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


    Illinois Physicians Take the Reins to Halt Opioid Misuse and Abuseleg

    Although Illinois' statistics are the lowest of the 50 states in total oxycodone prescriptions issued nationwide in 2013, physicians here recognize that a sustained, proactive plan is needed to prevent opioid abuse and protect patients. 

    Last week ISMS announced a comprehensive proposal outlining a pathway for safe opioid prescribing and an effective abuse prevention strategy. The 30-page proposal was submitted to the Illinois House Task Force on the Heroin Crisis and the Illinois General Assembly to provide a framework for Illinois legislation. 

    The ISMS proposal urges action and strategies to:   

    • Expand and strengthen Illinois' Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), a database that prescribers can check to prevent "doctor shopping." 
    • Present new opportunities for continuing medical education for opioid prescribers. 
    • Increase access to naloxone, a medication used to counteract opioid and heroin overdose.
    • Promote safe medication disposal sites. 
    • Access federal grant support to expand the PMP, access to naloxone, and medication disposal sites.  

    House Amendment 1 to House Bill 1 takes a much different approach from the ISMS proposal and is strongly opposed by ISMS, as well as other prescribers, pharmacies, pharmacists, hospitals and insurance companies.   

    Read a thorough analysis of House Amendment 1 to House Bill 1, and stay tuned to www.isms.org and ISMS communication channels for updates.   

    Related content: 

    Immediate Action Requested:fund
    Illinois Lawmakers Propose to Raid Medical Disciplinary Fund 

    Here we go again: The legislature wants to siphon cash from the Medical Disciplinary Fund to pay for government programs unrelated to the fund's purpose, which is to pay for the licensing and disciplining of physicians. The Medical Disciplinary Fund is solely funded by your physician licensure fees.  

    S.B. 274 proposes to transfer $5.6 million from the fund's current balance of $32 million to the General Revenue Fund, with no obligation or intention for repayment. 

    Please call your State Senator immediately and ask them to oppose S.B. 274 and negate the transfer of $5.6 million from the Medical Disciplinary Fund to the General Revenue Fund. 

    Read ISMS' Action Alert



    Fast Forward to a Full Agenda in Oak Brook 

    Plans are proceeding at top speed for the 2015 ISMS Annual Meeting and House of Delegates to be held April 17-19 in Oak Brook. 

    Online registration is open and hotel reservations may be booked today. Important dates and deadlines are available online, and you can get a sneak peek at the full agenda. Also, check out these special events and profiles of candidates running for ISMS offices. 

    Visit the House of Delegates webpage often, as information is updated regularly. 

    Ready, set, lunch!

    You won't want to miss "The Ebola Crisis and Infectious Disease: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines," taking place at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, in Oak Brook. You'll learn about Illinois' Ebola preparedness efforts and gain insights on how to recognize, isolate and safely treat Ebola patients. You can also earn 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  

    Meet our expert presenters:  

                  Olamide Jarrett, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, University of Illinois
                  at Chicago Section of Infectious Diseases, and volunteer at the Ebola isolation
                  unit at Connaught Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone; and  

                  Monica Sikka, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, University of Illinois
                  at Chicago Section of Infectious Diseases, and medical director of infection
                  control, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.  

    Be sure to join us for what is sure to be a riveting presentation on this world health issue.  

    This education session and luncheon are sponsored by ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company. 

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


    March 20: A Double-Header Deadline for Meaningful Use, PQRS

    If you participate in Medicare's EHR Incentive Program, pay attention: You have until March 20 to attest for demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs during the 2014 reporting period. 

    To do so, navigate to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Attestation System.

    For more info, visit ISMS's meaningful use webpage and CMS' list of related educational resources.

    Next up: The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting deadline is also extended to March 20.

    For physicians submitting data directly from their EHR through a vendor or via qualified clinical-data registry, you must satisfy your 2014 requirements before the deadline to avoid a financial penalty.

    Here are step-by-step instructions on how to report to PQRS.

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

    knowKnow the Law when Patients Ask for Meter-Exempt Parking Placards    placards placards

    Significant changes to Illinois' Persons with Disabilities Parking Program occurred last year. You may have the new rules down pat for signing off on meter-exempt parking for your patients. If not, here's a refresher: 

    • Free meter parking is limited to those individuals who are physically unable to pay the meter. Patients with a permanent disability who qualify under the 2014 criteria for meter exempt parking will receive a parking placard that will allow them to park free of charge. 
    • Physicians must fully describe the patient's disability and determine whether the patient meets the new disability requirements that will allow him or her to receive a meter-exempt parking placard.
    • The law assigns stiff penalties for falsifying information on the application for parking placards and license plates, including suspension of driving privileges and fines up to $2,500 for the applicant and physician. 

    To help deter applicants from applying pressure to physicians to authorize eligibility for a placard, the Secretary of State's office developed a poster that you may display in your office.  

    For more info and forms for persons with disabilities, visit the Illinois Secretary of State's webpage.

    beMedicare Quality Reporting Just Got Easier! 

    Join the next National Provider Call on March 18 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. (CST) to learn how to more efficiently report to the various Medicare entities, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, the Value-Based Payment Modifier, and Accountable Care Organizations.

    Access How to Report Once for 2015 Medicare Quality Reporting Programs to preview the information that will be covered on the call.

    Spending 90 minutes now could save you countless hours down the road!

    Register for the call today


    Brush Up on Opioid Basics, Earn CME with Free Archived Webinar 

    From the Illinois Statehouse to the house next door, opioid misuse and abuse demand attention. Here's a webinar that addresses the nuts and bolts of this alarming trend.

    The Providers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies offers a free webinar, Review of Opioids and Treatment of Opioid Dependence, covering different types of opioids and their effects, treatment modalities, and much more. You may take the archived, one-hour webinar at the convenient time of your choosing.

    Register today!

    This webinar is sponsored by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP).

    All Systems Go: Midwest Clinical Conference Spotlights Technology's Impact on Medicine

    From texting and tweeting to Web MD and Wikipedia, there's no doubt explosive changes in technology have a profound effect on practicing medicine.

    Hear from the experts on this topic and earn CME at this year's Midwest Clinical Conference, Looking Forward: The Convergence of Humanism and Technology in Medicine.

    This Chicago Medical Society conference takes place in Chicago on March 13-14, and will present five concurrent course tracks with dozens of topics, including clinical advances, physician leadership, compensation models, and more.

    Register today!

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