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ISMS Advocates for Physicians on COVID-19

Even as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads and daily life is increasingly disrupted, ISMS continues to advocate for you – and we are already showing results.

Telehealth

Earlier this week, ISMS asked the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) to join us in a letter to Governor Pritzker urging him to ensure coverage and payment parity for telehealth services rendered during this crisis. Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker announced an executive order that does just that.

The governor's order requires all insurance plans regulated by the state, both public and private, to cover all clinically appropriate, medically necessary services delivered via telehealth by in-network providers. It also prohibits the use of prior authorization requirements for these services, waives patient cost-sharing in most cases, and takes other steps to promote the effective use of telehealth under these extraordinary circumstances. For more information about what the order means for you and your practice, review our new guideline. Expect future updates as we monitor the implementation of the order and insurer compliance.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has also announced that effective immediately, physicians may use any audio or video communication technology that is non-public facing to care for patients, and they won't face penalties if these telehealth technologies do not fully comply with HIPAA regulatory requirements. This applies to patients being treated for any reason, and is not limited to only those patients being treated for suspected COVID-19. For more information, including examples of technologies that are considered "non-public facing," read the  HHS OCR announcement

License Renewal and CME

Several days ago, ISMS reached out to leaders at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) seeking flexibility for physicians related to medical licensure and CME. Shortly thereafter, IDFPR announced several changes including an extension of the license renewal deadline to September 30, 2020. Current licensees will also have until this date to complete continuing education coursework. As this public health crisis continues we will seek further accommodations as needed.

Other Issues

ISMS is actively monitoring the situation, and we are aware of other questions and issues that are coming up on a daily basis. We are working directly with third-party payers to bring relief to physicians and medical practices, and will provide additional updates as they become available in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, if you encounter an issue that needs our attention, please let us know via email at hpresearch@isms.org.

We are regularly updating our COVID-19 resource page with information for Illinois doctors. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Richard C. Anderson, MD
Chair, Board of Trustees



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