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July 2016
In this Issue
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  • Legislative and State Budget Update

    capitol web

    With Springfield locked in a brutal budget stalemate all year, it was unusually difficult to move legislation this session. Nevertheless, ISMS achieved a number of significant victories during the spring session.

    Check out the 2016 Update on ISMS Legislative Activity, which provides a deep dive on health-related legislation considered this year.

    This overview demonstrates the value of your ISMS dues dollars and showcases how your legislative team advanced physician priorities to protect you and your patients, while battling against ill-conceived policies.

    Stop-gap hullaballoo

    Lawmakers finally reached a compromise on a spending proposal – a stopgap budget deal – hours before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. 

    Illinois came dangerously close to entering a second full year without enacting a spending plan of any kind, and we are not out of the woods yet. The stop-gap spending plan primarily addresses social services, K-12 schools, road construction, capital projects and public universities.

    But even with this stop-gap funding agreement in place, the vast majority of items in Medicaid and other human services agencies will continue to be paid pursuant to court orders. Further, funding for the Illinois State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) was not contained in this agreement. The governor and legislative leaders believe that funding for this program will be determined during the upcoming remaining FY17 budget negotiations that will be affected by the current state employee labor negotiations. The governor’s office has acknowledged that it will be necessary to refinance this outstanding debt to pay physicians and hospitals what they are owed for providing care to those enrolled in this program.

    ISMS-backed provisions will improve medical cannabis program

    The Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 10, which includes provisions initiated by ISMS to make the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program much less burdensome for doctors while creating a communication system between the Illinois Department of Public Health and the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program allowing physicians to see whether their patients have been certified for medical cannabis.

    Governor Rauner signed the bill into law last week, as ISMS urged him to do.

    Related: Beneficial Changes in Store for Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Program

    For the latest updates, stay tuned to the Legislative Action Hub and watch future editions of Physician Advocate.

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