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  • Treating Addiction and Winning a Battle Against Harmful Pharmacy Restrictions
    Aaron Newcomb, DO

    Aaron Newcomb, DO, and his colleagues had been successfully treating patients with opioid use disorder and addressing the opioid crisis in their community. But as 2020 began, he was in for a rude awakening.

    Dr. Newcomb began getting calls from patients who couldn’t fill their medication-assisted treatment prescriptions from a large pharmacy chain. Further, the prescriptions could not be transferred to another pharmacy because of regulations regarding electronic transmission of controlled substance prescriptions.

    When Dr. Newcomb received a form letter with a vague statement informing him that his prescribing practices were unacceptable and that the pharmacy wouldn’t be filling the prescriptions, he knew that he needed to take action to get his patients the care they needed – so he reached out to ISMS.

    For the rest of the story, read our latest installment of ISMS Members Making it Work: Treating Addiction and Winning a Battle Against Harmful Pharmacy Restrictions.

  • Cyber Criminal Uses Fake Small Business Administration Webpage to Steal Login Credentials

    National Government Services, your Medicare Administrative Contractor for Illinois, is alerting health professionals about yet another scam. This one targets those who are seeking COVID-19 loan relief for small businesses. 

    The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is tracking an unknown cyber crook who has been sending phishing emails that direct users to a web page designed to look like a Small Business Administration (SBA) login portal. Users who try to log in on the fake page will have their credentials stolen. 

    Here are the common features of the phishing email:

    • The subject line “SBA Application – Review and Proceed”

    • The sender is identified as disastercustomerservice [at] sba [dot] gov

    • The text of the email urges recipients to click on a hyperlink: hxxps:leanproconsulting[.]com.br/gov/covid19relief/sba.gov

    If you receive an email like this, do not click the link or enter any login credentials. Always verify the address of any web page before entering a username or password. 

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation urges vigilance during the pandemic as scams related to COVID-19 continue to rise.

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by calling 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by  sending an email.

  • The Importance of Building a 'Mental Health First Aid Kit'
    mental health first aid

    Physicians on the front lines will at times encounter patients with mental health issues, and mental health services may not be immediately available. That’s why ISMS is encouraging all physicians and medical students to be prepared by training in mental health crisis intervention, including substance use issues, through programs such as the Mental Health First Aid skills initiative and/or through clinical training. 

    Such training helps physicians increase their awareness about signs that may indicate mental health or substance abuse issues, and provides information on how to guide these patients to appropriate and effective sources of care. Mental health first aid training is not a substitute for formal clinical training, but it can provide basic tools to help all physicians direct patients to the mental healthcare they need.

    ISMS is planning to host a webinar on the topic of mental health crisis intervention later this year. Watch for more information as soon as the webinar details are finalized.

    ISMS support for this training is based on an idea from a group of student members. Read Resolution 01.2020-28 (A-20)

    Do you have an idea you’d like to share with us?

    We are accepting and reviewing resolutions year-round. Resolutions cover a range of topic areas such as medical practice, public health, medical education and many other areas that intersect with medicine. View our Guide to Developing Resolutions or contact us is you have questions about the process.

    Our next resolution deadline is Sept. 25. Resolutions must be submitted by that date for consideration at the next quarterly ISMS Board meeting.

  • Register Now for Free Live Webinars Coming in September

    CME Offered

    Don’t Let Obesity Bias Harm Your Relationships with Your Patients

    September 8 | Noon to 1 p.m. (CDT)

    With the national spotlight on implicit bias related to gender and race, it is important to remember another group whose healthcare experiences are affected by bias: patients with obesity. Obesity is a disease state that can cause direct harm to patients’ health in many ways. But evidence suggests that many healthcare professionals hold negative attitudes about patients with obesity, and these attitudes may affect the care they provide – potentially compounding the problems these patients already experience. ISMS’ webinar will discuss obesity bias from several different angles and help you build stronger relationships with your patients. 

    • ISMS members and their practice management professionals can participate in this webinar for free. All others must pay $150 to attend.
    • Register here

    Navigating the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System: How Physicians Get Paid

    September 10 | Noon to 1 p.m. (CDT)

    This webinar will explain how physicians bill for services provided to Illinois injured workers and will help physician offices navigate the unique challenges of getting paid through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System. Presenters will speak about the intricacies of reimbursement for treating injured workers, overcoming friction points in the system, and how to work with employers and payers to optimize payment for services provided. 

    • ISMS members and their practice management professionals can participate in this webinar for free. All others must pay $150 to attend.

    Register here.

  • ISMS Dues Vary for Part-Time Members, Retired Doctors – Learn More
    part time members

    Did you know ISMS offers a part-time membership status with reduced dues? Retired doctors may also belong for a significantly reduced membership fee of $50.

    Please contact us if you are making a career change that will impact your membership status.

    Members must meet certain requirements to be eligible for these categories:

    For retired members: A retired physician must have been a regular member and by reason of age or incapacity have retired from active practice. Retired status is not available to physicians who assume compensated positions in the healthcare field after retiring from medical practice. 

    For part-time members: A part-time member must work 20 hours or less per week, whether the hours worked are clinically related or another type of healthcare related employment. To be eligible for part-time status, the member must obtain a cover letter from their medical liability insurer or a note from an employer verifying their hours of employment.

    If you meet or will soon meet the requirements noted above, contact ISMS membership at 800-782-4767 ext. 1900 or via email to switch your status.

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