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  • Need Flexibility with the 2020 MIPS Program Due to COVID-19?
    woman in mask and clipboard

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that physicians have the option to opt out completely or partially from the 2020 MIPS program in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

    If you need flexibility with this program, complete a hardship exemption application by Dec. 31, 2020, and indicate that the request is due to the pandemic. 

    You may use the hardship application to opt out of all four performance categories and be held harmless from a 2022 payment adjustment OR to request that your score be reweighted if you choose to opt out of one or more individual performance categories.

    Important to note: If you submit any MIPS data to CMS, the submission will override the hardship exception application and you will be scored on your submission.

    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

  • Find Out How the Coronavirus is Trending Near You
    stamp with mask

    Are coronavirus cases increasing in your area, remaining steady or declining? Wherever you are, here’s how you can track virus stats by your region or even by zip code:

    • IDPH also offers a breakdown of the number of virus cases by ZIP code at its COVID-19 Statistics web page. 

    At this time, the Department is reporting four counties in Illinois considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19. 

    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

  • Finishing Up Your Residency? Engaged in a Job Search?
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    As life goes on amidst the pandemic, some of you may be starting a new career.

    If you’re actively pursuing a job, just landed a new position or bringing on a new hire to your practice, check out ISMS’ comprehensive guide, Starting Your Career: A Guide for New Physicians in Illinois

    The guide covers organizing an effective job search, including samples of cover letters and CVs; how to evaluate job offers and contracts; licensing and credentialing; managing medical student debt and much more!

    You can also tap ISMS’ Career CenterThere are no fees for job seekers.  

    ISMS member offices receive discounted rates for job postings: 

    • $115 to post a job opening for 30 days ($400 for non-members)
    • $175 for 60 days ($500 for non-members)

      This online resource is connected to a national job bank that features thousands of listings for physicians, other clinicians and practice management professionals.


  • Register Now for These FREE Webinars!

    Treating Chronic Pain Without Opioids

    August 4 | Noon to 1 p.m. (CDT)

    Gain a better understanding of the non-opioid options available to treat patients experiencing chronic pain. This ISMS webinar will discuss risks associated with prescribing opioids for chronic pain and alternative therapies that may be safer, such as non-opioid and non-pharmacologic treatments.

    • ISMS members and their staff can participate in this webinar for free.  All others must pay $150 to attend.
    • CME offered | Register here

    Addressing Illinois' Health Disparities: Designing and Advocating for Solutions to Improve the Health of Populations  

    August 11 | Noon to 1 p.m. (CDT)

    This program discusses health disparities in Illinois and in the United State as a whole, and how the population health perspective can address them. The ISMS webinar will also cover emerging diseases and other health issues from a public and population health perspective.

    • ISMS members and their staff can participate in this webinar for free. All others must pay $150 to attend.
    • CME offered | Register here

    Adjusting to Practice During COVID-19 and Beyond

    August 18 | Noon to 1 p.m. (CDT)

    This ISMIE webinar will touch upon the practical and psychological adjustments that can help healthcare professionals, patients and families feel that quality care is being provided – and that satisfying, productive interactions remain possible in both telehealth and in-person encounters.

    • Registration is open to ISMIE policyholders, ISMS members and their staffs.

    CME offered | Register here.

  • Coronavirus Is Not the Only Virus Spreading this Summer
    west nile mosquito

    While the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the West Nile virus season is also well underway, which is typical for this time of year. 

    While there are no West Nile virus infections in humans in our state, Illinois is one of 19 states nationally to report infections in mosquitoes, birds, sentinel animals or veterinary animals. 

    View West Nile virus surveillance data in Illinois

    The West Nile virus made its first appearance in the United States in New York in 1999. Since then, the virus spread across the country and was first identified in Illinois in September 2001. This virus is now the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the United States. 

    In this COVID-19 era, it’s still important to remind patients to take precautions against the West Nile virus by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

    For more information, access the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Clinical Information web page.

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