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Landmark Legislative Session Wraps Up in Springfield – With Victories for Physicians and Patients!
Posted on: 6/5/2019

With Illinois’ spring legislative session now adjourned, here’s a wrap-up of some key bills that impact your profession. The ISMS legislative team fought hard to help pass these important bills and to stop several bills that would have been dangerous for your patients.

  • Passed! Additional protections for alleged child abuse

The Illinois House and Illinois Senate voted unanimously to pass a bill that would require the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to refer alleged child abuse to law enforcement, which closes a loophole.  

ISMS-backed Senate Bill 1239 would require DCFS to refer any report received regarding the alleged abuse or neglect of a child by certain individuals to the appropriate local law enforcement agency and State’s Attorney for consideration of criminal investigation or other action. These individuals include anyone who is not:

  • The child’s parent
  • A member of the child’s immediate family
  • A person responsible for the child’s welfare
  • An individual residing in the same home as the child
  • A paramour of the child’s parent

DCFS currently does not investigate reports of alleged child abuse or neglect that fall outside of the department's purview, such as abuse by an uncle or neighbor.

This bill would not expand the current mandate upon physicians to report alleged child abuse and neglect.

The legislation now goes to the governor’s desk for consideration.  

  • Passed! Illinois’ Medical Practice Act

The Illinois House and Senate also voted unanimously to pass ISMS-backed Senate Bill 1221, which would extend the Medical Practice Act for two years. This Act, currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019, is an essential state law that governs the practice of medicine in Illinois. Without it, any person, regardless of qualification, could practice medicine in Illinois without restriction or penalty.

The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for consideration.  

Thanks to ISMS, Dangerous Scope Bills Were Stopped

Several bills that would be harmful to patients were prevented from advancing, thanks to ISMS’ lobbying efforts:  

  • Stopped! Nurse anesthetist bill  

House Bill 2813 would have allowed certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to provide care, including the delivery of anesthesia, independent of physicians.

  • Stopped! Naturopath bill  

House Bill 2338 would have licensed naturopaths as physicians and allowed them to provide a full range of medical services to patients in Illinois, including caring for children; providing specialty care, such as gynecological services; and treating patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cancer.  

  • Stopped! Physician assistant bill

House Bill 3355 and Senate Bill 1725 would have provided physician assistants (PAs) a broad scope of practice that mirrors the responsibilities of physicians, while allowing them to treat patients independent of physicians. PAs would have been allowed to provide the same care as physicians without meeting the education and training standards that physicians are required by law to complete.

Our full end-of-session legislative report will be out soon, so watch for more complete details on these and numerous other issues in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact ISMS Vice President of Legislative Affairs Erin O'Brien at 312-580-6488.


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