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  • May 26, 2017

  • May 31 Marks Important Deadline For The General Assembly

    Springfield lawmakers head down the deal-making stretch:  

    We are days away from an important deadline for Illinois' General Assembly. Under Illinois law the regular session runs through the end of May. Beginning June 1, a supermajority of votes is required to pass legislation, so there is added urgency to pass bills in the coming days. As the regular session winds down, many unknowns remain in the capitol. Here's a breakdown of what we know as we went to press:

    Illinois' Medical Practice Act receives early extension. In a rare dose of good news, the Illinois Medical Practice Act is expected to extend for two years. This is a big deal because recent General Assemblies have only extended the Act from year to year, and it is often left as a late item of business at the close of the calendar year. The past handling of the statute that regulates the practice of medicine has been a source of ISMS concern. Lawmakers are expected to pass the two-year extension soon.

    ISMS secures needed protections for physicians and patients as APRNs seek independent practice authority. APRNs’ top legislative priority had been to secure complete practice independence, but ISMS was able to prevent this dangerous and unwarranted expansion of their scope of practice. An ISMS-proposed alternative was agreed to by the nurses earlier this week. The Illinois General Assembly is expected to pass the agreement.

    ISMS’s top legislative priority clears first hurdle. H.B. 311, the ISMS-backed bill that remedies narrow networks, has cleared the Illinois House. A Senate vote could occur at any time.

    Many questions remain. The state budget, workers' compensation, the backlog of the state's unpaid medical bills and countless other issues remain up in the air. Expect a full end-of-session recap in the next Physician Advocate.

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