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  • A Victory for Illinois Patients! Governor Pritzker Signs ISMS-Backed Telehealth Bill into Law

    Governor Pritzker signed House Bill 3308 into law yesterday and thanked ISMS by name for backing the legislation! ISMS President Regan Thomas, MD, was present for the bill signing ceremony.

    This new law expands access to telemedicine services for patients throughout Illinois and mandates that telehealth coverage and payment parity be instituted by all commercial and public insurers throughout the state.

    Learn more about the key provisions of the new law.


  • Part 5: How Does the Prior Authorization Reform Act Add Accountability to the Prior Authorization Process?

    During the Spring Legislative Session in Springfield, the General Assembly unanimously approved the Prior Authorization Reform Act (House Bill 711), which awaits action by Governor Pritzker. This top ISMS initiative requires that substantive and important changes be made to insurer prior authorization (PA) practices. 

    Physician Advocate is taking a deep dive into the various components of this important legislation. This final story in the series spotlights accountability protections under House Bill 711.

    Part 5: How Does the Prior Authorization Reform Act Add Accountability to the Prior Authorization Process? 

    The current problem: Utilization review programs treat PA requests in a piecemeal fashion, without considering related supplies or services that are needed for successful outcomes for which a PA request has been submitted. 

    Similarly, insurers may place further restrictions on a service after a PA approval has been made, or even deny payment for services for which a PA approval has been received. 

    How House Bill 711 helps: The legislation would prevent state-regulated insurers from changing their own rules midstream. For example, once a prior authorization request is approved, it would not be able to be revoked except under certain circumstances; a covered service that receives PA approval and is billed appropriately must be paid. House Bill 711 would also encourage state-regulated health plans to require fewer PA approvals by requiring plans to periodically re-assess their PA requirements. 

    Read more …

  • Stay Current on Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Program
    cannabis in medical setting

    The Medical Cannabis Patient Program allows persons diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition to register with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to obtain cannabis for medicinal purposes. 

    ISMS’ newly updated medical legal guideline Medical Cannabis covers what physicians need to know about this topic, including Illinois’ Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP). The guideline also covers the process for certifying patients, requirements for the necessary written certifications for adults and minors, and the specific debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient for medical cannabis. 

    While recreational cannabis is legal in Illinois, higher taxes are imposed on non-medical purchases.

    Questions? ISMS members may contact the ISMS Legal Division by email

  • Is There a Brand-New Doctor Coming to Your Office?
    starting your career thumbnail

    If a new physician – or a physician new to Illinois – is joining your medical office, download ISMS’ complimentary guide to help the new hire! 

    Starting Your Career: A Guide for New Physicians in Illinois covers general advice and includes resources for physicians completing their training or resuming their practice in Illinois. The guide is designed primarily to educate physicians about a variety of issues they do not typically learn about in training, including contracting, credentialing, reimbursement and medical liability insurance.

    Download this resource today

  • Still Peak Season for Lyme Disease

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    Ticks are very active at certain times of the year and this month is still considered peak season

    Physicians should be on the lookout for possible symptoms of Lyme disease. As the pathogen that causes Lyme disease cannot spread to humans until the tick has been attached for at least 24 hours, remind your patients about the importance of checking for ticks immediately after being outside. 

    The Infectious Diseases Society of America offers Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease.

    The Illinois Department of Public Health’s Lyme Disease web page includes guidance on avoiding tick bites that you can share with your patients.

    ISMS also offers a comprehensive web page on Lyme disease that includes materials intended for sharing with patients, such as instructions on how to remove a tick.

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

  • Now More Than Ever, Patients Need Relief from the High Cost of Prescriptions!

    pharmacy card

    Many Illinois residents are dealing with health issues that may require multiple medications. And, as a result of the pandemic, many of them may still be unemployed and without health insurance. 

    The Illinois Rx Card may be able to help ease the burden of costly prescription medications for your patients. This savings program is designed to help those who may be uninsured, underinsured or who have health insurance coverage with no prescription benefits. Anyone can use it. 

    Patients (and physicians, too!) can SAVE up to 80% on prescription drugs by using this free card. All they need to do is present the card at a pharmacy when paying for a prescription.

    In instances in which patients are unable to go to the pharmacy in person, they should call the pharmacy to provide the information and the discount can be applied.

    If you are interested in ordering cards for your practice, clinic, hospital or for yourself, please contact Program Director Charlie Hartung by email or call 888-615-1988. The card can also be printed at home or in your office.  

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