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  • New OSHA Rules Apply to Health Professionals in COVID-19 Era

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a mandatory workplace safety rule designed to protect workers from COVID-19. The rule applies only to the healthcare industry and impacts those who work in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as emergency responders and home healthcare workers. 

    The new rule, which will take effect upon being published in the Federal Register, mandates that employers implement a COVID-19 plan to reduce transmission, including: 

    • Providing personal protective equipment to workers

    • Ensuring ventilation systems are working properly

    • Providing paid time off for unvaccinated employees to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects

    • Installing barriers between workstations where distancing is not possible

    According to federal officials, healthcare professionals – particularly those who come into regular contact with the virus – are the employees who are most at risk.

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



  • Part 1: How Would the Prior Authorization Reform Act Increase Transparency?

    During the Spring Legislative Session in Springfield, the General Assembly unanimously approved the Prior Authorization Reform Act ( House Bill 711)! This top ISMS initiative will be sent to Governor Pritzker for signature sometime this month. This new law requires that substantive and important changes be made to insurer prior authorization (PA) practices.

    Starting today, Physician Advocate will be taking a deep dive into the components of this important legislation. This week’s focus is transparency


    The current problem: It can be difficult and time consuming to figure out which services need prior authorization and how PA determinations will be made.

    How House Bill 711 helps: Increases transparency by requiring payers to make information about PA policies readily available at the point of care.

    The Prior Authorization Reform Act would require health insurance issuers to make any current PA requirements and restrictions, including written clinical review criteria, readily accessible and conspicuously posted on their website. The clinical review criteria must be:

    • Based on nationally recognized standards (except where Illinois law has its own standards)
    • Developed in accordance with current standards of national medical accreditation entities
    • Consistent with providing quality care and facilitating access to needed healthcare services
    • Evidence based
    • Sufficiently flexible to allow deviations from the norm on a case-by-case basis
    • Evaluated and updated, if necessary, annually

    Health insurance issuers or their contracted utilization review organizations would be required to update their websites with new or amended requirements before implementation, and provide written notice to contracted healthcare professionals at least 60 days prior to implementing the change. Entities using prior authorization would be required to gather statistics related to approvals and denials and make them available on their website.

    If you have questions, please contact ISMS Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Erin O'Brien by email.

    Watch for next week’s topic related to the Prior Authorization Reform Act – timelines for urgent and nonurgent care.



  • Did You Know? Lyme Disease Cases Are Peaking Now!

    Anytime your patients are outside, they are at risk for bumping into a tick.

    Ticks are very active at certain times of the year, with the peak months being June and July. Physicians should be on the lookout for possible symptoms of Lyme disease. Patients should consult their physician if they have a rash or any unexplained illness accompanied by fever following a tick bite. 

    Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks and is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The pathogen that causes Lyme disease cannot spread to humans until the tick has been attached for at least 24 hours. Remind your patients to check 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



  • ISMS Resource Aims to Squash the Myths of COVID-19 Vaccines

    ISMS has created a video, COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths vs. Facts, to help inform your patients about the facts of getting vaccinated. Share on your practice website or social media platforms. 



  • Connect with Other ISMS Members!

    ISMS’ Mentor Center can help members connect and create relationships with colleagues in Illinois. 

    Whether you are a medical student looking for a mentor to provide essential guidance for your career, a retired physician who wants to give back to the medical community, or a working physician looking to provide support to new physicians, the Mentor Center is the perfect resource for you to develop professional relationships!

    Start by creating a profile, then get connected. 

    Reach out today!

    If you have any questions about the Mentor Center, please contact us by email



  • ISMS Welcomes These New Members

    Thank you for joining the Illinois State Medical Society!

    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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