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January 2015
In this Issue

  • 2015: Good Bills Law of the Land; Bad Bills Corralled

    Last year’s Illinois General Assembly marked key wins for Illinois physicians and patients. Here's a recap of ISMS-backed measures now law in Illinois:

    • Modifications to the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care
      (S.B. 3228) The form now reads at a high school level, making it more accessible to our patients.

    • Updates to the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) DNR form (S.B. 3076) The revised form provides authority for delegated physician assistants, nurse practitioners and second-year medical residents to sign the order.

    • Homeless youth (H.B. 4501) Unaccompanied minors can now consent to their medical care if they are at least 14 years of age, but less than 18 years of age, living separate and apart from their parents or legal guardian, and are identified in writing by a person specified in the law. The legislation applies to primary care services provided by a physician, physician assistant or advanced practice nurse.

    • Increased access to telehealth (S.B. 647) Health plans must ensure co-payments and deductibles for telehealth services do not exceed those charged for the same services delivered through in-person consultation.

    • Financial support for the Illinois Poison Center Stabilized financial support for the Center, guaranteeing it will remain open.

    • Elimination of licensure fees for retired physician volunteers (H.B. 4593) Physicians who no longer accept payment for treatment will be allowed to apply for a no-fee license if they see patients on a volunteer basis at a public health or free clinic. At least 500 licenses will be available at no-cost, once the IDFPR issues rules for these licenses.

    • Protection for diabetic patients administering insulin in public (S.B. 3149) Codifies diabetic patients' rights to self-care and treatment in public settings.

    • Change enacted to blood bank bill (S.B. 3077) The new law updates the reference to physician assistants in the Physician Assistants Licensing Act from "practicing under written guidelines" to "practicing with a written supervision agreement." 

    In addition to advancing initiatives, ISMS blocked these inappropriate scope-of-practice expansions:

    • (S.B. 2187) Clinical psychologists with inadequate levels of education and training sought authority to prescribe psychotropic drugs. ISMS worked with the Illinois Psychiatric Society to successfully push back the dangerous proposal. A generous grant from the American Medical Association bolstered lobbying efforts and was key to significantly limiting this scope-of-practice expansion initiative.

    • (S.B. 3409) Dentists sought the authority to administer vaccines, including HPV, shingles, influenza, and Hepatitis B immunizations, to anyone 10 years of age and older. ISMS advocacy ensured that dentists may only administer flu vaccines, and only to adults.

    • (S.B. 3277) Pharmacists sought the authority to vaccinate patients between the ages of 10 to 13 with the meningococcal vaccine.

    • (H.B. 3645) Naturopaths again sought licensure as "naturopathic physicians" under the same provision of the Medical Practice Act that licenses chiropractors, who are allowed to treat human ailments without the use of drugs or operative surgery.

    • ISMS stopped attempts by physical therapists to treat patients without physician referrals (S.B. 637) and to use dry needling in their treatments.

    Other wins included:

    • ISMS amended a proposal requiring mandatory physician training on recognizing child abuse and neglect, making it instead voluntary with a positive incentive for participation (S.B. 3421).

    • We defeated mandated testing of newborns for cytomegalovirus (CMV).

    • ISMS stopped a mandate to legislate the practice of medicine for mammography services that would require a discussion on breast density cancer risks, despite no supporting scientific guidelines on the subject.

    • We defeated a proposal to require medical license applicants to submit documentation from the Federation Credentials Verification Service at an extra cost of $350.

    For an in-depth look at ISMS legislative priorities, visit the ISMS Legislative Action Hub where you can view the 2014 Update on Legislative Activity in the Illinois General Assembly. Or access this Quick Guide Recap that you can share with your colleagues, showcasing ISMS efforts on behalf of Illinois physicians.

    Your membership makes this advocacy for physicians possible. By the way, if you have not yet renewed your membership for 2015, renew today! The deadline is February 1

    Questions? Contact the ISMS legislative team via email or call 800-782-4767.

    Overall, more than 200 new laws took effect January 1. Here are new laws that impact medicine:

    (S.B. 2636) Use of medical cannabis for minors  
    Amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act to add the use of medical cannabis for seizures and epilepsy including for minors under the age of 18. The new law also allows the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to create rules for minors.

    (H.B. 2544) Guidelines and protocols for laboratory testing
    This law creates the Accountable Care Organization Clinical Laboratory Testing Advisory Board, to consider and recommend guidelines or protocols for clinical laboratory testing.

    (H.B. 5925) Illinois Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank Act
    Amends the AIDS Confidentiality Act and the Genetic Information Privacy Act to allow clinical laboratory results to be accessed through the Illinois Health Information Exchange

    (S.B. 3421) Continuing education credit for mandated reporter training
    Requires IDFPR to accept continuing education credit for mandated reporter training on how to recognize and report child abuse. 

    (H.B. 5868) Electronic cigarettes
    Amends the Display of Tobacco Products Act, providing that alternative nicotine products (electronic cigarettes) must be sold from behind the counter or in an age restricted area or in a sealed display case.

    (H.B. 5689) Special packaging for e-cigarettes
    This new law requires that electronic cigarette “liquids” sold and marketed for the refilling of e-cigarettes must be sold only in special packaging; IDPH will establish the standards for this packaging.

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