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Happy 2019! Highlights of New Laws Related to Medicine – Now in Effect
Posted on: 1/3/2019
Sunset Capital

Illinois lawmakers passed more than 250 new laws that took effect on January 1.

Among them, carnivals must conduct criminal background checks of all employees, law enforcement can take temporary custody of dogs and cats exposed to adverse weather conditions, and hunters can now  wear solid blaze pink colored clothing!

Closer to home, here are highlights of new laws as they pertain to medicine:

Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Crisis

Public Act 100-1106 requires that every prescriber of controlled substances to complete three hours of continuing education in safe opioid prescribing practices.

  • ISMS offers coursework designed to meet this requirement – FREE to members via our Education Center.

Public Act 100-0789 adds synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act.

Public Act 100-1058 bans the practice of "patient brokering," in which companies use false or misleading advertising to direct patients to mental health or addiction recovery facilities outside the state where the patient's insurance may not be accepted.

Public Act 100-0759 changes the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act and renames it to the Substance Use Disorder Act. It also renames the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse to the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery.

Public Act 100-1065 permits insurers to provide coverage for recovery housing for persons with substance use disorders who are at risk of a relapse following discharge from a health care clinic, federally qualified health center, hospital withdrawal management program or any other licensed withdrawal management program or hospital emergency department so long as certain conditions are met.

Medical Legal

ISMS priority bill: Public Act 100-1117 delivers important safeguards to protect injured workers’ access to medical care through the workers’ compensation system by finally forcing workers’ compensation insurance companies to implement electronic billing and pay interest for late payments.

ISMS priority bill: Public Act 100-0653 amends the Health Care Services Lien Act to authorize ambulatory surgical treatment facilities (ASTF) to place a lien on any damages that may be paid to a patient for the injury necessitating the ASTFs treatment of that patient.

Public Act 100-0762 requires every licensed professional to complete a sexual harassment prevention training before renewing their license.

Public Act 100-0925 requires the Department of Public Health and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to collaborate and recommend new state laws for the disposal of unused antibiotics and submit their recommendations to the General Assembly by January 2020.

Public Act 100-0605 increases the current ratio of physician assistants (PAs) to physicians from 5:1 to 7:1, and provides for a collaboration ratio exemption for certain areas of the state where there is a determined shortage of primary care professionals.

Public Act 100-0877 allows state law enforcement agencies to enforce the Smoke Free Illinois Act and changes all fines associated with violations to civil penalties.

Public Act 100-1078 provides that no person shall be denied a professional license issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation solely based on citizenship or immigration status.

Public Act 100-0906 limits who may hold a FOID card by expanding the definition of "patient" and directs other changes to the FOID Card Act.


Public Act 100-1102 requires insurers to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses for standard fertility preservation services when a necessary medical treatment may directly or indirectly cause iatrogenic infertility.

Public Act 100-0747 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to publish and disseminate a brochure to educate the general public on the effects of concussions in children and discuss how to look for concussion warning signs in children.

Public Act 100-0672 requires any child under the age of two years old to be properly secured in a rear-facing child seat, which offers greater protection.

Public Act 100-0696 amends the Jury Commission Act to provide that any mother nursing her child can be excused from jury service upon her request.

Public Act 100-0726 allows school nurses to keep asthma medication prescribed in the school's name. 

Medical Service

ISMS priority bill: Public Act 100-0804 allows a prescription for medication other than controlled substances to be valid for up to 15 months from the date issued unless the prescription states otherwise.

ISMS priority bill: Public Act 100-1057 protects patients with stage IV advanced, metastatic cancer and would preclude any state-licensed health benefit plan that covers treatment for stage IV cancer from excluding drug coverage. The legislation includes health plans that cover the patient directly, such as an insurer, and indirectly, such as a pharmacy benefit manager.

Patients with stage IV cancer are in compromised and fragile health, with little fortitude to "fail first" on a prioritized drug or time to wait for an authorization before receiving the doctor's choice of treatment.

ISMS priority bill: Public Act 100-1052 prevents insurance companies from modifying an enrollee's drug formulary coverage after the enrollee is already locked into a health plan for the year. Specifically, the new law thwarts increasing out-of-pocket costs for a covered drug, the movement of a prescription drug to a more restrictive tier and the loss of prescription drugs from a formulary.

Public Act 100-0612 redefines "unused medication" to include liquid form and adds "suspensions" to the list of other types of unused medications.

Public Act 100-0749 requires every health care entity offering mammography services to notify a patient if they have dense breast tissue.

Public Act 100-0862 provides loan repayment assistance to mental health professionals who practice in under-served or rural, federally designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Public Act 100-1071 requires employers of mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect to inform their employees of available mandated reporter training, including physician offices.

Public Act 100-0977 requires school boards to include information about influenza and flu vaccinations to parents and students when giving information on immunizations, infectious diseases, medications or other health issues.

Public Act 100-0799 creates the Epinephrine Administration Act and defines epinephrine injectors to include both auto injectors and pre-filled syringes.

Public Act 100-0723 clarifies the lead poisoning definition and rules for when professionals must report elevated blood lead levels.

Health IT

Public Act 100-1019 expands the list of health professionals eligible to bill Medicaid for telehealth.

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