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May 2015
In this Issue
  • Top ISMS Headlines May 29, 2015


    IL Senate Committee Defeats Proposed Cut to Work Comp Fee Schedule


    The Senate Judiciary Committee voted down legislation 8 to 4 (all eight Democrats voted no; four Republications voted yes) that would have cut the workers' comp medical fee schedule by a whopping 51 percent (Amendment 1 to S.B. 994). The bill also included other changes to the Workers' Compensation Act affecting standards used to determine whether an injury is compensable under the Act and would have increased the use of AMA guidelines when determining the level of impairment. ISMS testified against the bill, along with labor unions, lawyers and hospitals.

    Recently the House defeated related legislation that would have cut the work comp fee schedule by 60 percent.

    While these recent actions are encouraging, cuts to the workers' compensation fee schedule are expected to remain on the table during the remainder of the legislative session. Any new cuts would be in addition to the 30 percent cut already enacted just a few short years ago.

    Bottom line: Drastic cuts to the work comp fee schedule place injured workers at risk for access to health care.

    Read ISMS' position paper.

    ISMS to Urge Governor's Veto of Bill Mandating Hep C Screening

    Legislation (S.B. 661) that would mandate primary care physicians and related health care professionals to offer Hepatitis C screening to persons born between 1945 and 1965 cleared the House earlier this week.

    As the Senate already passed the measure, the bill now goes to Governor Rauner for consideration. ISMS will urge the governor to veto S.B. 661.

    While ISMS agrees with the Hepatitis C screening recommendations, we oppose any attempts to legislate the practice of medicine in ways that compromise a physician's clinical autonomy, including a mandate to offer Hep C screening to patients.

    The bill would also increase physician exposure to civil liability and professional discipline for failing to offer the screenings, and doesn't put in place any guarantee of access to treatment for patients who do test positive for this liver disease.

    Read ISMS' position paper.

    Springfield Advances Legislation to Tackle Misuse of Opioids


    Your ISMS legislative team worked to negotiate the removal of objectionable provisions in opioid legislation and ISMS now supports amended H.B. 1, which cleared the House earlier this week.

    Previous versions of H.B. 1 included many objectionable provisions including mandated specific continuing medical education for physicians; separate licensure for "pain clinics"; restrictions on prescribing opioids; requirements for patient assessments prior to prescribing opioids, among other objectionable provisions. None of these provisions are included in the bill as amended.

    This current measure is more in line with ISMS' 30-page proposal, which provides a legislative framework for Illinois on how to address the misuse of opioids, while still ensuring the quality of patient care. The document also includes recommendations as to how Illinois' Prescription Monitoring Program can be improved as a clinical tool.

    Other prescribers, pharmacies, pharmacists and hospitals also support amended H.B. 1, which is now before the Senate.


    Illinois Supreme Court Ruling
    Victory: Plaintiff Lawyers Cannot Grab Larger Slice of Settlement

    The Illinois Supreme Court sided with ISMS' position last week, ruling 7-0 in a case that would have toppled the current procedure for how health care liens are disbursed in civil cases.

    Plaintiff lawyers wanted to deduct attorney fees from civil case settlements prior to calculating liens paid to health care entities and physicians, which would have prevented health care professionals from receiving the full reimbursement.

    Read more.


    Medicare EHR Incentive Program:
    Apply for a Hardship Exception by July 1

    Eligible Professionals (EPs) who did not successfully participate in Medicare's EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will experience a payment cut Jan. 1, 2016, unless they apply for a hardship exception by July 1, 2015.

    To file a hardship exception, you must:

    • Show proof of a circumstance beyond your control.
    • Explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired your ability to meet meaningful use.

    Access hardship exception instructions and applications for individuals and multiple EPs.

    Prepare to Revalidate if You Treat Medicaid Patients

    Medicaid is replacing its Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) with the Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology (IMPACT) system. Due to this switch, physicians who currently treat Medicaid patients will need to revalidate their Medicaid enrollment data online - once the new system is available starting Monday, August 3. This transition will not impact billing or reimbursement.

    Watch for a yellow mailer from Medicaid, which will explain the online revalidation process and also include your unique physician number. Save this notice because you will need this number to revalidate.

    Learn more from ISMS and don't miss this IMPACT webinar on June 10 at 1 p.m. (CST).

    PQRS/Value-Based Payment Modifier
    How Your Reporting Today will Affect Your Payments in 2017

    Watch this YouTube video and learn what to anticipate for your practice situation.


    Need Assistance with Navigating Medicare's Quality Initiatives?

    Get technical assistance and education to help you improve documentation, tracking, patient data reporting, quality processes and more for Medicare - at no cost - with Telligen, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Improvement Organization serving Illinois.

    For more information, visit Telligen's website, call 630-928-5832 or send an email.

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


    Ebola Online Course Provides "Lessons Learned" from Recent Outbreak


    The Ebola crisis in western Africa revealed that meticulous planning and thorough education is essential to dealing with future outbreaks.

    ISMS' online course, The Ebola Crisis and Infectious Disease: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines examines Illinois' Ebola preparedness efforts and how to recognize, isolate and safely treat Ebola patients. Part of the presentation comes from a physician who directly cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

    CME available.

    Keeping Up with OSHA Regulations

    New federal regulations took effect Jan. 1, 2015, for OSHA training requirements pertaining to ambulatory practices. And 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 current 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 
    Understand future changes to federal OSHA regulations concerning employees using hazardous materials and chemicals. Employee training and written hazard communication plans will be mandatory June 1, 2016.

    Discount for ISMS members

    On-Demand Webinar
    When Prescription Opiates Turn into Addiction Nightmares

    Learn about the signs of opiate addiction and techniques to reduce usage with this webinar, Managing Pain in the Pre and Post Treatment Addicted Patient.

    CME available; discounts for ISMS members. 

    Check out all educational opportunities at the ISMS Education Center.

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