submitted to Medicare Part B.


    The allowed services for this code recently spiked, and the CERT* claims error rate also experienced an uptick. 

    Here's what to expect: Claims for CPT code 99233 will be selected at random; if your claim(s) are chosen, you will receive another letter that may require you to obtain further documentation from the hospital within a 30-day window.

    * CMS calculates the Medicare Fee-for-Service improper payment rate through the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program.  

    Learn more.

    Questions? Call your ISMS Advocacy Team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470 or  send an email

    Be Wary About Electronic Payment Options 


    Some types of payment arrangements (including use of virtual credit cards [VCCs]), may carry hidden fees.

    Physicians, office staff: Take note if you're considering various electronic fund transfer arrangements. You are cautioned to read all agreements carefully and fully understand the electronic fund transfer programs in which you choose to participate.  

    The American Medical Association has assembled an Electronic Funds Transfer Toolkit to inform physicians of how to ensure safe funds transfer. More information is available through this free webinar, Stop Paying to Get Paid: Effective Electronic Payments.  

    Also, watch for an upcoming ISMS Issue Brief on this topic.

    Calm Your ICD-10-CM Anxiety with These Resources

    The long-awaited (or dreaded!) implementation of the ICD-10-CM code set is less than eight months away. If you're feeling apprehensive about this major conversion, here's some assistance to help your practice manage the changeover.  

    • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid launched a new webpage, Provider Resources, a central hub of information related to the October 1 compliance date for the new code set.

    • ISMS also offers a comprehensive  ICD-10-CM webpage, and our Advocacy Team is standing by to answer your questions at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470 or by email.

    • Attend the AMA's ICD-10 Specialty Coding Summit, June 1-2, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. CME available. Register online or call 855-225-5341.  Download the brochure.

      threeThree Facts to Know If You've Received a Medicare Revalidation Request

      The Affordable Care Act requires Medicare providers to revalidate periodically. If you've received the yellow envelope from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) containing a request to revalidate, here's what to do.

      1. Submit the application no later than 60 days from the postmark date on the letter.

      2. The quickest method to submit your revalidation letter is online through the secure Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS). The process is as simple as verifying or updating your information in PECOS.

      3. To revalidate by paper, download the current CMS 855-S Medicare Enrollment application from the CMS website.  

      For more info, visit CMS's enrollment webpage. Questions? Call your ISMS Advocacy Team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470 or send an email


      IllinoisIllinois' Uninsured Must Sign Up for Coverage by 2/15 or Face Fine

      Only nine days remain for the uninsured to enroll in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, as required by the Affordable Care Act. By signing up at GetCoveredIllinois.gov before the cutoff, patients will avoid tax penalties.

      After February 15, the law only allows enrollments following a change in family status (for example, marriage, divorce or birth of a child) or loss of other health insurance.

      For more info, visit ISMS' Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace webpage. There you'll find a printable flier for your patients that includes a helpful Q & A section detailing enrollment steps. 


      limitedFree Webinar Tackles Safer Opioid Prescribing for Pain Managementpills

      CME offered

      The Providers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O) offers a free webinar to educate prescribers about appropriate prescribing for pain management.

      The webinar takes place Wednesday, February 11 from 11 a.m. to noon (CST).

      Register today!

      The webinar is sponsored by the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM).

      specialSpecial Early-Bird Rate for ISMS Members
      Midwest Clinical Conference Offers Hot Topics, Abundant CME

      Don't miss this year's Midwest Clinical Conference, Looking Forward: The Convergence of Humanism and Technology in Medicine.

      The conference takes place in Chicago on March 13-14, and presents five concurrent course tracks with up to 56 different topics, including cutting-edge clinical advances, physician leadership, compensation models, and more!

      ISMS members receive a special early-bird rate of $260 - a savings of $160! Hurry - you must register by February 15 to receive this special rate.

      Register today!
      The conference is sponsored by ISMS and the Chicago Medical Society. 

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