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  • A Win for Physicians! Significant Medicare Cuts Have Been Averted
    doctors in masks

    ISMS recently advocated to stop significant cuts for some physician specialties in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which were poised to kick in on January 1. Thank you to the hundreds of ISMS members who contacted their federal lawmakers when we asked for assistance.

    Good news! Due to the new federal comprehensive omnibus spending package, which was signed into law late last year, the AMA estimates that most specialties will now see either a neutral or positive change in total Medicare payments for 2021. The legislation will help to ease the impact of the fee schedule for physicians as the budget neutrality adjustments are now significantly reduced. 

    How did the annual adjustments get out of whack?

    In a nutshell, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is required by flawed federal rules to make budget neutrality adjustments to the Medicare physician payment schedule when a change in relative value units (RVUs) generates a payment increase or decrease of $200 million. Significant increases in some specialty RVUs for office evaluation and management (E/M) services scheduled for 2021 were the driver behind the pending payment cuts for other specialties prior to the federal legislation.

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.



  • New Law Capping Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs Took Effect January 1
    insulin

    Roughly 1.3 million adults in Illinois have diabetes

    Only three new Illinois laws took effect at the start of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic cutting short the spring session of the General Assembly. 

    One of the new laws, Public Act 101-0625, amends the Illinois Insurance Code to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply, regardless of how much insulin is needed to fill a prescription. 

    Illinois’ new law applies to all patients using a state-regulated commercial insurance plan. Federally regulated plans are not included in the legislation. 

    The new law also requires the Illinois Department of Insurance, along with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to create a public

    insulin pricing report. This report will include a summary of insulin pricing practices and public policy recommendations to prevent the overpricing of insulin prescriptions in the future.

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.



  • Do You Prescribe Controlled Substances Under Medicare Part D?
    controlled substance

    As of Jan. 1, 2021, Medicare began requiring that prescriptions for a Schedule II, III, IV or V controlled substance under Medicare Part D be prescribed electronically in accordance with an electronic prescription drug program. This new requirement is being implemented due to the SUPPORT Act, which was enacted in 2018 to address the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic. 

    The provisions in the SUPPORT Act allow for certain exceptions to the requirement. It is expected that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide specific guidance on how physicians can qualify for an exception in future rulemaking. 

    While the requirement for electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) took effect Jan. 1, 2021, the compliance date for this requirement is set for Jan. 1, 2022.

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team  by email.



  • Don’t Miss an Important Update Related to CPT Evaluation and Management (E/M) Codes

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently moved its “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative forward. Part of that process involved a revision in the documentation requirement to support the use of CPT Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes. Join ISMS’ webinar, 2021 E/M Office or Other Outpatient Services Changes, on January 20 at noon for an update on revised documentation guidance pertaining to E/M codes. 

    • Registration is open to ISMS members and their staff at no cost.
    • CME offered
    • Register here

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team

    by email.



  • Your Participation in a 10-Minute COVID Survey Also Provides Masks to Those in Need
    survey on ipad

    All survey responses are strictly confidential

    The  Illinois Medical Professionals Action Collaborative Team (IMPACT) is administering a survey titled “COVID Prevention Education: Assessing Clinical Experiences (PEACE)” to gather opinions and perspectives on communication about COVID-19.

    In appreciation of survey participants’ time, IMPACT will make a financial donation for survey responses to MasksNOW Illinois, a grassroots organization sewing masks for those in need. 

    Complete the survey today! (Click “Next” at the bottom of the web page.)

    If you have any questions, please contact the University of Chicago Medicine  by email.



  • Tap ISMS’ Resource to Advance Your Career
    career center

    If you are looking to make a career move or if you’re trying to identify promising candidates, check out the ISMS Career Center

    There are no fees for job seekers. This online resource is connected to a national job bank that features thousands of listings for physicians, other clinicians and practice management professionals.

    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 ISMS member benefit is just one of many provided through our Benefit Partners

    Check out the Career Center today! 




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