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  • ISMS Offers Free Physician Wellness Resources for Members!

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    ISMS has been actively engaged in developing programs and advocating for policies and practices that prioritize physician wellness and help support Illinois physicians, residents and medical students.

    Our new issue brief, An Illinois Focus on Physician Wellbeing, highlights ISMS’ wellness resources and advocacy for a healthy medical workforce. The issue brief includes a listing of numerous on-demand webinars related to wellness and various other resources that shed light on the unique challenges that physicians experience in their professional and personal lives. The programs featured in this resource are made available at no cost to our members. 

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

  • Update on Repayment Terms for Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments Program
    doc and patient with mask

    If you received an accelerated or advance payment (AAP) from Medicare to help with your cash flow during the COVID-19 public health emergency, we have news. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have amended the repayment terms: 

    • The repayment period has been extended and automatic recoupment will begin one year after the date the accelerated or advance payment was issued. (Previously, recoupment was to begin within 120 days after an initial payment was issued.) Recoupment will come via an automatic reduction in new claims submitted for Medicare services. Recoupment will end once the AAP loan is paid back in full.
    • During the first 11 months after repayment begins, the recoupment rate will be 25%. For example, if the claim is for $100, CMS will automatically recoup $25 and pay $75 on the claim.

    • At the end of the 11-month period, the recoupment rate will increase from 25% to 50% and will continue at the rate of 50% for the next six months.

    • New applications for the accelerated and advance payments program related to the COVID-19 public health emergency are no longer being accepted, effective Oct. 8, 2020. 

    • For more information, access CMS’ Fact Sheet and FAQs

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

  • Advocacy and Membership: A Virtuous Cycle
    ISMS democracy

    From the very origins of American medical societies, their growth has been dependent on their perceived influence. This presents a chicken-and-egg problem of sorts: Legislators and other leaders are more likely to listen to an organization with robust and active membership, and busy professionals are more likely to join an organization with a reputation for success. In a sense, membership is both a prerequisite for and the result of effective advocacy.

    Like many membership-based organizations, ISMS has experienced challenges on the membership front in recent years. But in 2018, ISMS approved a Pilot Plan to reverse a trend of declining membership. Since then, ISMS has had tremendous growth in membership – and this growth has coincided with a streak of remarkable legislative successes for ISMS.

  • Illinois’ Molina Rolls Out a New Prior Authorization Verification Tool
    doctor using computer

    Molina Healthcare of Illinois, one of several organizations that serve Illinois’ Medicaid patients, is introducing a new tool that will help health professionals by streamlining the process of verifying prior authorization requirements for HCPCS/CPT codes.

    The Molina PA Lookup Tool, which will be live Nov. 2, 2020, is designed to help health professionals determine prior authorization requirements, including whether a code: 

    • Requires prior authorization and under what circumstances

    • Does not require a prior authorization

    • Is not a covered benefit

    • Is delegated to eviCore, Molina’s partner for diagnostic imaging review requests

    To access the tool, log in to the Molina Provider Portal after November 2 and locate the “Provider Page.” 

    If you have questions, contact your Provider Network Manager or send an email to the Provider Network Management team. 

    You may also contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team with your questions by email. 

  • Here’s a Quick Guide on the New Voting Procedures for this November’s General Election

    Many voting procedures have changed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are voting in person or by mail-in ballot, here’s a Q&A on voting in this year’s general election taking place on Tuesday, November 3. 

    1. Am I registered to vote?
    2. You can register to vote or confirm your voter information online. In Illinois, the voter registration period for the 2020 General Election closes on October 18 at 11:59 p.m.
    3. Can I vote in person before Election Day?
    4. Please check with your county clerk’s office on early voting dates and locations. Early voting ends November 2.

      Request a mail-in ballot

      You can also vote by mail. Request a mail-in ballot by the October 29 deadline.


      Voters will receive a ballot at their registered address, or the mailing address requested by the voter. The mail-in ballot must be completed and returned no later than Election Day. Some early voting locations are also offering secure drop boxes where voters can deliver their ballots.  

    5. Who are the candidates in my area?
    6. To find out the candidates who will be appearing on your ballot, click here.
    7. How can I vote on Election Day?
    8. Traditional voting polls will open at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. Find your polling place here. Please be sure to wear a mask!

    For more information on the 2020 General Election, please visit the website of your local county clerk or the Illinois State Board of Elections

  • Urge Your Patients, Especially Seniors, to Get the Flu Shot NOW
    flu shot with masks

    As doctors know, people 65 years of age and older and those with chronic health problems are more likely to develop serious complications from the flu. In recent years, about 70-85% of deaths caused by the flu were individuals 65 years of age and older.

    The Illinois Department on Aging is encouraging all older Illinoisans to get the influenza vaccine during this 2020-2021 flu season. This will not only keep them and their families safe, it will also help reduce the strain on the healthcare system due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Remind your patients to arrange now to obtain a flu shot. If you are seeing patients via telemedicine or your office doesn’t offer the flu vaccine, let them know about this flu Vaccine Finder. 

    Questions? Please contact the ISMS Health Policy Research and Advocacy team by email.

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