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  • Round 2: Advisory Panel Votes for Emergency FDA Approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine
    pfizer and moderna

    Yesterday, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, made up of nongovernmental scientists and public health experts from across the United States, voted to recommend that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grant emergency use authorization (EUA) for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.   

    Last week this same advisory panel recommended that the FDA approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, which the FDA did one day later on December 11. 

    Here’s a look at how the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines compare

    IMPORTANT TO NOTE: COVID-19 vaccine products must not be mixed and matched.

    Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine:

    • 95% effective in 44,000 trial participants
    • 2 doses; 3 weeks apart
    • Storage: must be transported and kept at minus 70C

    Moderna Covid-19 vaccine:

    • 94.1% effective in 30,000 trial participants
    • 2 doses; 4 weeks apart
    • Storage: can survive for six months at minus 20C, the temperature of a standard domestic freezer

      If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.

  • Deadline Extended to February 1 for Doctors Needing Relief from MIPS Requirements Due to COVID-19
    MIPS requirement

    If you are having significant difficulties meeting MIPS requirements due to COVID-19, here’s some good news!

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented its Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy intended for health professionals, groups and virtual groups participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Under the policy, those who have encountered circumstances that were out of their control, such as COVID-19, may apply to re-weight any or all MIPS performance categories. 

    The deadline to submit your application has been extended to Feb. 1, 2021.

    Submit your application here and be sure to cite COVID-19 as the reason for your application.

    Learn more with CMS’ Fact Sheet.  

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.

  • Medical Schools Experiencing a Bumper Crop of Applicants in COVID-19 Era
    medical student applicants

    According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), applications for medical schools this past fall were up 18% in the United States compared to last year. In fact, this level of interest in medical schools has not been seen in more than a decade

    Looking across the overall college and university enrollment landscape for fall 2020, enrollment in general had dropped.

    So why have a record number of students applied to medical school?

    Admiration for medical workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and for Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appears to be the driver for this uptick. Admissions officers of medical schools have even started calling this phenomenon the “Fauci Effect.”

    Whatever the reason, ISMS welcomes these future physicians!

  • The Most Significant Changes Made to E/M Coding in a Quarter Century Start Next Month
    changes ahead for officed based pdf thumbnail

    Late last year, the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel issued historic coding guidance for office-based and other outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services (99201-99215). 

    These changes are included in the CPT 2021 code set, and are among the most substantial changes made to E/M coding guidance in a quarter of a century. In developing the new guidance, the CPT Editorial Panel sought to reduce administrative burdens, clarify and expand relevant definitions and guidelines, decrease the need for unnecessary or duplicative documentation, and ensure physicians have relevant options for code level selection.

    ISMS’ latest issue brief, Changes Ahead for Office-Based and Other Outpatient Evaluation and Management Codes, offers an overview of the updates and highlights some of the most significant changes.

    If you have questions, please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.

  • Attention Neurologists and Ophthalmologists: Secretary of State Seeks Guidance on Driving Privileges Related to Impaired Vision

    The Illinois Medical Advisory Board (under the Office of the Secretary of State) is seeking Illinois neurologist and ophthalmologist experts to participate in a Delphi Panel1 discussion via email. Your participation would be kept confidential and you would remain anonymous throughout the process, even to other expert participants. 

    The purpose of the discussion is to identify the ethical issues relating to approving drivers licenses to patients with a diagnosis of homonymous hemianopsia.

    If you would like to participate or have any questions, please contact Sandra Mate of the Office of the Secretary of State at smate@ilsos.gov

    1 The Delphi Method is a consensus building process based on several rounds of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts. The responses are aggregated and shared with the group after each round, and three to four rounds are expected for this study. The method was developed by the Rand Corporation. Learn more.

    Please note: Those planning to participate should include their name when they email Ms. Mate , which will be used only for the purpose of identifying participants for Round 2 of the panel discussion.

  • ISMS Welcomes New Members

    Thank you for joining the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS)!

    ISMS is the community for all physicians to be heard in Illinois. Your membership in ISMS provides you with some incredible opportunities and access to a team of individuals working tirelessly to provide you the resources and support you need throughout your medical career.

    ISMS is dedicated to addressing your needs and to making positive changes in the healthcare environment in our state. Welcome to ISMS!

    New members

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