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2019 Legislative Action Hub

  • PAlead41118The ISMS Legislative Action Hub tracks legislative issues important to the physician community. You can look up specific bills, ISMS positions and actions on those bills, and how legislators voted on each issue. 

    If you require additional information on an issue listed below or have a question about an issue not listed, please contact ISMS State Legislative Affairs at 800-782-4767.

    Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the ISMS Hub and the legislative process.

    To view federal advocacy efforts, visit the AMA Current Topics in Advocacy page. 

    View/Download the 2019 Update on ISMS Legislative Activity In the Illinois General Assembly

    issue-supportSupport issue-opposeOppose issue-neutralNeutral issue-support-hodISMS House of Delegates issue-support-initiativeISMS Initiative

    Updated as of May 14, 2019.

  •  Child Abuse Reporting

    support HOD initiativeSenate Bill 1239 amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) to require that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) refer any report received regarding the alleged abuse or neglect of a child by a person who is not the child’s parent, a member of the child’s immediate family, a person responsible for the child’s welfare, an individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child’s parent to the appropriate local law enforcement agency and State’s Attorney for consideration of criminal investigation or other action.

     CRNAs Seeking Independent Practice

    oppose House Bill 2813 would allow certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to provide care, including the delivery of anesthesia, independent of physicians.   As physicians know, the delivery of anesthesia is unlike any other medical service; it is a complex, high-risk service in which life-threatening complications can present quickly. 

    The delivery of anesthesia, as well as pain management, is considered critical care – not primary care. When adverse events arise, they require immediate medical attention by physicians to prevent serious injury or death.

     Elimination of 'Special Interrogatories'

    opposeHB 2233 is a trial lawyer initiative to eliminate the use of special interrogatories. Special interrogatories are an important feature of our civil justice system and must be preserved.

    A special interrogatory tests the general verdict against the jury’s determination as to one or more specific issues of fact involved in the case before the jury. The answer to a special interrogatory controls the verdict where it is inconsistent with the general verdict. Generally, a jury more clearly understands a particularized special interrogatory than a composite of all the questions in a case consolidated into the general verdict. This promotes fairness to all parties in the lawsuit.

    Eliminating special interrogatories would unfairly hurt plaintiffs. ISMS strongly opposed HB 2233.  We are happy to report that we negotiated an agreement that still allows for special interrogatories and maintains our ability to have a second bite at the apple.

     Flavored Tobacco Ban

    supportAs the number of illnesses and deaths related to vaping increases at an alarming pace, lawmakers in Springfield are intent on addressing the issue. Discussion has so far centered around the danger of flavored tobacco products and "alternative tobacco products," which includes electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, and for good reason: Flavors in electronic cigarettes hook kids for a lifetime of tobacco use and nicotine addiction, and the easy availability of candy-like flavors for e-cigarettes is contributing to an increase of epic proportions in youth nicotine use. E-cigarette use soared by 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students nationwide from 2017-2018 – more than 3.6 million high-school and middle-school students used e-cigarettes last year, an increase of 1.5 million over the previous year.

    Senate Bill 668 and House Bill 3883 are examples of the legislation being considered; these bills would ban the sale of flavored versions of tobacco products, alternative tobacco products, and related products including papers and filters. ISMS supports these bills, and will monitor the progress of this issue as amendments and new proposals are introduced.

     Independent Medical Examinations and Attorney Presence

    support HOD initiative House Bill 3714 amends the Medical Patient Rights Act to add a new section prohibiting the presence of an attorney who represents any party in an adversarial legal action during an independent medical examination (IME) conducted for the purpose of that legal action, unless consent has been obtained from both the patient and the health care professional performing the independent medical examination. If an attorney is present, all other parties who are represented by an attorney in that legal action must also have an attorney present who has met the consent requirements. If an attorney is unable to meet the consent requirements, then no attorney representing any party in the action may be present. An attorney present during the IME may not communicate with the patient or health care professional performing the IME.

     Legislating Standards of Maternal Care

    opposeHouse Bill 2 would create and legislate new standards of medical care for expecting mothers. We are not opposed to clarifying patients’ rights, particularly as they relate to maternal care, but those rights have to be balanced with the specific needs of the individual patient, especially as those needs arise in emergency situations. Patients’ interests are best served when their medical providers are not restricted by legislation that ties their hands from providing necessary care.

    supportISMS strongly supports Senate Bill 1909, a comprehensive approach to reducing maternal mortality rates in Illinois.

     Mandatory Naloxone Prescriptions

    opposeHouse Bill 2638 would require prescribers to offer a prescription for naloxone when certain conditions are met, bypassing their professional judgment as to whether naloxone co-prescription is appropriate. It would also mandate that physicians have specific conversations not only with the patient, but also with one or more individuals designated by the patient.

     Medical Practice Act – 10 Year Extension

    supportIllinois’ Medical Practice Act of 1987 is an essential state law that governs the practice of medicine in Illinois. Without it, any person, regardless of qualification, could practice medicine in Illinois without restriction or penalty. 

    Currently, the Medical Practice Act is set to expire on December 31, 2019. In recent years, the Act has been renewed for short durations, usually one or two years. Each time the Act comes before the General Assembly for renewal, there are inappropriate attempts to make changes that are detrimental to the practice of medicine. 

    ISMS is backing House Bill 1635 and Senate Bill 1221, which will extend the Act for 10 years.

     Naturopaths Seeking Licensure as Physicians

    oppose House Bill 2338 would license naturopaths as physicians and allow them to provide a full range of medical services to patients in Illinois, including caring for children; providing specialty care, such as gynecological services; and treating patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cancer.  

    Naturopaths do not have sufficient training to provide safe and effective medical care.  Under House Bill 2338, the education required to be licensed as a naturopath would include attending an naturopathic accredited four-year school and completing only 4,200 hours of “clinical training,” which is simply time spent observing other naturopaths.  Also, there is no residency program that naturopaths are required to complete.

    Naturopathic education focuses much of its attention on botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and counseling. There is no consistent application of evidence-based principles and scientific study for naturopathic treatments.

     Physician Assistants Scope Expansion

    opposeHB 3355 and SB 1725 would provide physician assistants a broad scope of practice that mirrors the responsibilities of physicians while allowing them to treat patients independent of physicians.

     Preventing Unauthorized Requests for Controlled Substance Numbers

    support HOD initiative

    House Bill 2303 amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to prohibit the unauthorized request for or possession of a prescriber’s Illinois controlled substance license number or DEA number. This change is located in the relevant section of the CSA addressing unauthorized possession of a prescription form.

     Reducing Skin Cancer


    House Bill 3113 would require health plans to cover one annual medically necessary screening for skin cancer that is not otherwise provided as part of a routine dermatology examination. Further, the annual screening would not impose any deductibles, coinsurance, copayments or other cost-sharing requirements for patients.

    Early detection is vital in the fight against skin cancer, which is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Most cases are preventable. Unfortunately, the incidences of skin cancer continue to rise. In 2019, it is estimated that there will be 3,750 new cases of melanoma in Illinois. 

     Restrictive Covenants

    support HOD initiative

    House Bill 2328 is an ISMS initiative to amend the Hospital Licensing Act to prohibit an employment agreement from containing any provision to restrict the ability of a physician to leave employment with the hospital or hospital affiliate and immediately continue to practice in the same field of medicine in the same geographic area, a provision commonly known as a "restrictive covenant" or "non-compete clause."

     Tobacco 21

    supportTobacco 21 is a national effort to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. Several states have already enacted this legislation and numerous cities and jurisdictions have imposed local ordinances. 

    ISMS supports Tobacco 21 legislation that has been introduced in Illinois (HB 345), as nearly all adult smokers started as kids. Imposing a barrier to access tobacco products at an early age will prevent more young people from starting to smoke, which means a reduction in future deaths, disease and health care costs.  

    Similar legislation passed in 2018, but was vetoed by former Gov. Rauner. HB 345 passed in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.  It is now awaits Governor Pritzker's signature.

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