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May 2015
In this Issue
  • Top ISMS Headlines May 15, 2015

    LEGISLATION debate

    Illinois' Tort Reform Debate Heats Up Again

    Earlier this week in Springfield, the entire House of Representatives convened to hear hours of testimony for what was billed as a hearing on "civil justice reform." Tort reform is high on Governor Rauner's legislative wish list and House majority leadership convened a Committee of the Whole.    

    However, the committee hearing was completely one-sided toward personal injury lawyer interests. Despite medical liability being only a portion of the governor's tort reform agenda, much of the testimony centered on medical cases.

    Interestingly, advocates for reform, physicians, hospitals and insurance companies were not invited for the discussion. Clearly the House meeting was a ploy to discredit the governor's "Turnaround Illinois" initiative.   

    Read a statement from ISMS President Scott A. Cooper, MD, about how medical liability reform is imperative for the Land of Lincoln. 

    workersInjured Workers Have a Right to Medical Care, Rehabilitation   

    Last week the Illinois General Assembly convened a Committee of the Whole to hear testimony from injured workers, policy experts and ISMS to consider proposed changes to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. Many of these changes would place injured workers at risk for access to health care.   

    One of the main features of the proposal is a 30 percent reduction in the Medical Fee Schedule - a cut that would be in addition to the 30 percent cut in 2011!

    Following the 30 percent workers' compensation fee cut in 2011, the average price paid for major surgeries in Illinois became 27 percent lower than in Wisconsin and close to 27 percent lower than Indiana's reimbursement level.

    In two instances, the Workers' Compensation Commission had to increase the Medical Fee Schedule due to access to care issues.

    Lawmakers need to "do the math." Another slash to the Medical Fee Schedule will only hurt the state's injured workers.

    Read ISMS' position paper.     

    Read ISMS' response to a presentation delivered at the Illinois House workers' compensation hearing. 


    Stop Onerous Bill to Force Docs to Offer Hep C Screenings


    Legislation now before the Illinois House (S.B. 661) would mandate primary care physicians and related health care professionals to offer Hepatitis C screening to persons born between 1945 and 1965 (based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force). 

    Despite ISMS opposition, S.B. 661 recently cleared the Illinois Senate; this week the legislation was approved by a House Committee and sent to the full House for consideration. 

    While ISMS agrees with the Hepatitis C screening recommendations, we remain vehemently opposed to a mandate as it would increase physician exposure to civil liability and professional discipline for failing to offer Hepatitis C screening. Further, the bill does not put in place any guarantee of access to treatment for patients who test positive for this liver disease. 

    Read ISMS' position paper.

    ADVOCACY

    Get Your Questions Answered at "Medicare May Day" 
     

    Medicare May Day on May 20 isn't just any day.

    It's an entire day set aside for numerous Q & A sessions with National Government Services staff - your Medicare contractor for Illinois.

    The "Let's Chat" virtual seminars will cover various Medicare topics. Join some or all of the sessions taking place on May 20. Register by clicking on the session(s) you would like to attend.

    Questions? Call your ISMS Advocacy Team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470 or send an email.

    CALL TO SERVICE

    welcomeISMS Councils and Committees Welcome Your Involvement!

    ISMS Councils and Committees are the service backbone of the organization and offer members an opportunity to become actively involved in organized medicine at the state level. Physicians and medical students serving on a council or committee convey their views on topics affecting medicine and help direct ISMS actions.

    Committee appointments for 2015-16 are now underway. Members are encouraged to express an interest in any of the following committees:

    • Committee on CME Accreditation: determines issues related to accreditation and CME sponsorship. 

    • Committee on CME Activities: plans and approves ISMS' continuing education activities.

    • Committee on Drugs and Therapeutics: reviews and makes recommendations to the Illinois Medicaid program on the prior approval status of drug products.

    • Council on Communications: oversees and guides the ISMS communications program, its publications, media relations and outreach efforts. 

    • Council on Economics: considers third party payment issues, health care cost and utilization review activities.

    • Council on Education and Health Workforce: studies and evaluates all phases of medical education and advises on issues of physician licensure and discipline.

    • Council on Medical Service: reviews issues related to the delivery of medical care and health services, including mental health.

    • Council on Membership and Advocacy: focuses on recruitment and retention of members and promotion of member resources, services and benefits.

    • Governmental Affairs Council: develops, promotes and evaluates state and federal legislation.

    • Medical Legal Council: focuses on legal developments affecting the medical profession.

    • Peer Review Appeals Committee: serves as the appellate body for cases appealed from local or district peer review committees.    

    If you would like to serve on a council or committee, please contact Karen Clement at 312-580-2423 or by email.  

    ANNUAL MEETING AND HOUSE OF DELEGATES HODlogo

    Illinois Resolutions En Route to AMA Policy Meeting 
     

    Physicians and medical students from around the nation will gather June 6-10 in Chicago for the AMA House of Delegates meeting to debate proposed policies on key topics in medicine. Your Illinois Delegation to the AMA will be hard at work presenting 16 resolutions at the meeting, all of which are the result of actions taken at the ISMS House of Delegates meeting in April. 

    Issues include virtual credit card payments; a halt to the implementation of ICD-10-CM; raising the age for smoking; and the three-day stay rule, which requires patients under fee-for-service Medicare to have three nights in an acute care hospital before being able to receive post-acute care services under Medicare Part A.

    View all ISMS resolutions for 2015 by accessing the Summary of Actionsfor members only.       



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