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June 2015
In this Issue
  • Top ISMS Headlines June 26, 2015



    ISMS to Governor Rauner: Veto Mandate for Hep C Screenings

    ISMS sent a detailed letter to Governor Rauner urging him to veto S.B. 661. The bill would require primary care physicians (including family physicians, general internists and ob/gyns), physician assistants and advanced practice nurses who provide primary care services to offer a one-time Hepatitis C screening to persons born between 1945 and 1965, if providing a "comprehensive physical examination."*

    The bill would also require all physicians to offer a one-time screening when blood is drawn during a comprehensive physical examination.

    Essentially, S.B. 661 would mandate adherence to practice guidelines set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). While ISMS supports these guidelines, we remain vehemently opposed to inserting them into the statute.

    Read more ...


    Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies for Health Insurance

    In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tax subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act to patients obtaining health insurance policies via the Federal Exchange are valid. Illinois was one of 37 states that did not create a state-based Exchange. The Court's decision ensures that individuals obtaining policies via the Federal Exchange are entitled to the same subsidies as beneficiaries who obtained their policies via state-based Exchanges.

    Read statement by ISMS President Scott A. Cooper, MD.


    Illinois Delegation Brings State Issues to the AMA Annual Meeting 

    Earlier this month, the Illinois Delegation to the AMA represented you at the 2015 annual meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. Our delegation shared the Illinois perspective and submitted 16 resolutions. Several of our resolutions will result in AMA policy and/or action, including these two in the area of public health:

    • Food Allergy Notification by Restaurants - This resolution asks the AMA to support federal legislation to make restaurants and food service establishments safer for those with allergies by educating food service handlers and customers about the health risks of allergies.

    • Increasing Awareness of Nootropic Use - This resolution asks the AMA to research the demand, use and adverse effects of nootropics.

    Visit the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting webpage for more details.

    If ICD-10 Must Be Implemented, Grant Grace Period

    Physicians rallied at the 2015 AMA annual meeting to call on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to institute a two-year grace period that would alleviate practice disruptions when the ICD-10 code set kicks in on October 1.

    During the proposed grace period, claims would not be denied or withheld due to:

    • Coding errors.
    • Mistakes.
    • Malfunctions in the system.

    Since it appears implementation will not be delayed, let's hope CMS considers and approves the request for a grace period. After all, ICD-10 hikes the number of codes by a whopping 400 percent!

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



    Learn About Certifying Minors for Medical Cannabis

    Patients under the age of 18 may now participate in the medical cannabis pilot program as a result of changes to the law.

    The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2014, was revised to allow minors to participate as of Jan. 1, 2015.

    That's why ISMS updated its medical legal guideline, Medical Cannabis, to include how changes to the law impact physicians for certifying minors. The guide also contains waiver forms (a physician would need to fill out a waiver form if a patient should be allowed more than the 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every two weeks) and certification forms for both minors and those who are 18 years of age and older.

    Questions? Please call 800-782-4767 ext. 6485 or send an email.


    Source: Illinois Department of Public Health


    "Thumb Drive" with Patient Resources Available at No Cost

    On June 9, 1840, a dozen dedicated physicians gathered in Springfield for the first meeting of an organization that would become the Illinois State Medical Society. To commemorate 175 years of patient and physician advocacy, ISMS is also making available a USB data drive at no charge, containing digital copies of ISMS resources, including advance care planning forms, a personal health record, a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) screening assessment tool and a series of informational flyers to keep young Illinoisans in good health.

    Request your ISMS Patient Resources USB drives here or call 800-782-4767. Patients may also access these materials online.


    MERS Outbreak: Stay Informed with Latest Guidance, IL Reporting Regulations

    In response to the most recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance for hospitalized patients with the virus. Visit ISMS' MERS webpage for this updated guidance, along with reporting requirements for Illinois and other helpful resources.

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

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