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March 2015
In this Issue
  • Top ISMS Headlines March 20, 2015


    Offer a One-Time Hep C Screening for Baby Boomers and High Risk Groups 

    ISMS urges primary care physicians to offer patients born between 1945-1965 and those at high-risk a one-time screening for Hepatitis C (HCV), consistent with recently updated recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that this one-time screening in Illinois alone would find about 40,000 undiagnosed Hepatitis C cases. Currently, an estimated 160,000 Illinoisans suffer from HCV infection, the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States and, thereby, the leading cause of chronic liver disease. 

    Is a screening mandate gaining steam in Springfield? 

    Illinois lawmakers could move to enact legislation to mandate that patients born between the years of 1945 and 1965, and other at risk populations, be offered the Hep C screening when they receive certain health care services. What's more is that this proposal does not offer immunity for health care professionals from criminal and civil liability and from professional discipline for failing to offer HCV screening, and does not put in place any guarantee that the patients who test positive for Hep C could access treatment. 

    ISMS is opposed to any attempts to legislate the practice of medicine in ways that compromise a physician's clinical autonomy, including legislation that would require physicians to offer screening to their patients for HCV. Instead, ISMS is working to raise awareness with physicians, group practices and health systems about the updated screening guidelines and the availability of newer treatments that are highly tolerable and extremely effective for most patients. 

    To be clear, ISMS is not opposed to the USPSTF recommendations, which are backed by solid science. Rather, our concern is the enforcement of such recommendations by the General Assembly.  

    enough Enough Already! The Time is NOW to Repeal SGR 

    Joining with the AMA and over 750 other medical societies in one of the largest physician-backed communiqués to Congress in recent years, ISMS signed a letter to Congress urging the repeal of the failed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula before the expiration of the current payment patch on April 1, 2015.  

    Last year's efforts to reform Medicare's physician payment system exceeded previous attempts to repeal SGR. Three committees pulled together a bipartisan, bicameral SGR replacement policy. However, the proposal wasn't called for a vote by Congress. In the last week, reports from Washington suggest momentum for an SGR fix may be rising again. 

    Call to Action: Visit the AMA's Fix Medicare Now. Let's make SGR repeal happen! 



    Join Us for Policymaking, Education ... and to Celebrate History! 

    Illinois doctors are set to converge in Oak Brook next month for the 2015 ISMS Annual Meeting and House of Delegates, taking place April 17-19.

    As 2015 marks the 175th anniversary of ISMS, the meeting will highlight the Society's history, paired with a look toward ISMS' future.  

    Coming soon: Watch for the Virtual Reference Committee Forum, to be posted to our HOD webpage soon. All members are invited to comment on this year's submitted resolutions via this forum.  

    Deadline to note: Be sure to book your room reservations by Monday's deadline, March 23, to receive the discounted rate.

    CME educational sessions:

    Managing Your eRisk
    The digital revolution continues to impact healthcare risk management, so check out this seminar presented by ISMIE Mutual risk management staff on Friday, April 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.  Register today!  

    The Ebola Crisis and Infectious Disease: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines
    Learn about Illinois' Ebola preparedness efforts and gain insights on how to recognize, isolate and safely treat Ebola patients at this seminar on
    Saturday, April 18 at 12:30 p.m.
    No registration required.    

    County Medical Society Leadership Meeting
    ISMS and county medical society leaders will meet to discuss the Society's most pressing priority: Membership. All are welcome; non-delegates are encouraged to attend this meeting taking place Saturday, April 18 from 2:15 to 4 p.m.
    Online registration is open; important dates and deadlines and the full agenda are available online. Also, check out the profiles of candidates running for ISMS offices, available to members only.

    Questions? Call the HOD hotline at 312-853-4745 or send an email


    Learn about Current Laws for Treating Mental Health Patients

    All clinicians at some point in their career will encounter patients with a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of a mental health condition. That's why ISMS developed an Overview of Legal Requirements in Mental Health, designed for those who may manage or treat such patients.

    This comprehensive booklet covers topics such as admission to a mental health facility, refusal of medical treatment, administration of psychotropic medications, use of restraints and seclusion, and more.

    For members only.

    Questions? Call 800-782-4767 or send an email


    Recognize the Signs of Opiate Addiction  education

    The misuse of prescription opiates can turn the marvels of medical advancements into the nightmare of addiction. Learn about the signs of opiate addiction and techniques to reduce usage with this archived webinar, Managing Pain in the Pre and Post Treatment Addicted Patient, available 24/7.  

    CME available; discounts for ISMS members.   

    Check out all educational opportunities at the ISMS Education Center

    Training for Physicians, Medical Practices
    Learn About New Federal OSHA Regulations 

    Discount for ISMS members

    Did you know that new federal regulations kicked in on Jan. 1, 2015, pertaining to OSHA training requirements for ambulatory practices? And it may seem off in the distance now, but more OSHA regs are coming in June 2016. That's why ISMS is offering this two-part course, available on-demand 24/7, covering the latest on OSHA regulations; CME available:  

    Part 1: Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control

    Learn about new federal OSHA regulations, and what physicians and health care professionals must do to protect employees and patients from bloodborne pathogens.

    Part 2: Hazard Communications in the Workplace  

    Be aware of future changes to federal OSHA regulations pertaining to employees using hazardous materials and chemicals. Why? Employee training and written hazard communication plans will be mandatory June 1, 2016.

    Check out our full slate of educational opportunities at the ISMS Education Center


    Will Your Income Protection Insurance "Fill the Bill"?    DRG

    Question: How can I reduce my personal financial risk should an unforeseeable accident or illness prevent me from working in my practice? 

    Answer: Sign up for a high limit supplemental disability insurance plan through Disability Resource Group (DRG). 

    Physicians face significant financial exposure if they rely solely on maximum benefits provided by traditional group long term disability (LTD) and/or individual disability plans. That's because the benefit limitations of both of these plans - even when combined - may not ensure adequate income protection. 

    ISMS is partnering with DRG to offer a high limit disability program exclusively for all eligible members - at a discount! This type of insurance fills in the deficiencies of group LTD and individual disability policies. 

    But don't delay. Open enrollment for this coverage ends May 13. 

    >> Read more

    ADVOCACY   physicians1  

    physicians1 Physicians Express Grave Concerns over ICD-10-CM Preparedness 

    ISMS joined 99 other state and national medical organizations in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the current transition plan for the October 1 implementation of ICD-10-CM.

    Given the enormous impact the new code set will have on physicians, ISMS remains concerned that many aspects of this undertaking have not been fully assessed, and that CMS contingency plans designed to tackle disruptions at the time of "the switch" may also be inadequate.


    Just six months remain before ICD-10-CM becomes the new coding standard. Visit ISMS' webpage for resources on the impending transition. 

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


    Quick Tax Tip: Deduct a Portion of Your ISMS Dues

    The portion of your ISMS dues for the 2014 membership year reserved for non-taxable deduction purposes is 6 percent. Therefore, for federal income tax purposes, your dues for 2014 are 94 percent tax-deductible.

    For applicability to your individual circumstances, you should check with your tax consultant or advisor.

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