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  • Restrictions Loosening Effective May 1 for Elective Surgeries

    Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois’ stay-at-home order will be extended through May 30, 2020. His announcement also covered several changes to the current order, including a statewide requirement for individual mask use for anyone out in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face coverings will be required in all indoor public spaces.

    The extension and changes take effect May 1.

    Other changes include an easing of some of the measures currently in place, such as restrictions on elective surgery. The Illinois Department of Public Health will soon issue guidance to surgery centers and hospitals for resuming elective procedures.

    Facilities will need to meet several criteria, including proper personal protective equipment, ensuring available space for COVID-19 patients, and testing of elective surgery patients to ensure they are not positive for the virus.

    ISMS will keep you updated as more information becomes available. Visit our COVID-19 resource page for the latest updates and resources.

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or  by sending an email.



  • Reimbursement Available for Testing, Treating Uninsured COVID-19 Patients

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will use federal funds to provide claims reimbursement to healthcare professionals for testing uninsured patients for COVID-19 and treating uninsured patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

    Specifically, the money will come from a portion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (which appropriates money to reimburse providers for conducting coronavirus testing for the uninsured) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.. 

    The reimbursement for uninsured patients will be based on Medicare payment rates.

    Health professionals who have provided these services on or after Feb. 4, 2020, can request claims reimbursement electronically. 

    These funds may be claimed beginning Monday, April 27, 2020

    Information about claims submission will become available on April 27 on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s website. 

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by sending an email.



  • Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Can’t Have Any Visitors. Does Anyone Know Their Wishes?

    Some patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 text loved ones with information about where important documents can be found. But what about their future healthcare wishes? 

    It’s difficult when a seriously ill patient’s healthcare wishes are unknown, but it becomes even more complicated with patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Family members and friends aren’t allowed to visit them in the hospital. And if it is unknown what the patient’s wishes are, physicians will intubate and perform CPR on patients who may not have wanted those life-saving procedures – which also pose a high risk of exposure to health professionals

    Illinois Public Media’s The 21st Show recently highlighted this very topic in a 17-minute episode, End of Life Discussions: Tough But Necessary. ISMS Immediate Past President Paul E. Pedersen, MD, was featured as one of the guests on the show. 

    For all Illinoisans, ISMS offers A Personal Decision, a free booklet that provides sample forms and the latest guidance on advance directives – current with Illinois law. 

    If you have questions, please contact ISMS' legal department at 800-782-4767 or by email


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  • Meet Your New ISMS President

    Although the 2020 Annual Meeting was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISMS is working to ensure that the important business of the Society continues, even in these difficult times. Part of that is conducting elections for the 2020-2021 year.

    As of Sunday, April 19, 2020, election results became official for ISMS’ 2020-2021 officers, trustees, AMA delegation and other procedural offices.

    ISMS welcomes our new president, Robert W. Panton, MD.

    Read Dr. Panton’s inaugural column.

    We extend special gratitude to outgoing president Paul E. Pedersen, MD, for his excellent representation of ISMS over the course of the last year, including during the time COVID-19 descended upon Illinois.

    J. Regan Thomas, MD, joins the Board as our new president-elect. 

    As you are aware, our Annual Meeting is also the venue where policy resolutions are finalized. We are preparing a plan for electronic review of resolutions and will be sending a communication to you in the weeks ahead.

    If you have questions, please send us an email.



  • Online Education: Make the Most of Medicare with Telemedicine
    telemed comp

    COVID-19 has driven unprecedented actions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to allow expanded use of telemedicine. To learn more about these changes, take ISMS’ online course Make the Most of Medicare with Telemedicine – free for members and their staff. 

    Becky Sanders, Senior Director of the Indiana Rural Health Association and Program Director of the Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center, will cover the basics of Medicare telemedicine reimbursement, including remote patient monitoring and chronic care management.

    Take the course here

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by sending an email.




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