Scope of Practice

Every year the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) fights to block legislation that would inappropriately expand the scope of practice for allied health professionals. ISMS believes our patients deserve care delivered by a team approach. While non-physician health professionals are essential members of patient care delivery, physicians surpass non-physicians in years of education and clinical training that are required to make comprehensive medical decisions regarding patient care. ISMS will continue to protect patient care from those who seek to obtain through legislation what they have not earned through education and training.

ISMS continually pushes back on the legislative initiatives to break up the patient centered team approach introduced by advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists, psychologists, optometrists, naturopaths, podiatric physicians, any many more.

For more detail, please check our end of session legislative reports.

Currently Tracked Bills

ISMS Opposes

ISMS is tracking the following bills related to the scope of practice expansion for non-physician health professionals, including but not limited to:

Physician Assistant Independent Practice: SB 3114 and HB 4637 (Sponsors: Sen. Ann Gillespie, Rep. Fred Crespo) - The bill allows a physician assistant to practice independently of a physician. The bill allows the assistant to work without a collaborative agreement and grants physician assistants  full prescriptive authority. ISMS remains opposed to this idea as it sets dangerous precedent and is bad for patient care. A PA is not educated and trained to practice independent of the physician. The bills remain in their respective committees.

Pharmacists Treating for Flu SB 3336 and HB 4822 (Sponsors: Sen. Julie Morrison, Rep. Natalie Manley) - The bill would drastically change the scope of practice of pharmacists allowing them to prescribe drugs for the treatment of the flu.These drugs carry severe side effects and, in certain situations, should not be prescribed at all. Pharmacists do not receive training in conducting a physical, diagnosing patients, making differential diagnoses, or prescribing medications or treatments. SB 3336 was not assigned, and HB 4822 remains in House Committee.

Naturopaths Practicing Traditional Medicine: HB 3721 (Sponsors: Rep. Terra Costa Howard)

HB 3721 allows a naturopath to practice traditional medicine as primary care physicians practice.  The education and training of naturopaths do not sufficiently prepare naturopaths to provide medical care, which will have adverse effects on patient safety here in Illinois. Under HB 3721, naturopaths would be allowed to provide a full range of medical services to patients in Illinois and have full prescriptive authority The bill remains on the House Floor.

Related Resources

Legislative Advocacy:
Legislative Advocacy:
An Illinois Physicians How to Guide
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