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July 2015
In this Issue
  • Top ISMS Headlines July 10, 2015



    Legislative Wins Delivered, Scope Challenges Quelled

    While the budget stalemate and other issues rage on in Springfield, it appears that adjournment of the 99th General Assembly Spring Session won't happen any time soon.

    Yet, we can report to you on a number of significant victories ISMS already achieved that affect medicine in Illinois and which are not likely to be threatened as this legislative session slogs on.

    Read the entire 2015 Update on ISMS Legislative Activity, which demonstrates the value of your ISMS dues dollars and showcases how your legislative team advanced physician priorities to protect you and your patients against ill-conceived policies.


    House Clears Temporary Budget

    Yesterday the Illinois House approved S.B. 2040, which would provide appropriations totaling just over $2.25 billion to cover 24 essential state services for a one-month period that would expire on Aug. 1, 2015.

    Among the list of essential services are Medicaid, community care programs, nutrition for the elderly, child care services, home services program, corrections, foster care, state police, juvenile justice, natural disasters and more.

    The state's Medicaid program will receive nearly $1.6 billion for payments for services provided beginning June 30, 2015. More than $50 million will go for residents with severe mental illnesses, such as mental health supportive housing, state-operated mental health facilities and community-based grants.

    While the measure must still pass the Senate, Governor Rauner is expected to veto S.B. 2040 on the grounds that it is unbalanced and, therefore, unconstitutional.

    The governor continues to insist that the General Assembly approve his "Turn Around Agenda," which includes term limits, a property tax freeze, redistricting, workers' compensation reform and tort reform before he will approve tax increases to balance a budget that is approximately $4 billion in the hole.


    ISMS Asks, CMS Answers
    Medicare to Reimburse Physicians for Advance Care Planning

    This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced its intent to reimburse physicians for time spent discussing advance directives with patients, including completion of necessary forms.

    ISMS was integral to the creation of the two CPT codes now available for reporting end-of-life discussions.

    Back in 2013, a committed team of ISMS members and staff flew to an AMA CPT Editorial Panel meeting to propose the advance care planning codes. After months of deliberation, the panel approved two new CPT codes in 2014. Following direct advocacy by ISMS and other medical associations, Medicare administrators finally delivered a dose of good news that they plan to include the codes in the 2016 Medicare Fee Schedule.

    The final valuation of those CPT codes will not be announced until this fall, pending a comment period on the proposed rules. However, our bid for fair payment appears to be in the home stretch!

    ISMS thanks our members who supported this effort.



    Treating Medicaid Patients? Brace for IMPACT 

    Illinois will say farewell to its current Medicaid information management system (MMIS) and will onboard its Illinois Medicaid Program Advance Cloud Technology - IMPACT - on Aug. 3, 2015.

    Physicians enrolled in MMIS will receive a letter from IMPACT containing an individual application identification number for use in completing the revalidation process. Please watch your mail for this important notification.

    Physicians should not proceed with enrollment or revalidation until the launch of the system on Aug. 3, 2015. Physicians have six months from the launch date to complete their revalidation.

    When IMPACT becomes operational on August 3,

    • The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will no longer accept paper applications from physicians who wish to enroll as Medicaid providers.
    • Newly enrolling physicians must complete a secure web-based enrollment form.
    • Currently enrolled physicians who treat Medicaid clients will be required to revalidate their existing data, and may be asked to provide additional data.

    ISMS members may access our new IMPACT Issue Brief for resources and more information. Questions? Please contact your Member Advocacy team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by email.

    One-Year "Grace Period" Deal Reached for ICD-10

    While ISMS remains strongly opposed to ICD-10 implementation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) continues to move toward the launch for the new code set - and also responds to physician concerns by instituting a "grace period" during the transition.

    >>  Read more



    Be Part of National Initiative to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease; Apply by September 4

    With the goal of helping to reduce heart attacks and strokes among Medicare patients, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is rolling out the Million Hearts CVD Risk Reduction initiative, which offers financial incentives for physicians.

    >>   Learn more.



    Free Webinars Tackle Prescription Opioid Epidemic, CME Offered

    Check out these top-notch webinars that cover the latest in opioid overdose and misuse, at no cost to physicians:

    • PCSS-O webinars
      The Providers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O) offers training and mentoring in response to the prescription opioid overdose epidemic.

      View PCSS-O's 13 partner organizations.

    • PCSS-MAT webinars The Providers' Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment (PCSS-MAT) addresses the prescription opioid misuse epidemic with medication-assisted treatment.

      PCSS-Mat is working in partnership with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry; the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine; the American Psychiatric Association; and American Society of Addiction Medicine.

    Most of the webinars offer CME.

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