Weekly Rounds contains breaking news of importance to physicians, legislative alerts, and calls to action.
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Dangerous Scope Expansion Bill Loses Steam ... For Now
A scope expansion (S.B. 2187) that would allow psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs for patients suffering from mental, emotional and psychological illnesses was expected to be heard in the Illinois House Executive Committee a few days ago.
But proponents of S.B. 2187 chose not to call this bill for consideration. The likely reason: the measure did not have the votes to clear the committee and proceed to the full House.
It's not clear what steps the proponents will take next. However, time is running out for this legislation - the General Assembly adjourns on May 31.
It is very important that ISMS members keep their legislators informed about the dangers of this bill and urge opposition to S.B. 2187 or any other legislation that allows prescriptive authority for psychologists without proper biomedical education and clinical training.
Patient care requires collaboration among many members of the health care team. While Illinois physicians value the role of psychologists, patients cannot be put at risk through prescriptive authority granted to psychologists through legislation versus education.
Thank you to all physicians who are making their voices heard to help push back the psychologists' bill!
ISMS will keep you apprised about any new developments; stay informed on all bills by visiting ISMS' Legislative Action Hub.
Take Your Seat at Upcoming Live Seminars
Check out ISMS programming to help you manage your practice, stay on top of the latest health regulations and navigate everyday clinical issues.
Mark your calendar for these live seminars taking place around the state in 2013:
June 14 (Oak Brook) EHR Conference and Exhibit*
June 27 (Springfield) The 2013 Central Illinois Physicians Forum: The Art of Physician Collaboration
July 17 (Oak Brook) ICD-10-CM: Readying Your Physicians and Practices for the Change
August 7 (Springfield) ICD-10-CM: Readying Your Physicians and Practices for the Change
October 3 (Springfield) The 2013 Central Illinois Physicians Forum: In the Best Interest of the Patient
October 10 (Normal) 21st Work Injury Conference
November 1 (Oak Brook) EHR Conference and Exhibit*
*Co-sponsored by ISMS and ISMIE Mutual
Register for these seminars by visiting the ISMS Education Catalog. You will also find other on-demand programs and webinars at this site.
Attention residents: Watch for details about "Practice Opportunities for Physicians Completing Residency."
Check back to the catalog frequently - new courses are continuously added.
Questions? Contact the ISMS Division of Health Policy Research and Advocacy via email or call or 800-782-4767 ext. 1470.
All Aboard for the Transition to NGS for Medical Claims Processing
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently awarded the contract for administering Part B Medicare fee-for-service claims to National Government Services, Inc. (NGS), the current administrator for Part A. This change is effective July 1 for implementation in September and eliminates services by Illinois' Medicare carrier, WPS.
Physicians who will be submitting Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) claims for Part A and Part B may choose an "early boarding" opportunity. This is a process that allows physicians to establish connectivity and submit claims through the NGS EDI Gateway and to receive remittances through the NGS EDI Mailbox prior to cutover.
Learn more by registering for one of the "Early Boarding Technical Requirements" webinars:
Monday, May 20, 9 a.m. (CST); Part A, Part B
Thursday, June 13, 9 a.m. (CST); Part A, Part B
Thursday, June 20, 1 p.m. (CST); Part A, Part B
Thursday, June 27, 1 p.m. (CST); Part A, Part B
Last Call for June 20 Webinar on POLST Medical Orders
Learn more about the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Uniform DNR Advance Directive, also known as Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), at a June 20 webinar, from noon to 1 p.m. The POLST form is a signed medical order that travels with the patient to assure that a patient's treatment preferences are honored across settings of care.
The Time is Ripe to Scrap the SGR
Activities in Washington to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula are gaining momentum early this year, versus the usual late December flurry to take action when Medicare physician pay cuts threaten.
In February, we learned that the price tag to repeal the SGR was much lower than originally reported. The new cost is now $138 billion - a decrease of $107 billion as calculated by the Congressional Budget Office, raising hope that Congress will act this year.
Last month President Obama released the 2014 budget, which included a commitment to eliminate the SGR formula and transition Medicare to a new payment system.
And just last week, two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives solicited input from physicians on a draft framework for eliminating the SGR.
Policy experts believe a Medicare revamp to determine physician pay may never again be in such a promising position. Could it finally be true that Washington lawmakers will enact legislation to repeal the SGR? Stay tuned!
You're Invited: Institute of Medicine of Chicago's Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, June 5
The Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) will hold its 98th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Wednesday, June 5 in Chicago. The IOMC's overall mission is to address critical health issues, with a focus on public health in the Chicagoland community.
To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit IOMC's website or call 312-663-0040. Tickets are $130 for IOMC members; $150 for non-members.
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