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Springfield Scope Bill Updates

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  • Danger to Illinois patients: psychologists prescribing drugs

    For weeks now, media have reported on legislation (S.B. 2187) that would allow psychologists to prescribe powerful psychotropic meds, with most editorial boards opposed to the bill.

    However, one article opined that this bill is necessary to address the scarcity of psychiatrists and how the bill could help address the heroin crisis in our state. Really? It's also been suggested that prescribing by psychologists is a routine practice of the U.S. armed forces, which isn't the case!

    ISMS President William A. McDade, MD, PhD, responded: "Interjecting Illinois' heroin abuse epidemic into this debate is a classic attempt at misdirection. The fact remains that psychologists are inadequately trained to prescribe," he said.

    Read Dr. McDade's full statement.

    ISMS, along with a coalition of mental health patient advocacy groups, physician organizations, and other health care groups, actively opposes this bill.    

    The Illinois Senate passed S.B. 2187 last year. The measure is now before the House.

    Call to Action
    : Urge your state representative to oppose S.B. 2187, which would allow psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs!

  • Strong opposition yields major revisions to dentists immunization bill

    In the face of fierce opposition from ISMS, specialty societies, nurses and the public health community, the House Health Care Licenses Committee forced substantial revisions to S.B. 3409, the bill allowing dentists to provide flu vaccinations.

    Stringent directives in Amendment #2 of the bill state that dentists must: 

    • Complete appropriate vaccination education and training, as required by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
    • Be limited to providing only influenza vaccines to those 18 years and older, and have a standing order from a physician in order to do so.
    • Be contracted with and credentialed by the patient's health care plan to provide influenza vaccinations.
    • Have permission from Medicare and Medicaid to provide flu vaccines for patients enrolled in those programs.
    • Notify the patient's primary care physician. 

    Due to these major changes in the bill, ISMS and other groups previously voicing opposition are now neutral on this proposal. The bill is currently before the House.

  • PTs must not stick it to patients with dry needling

    Physical therapists are trying to get dry needling within their scope.

    The Physical Therapy Association has introduced Amendment #2 to H.B. 1457 that would allow PTs to treat patients using dry needling, a procedure that involves inserting needles through the skin and into the muscle. 

    This initiative by the PTs is a result of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) reversing its opinion last month regarding PTs performing dry needling. IDFPR determined that using needles to break the skin is an "invasive procedure," which is clearly prohibited in the Physical Therapy Act.

    ISMS agrees with IDFPR's position and urges state senators to vote no on Amendment #2 to H.B. 1457, now before the Senate. 

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