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
Protecting physician titles and practice: SB 3491 (Sponsor: Sen. Rachelle Crowe) - Senate Bill 3491 (better protects the practice titles of "anesthesiologist" and "dermatologist." In recent years non-physician healthcare professionals have begun using these titles inappropriately and misleading patients into thinking they are more trained than they are. The Hospital Licensing Act clearly defines these titles, but the Medical Practice Act currently does not. This bill will bring these titles under the Medical Practice Act so that the Department of Professional Regulation may regulate their misuse and the Medical Licensing and Disciplinary Boards can address penalties for their violation of use. This bill has not received a committee assignment.
ISMS is tracking the following bills related to the scope of practice expansion for non-physician health professionals, including but not limited to:
Licensure of Naturopaths: SB 3025 (Sponsor: Sen. Melinda Bush) and HB 4294 (Sponsor: Rep. Robyn Gabel) - Senate Bill 3025 and House Bill 4294 would allow naturopaths to provide a full range of naturopathic "medicine" to patients in Illinois, including caring for children; managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cancer; and providing specialty care, such as gynecological services. ISMS opposes these bills, which have been assigned to their chambers' respective License Committees.
APRNS use of Fluoroscopy: SB 3196 (Sponsor: Sen. Sara Feigenholtz) - Senate Bill 3196 would allow APRNs to independently administer radiation using fluoroscopy. The use of fluoroscopy is a technical procedure and should be performed by a physician or under the supervision of a physician. Radiation applications are sensitive and can have many ongoing effects that must be assessed by physicians. ISMS remains opposed to this legislation and the bill is assigned to Senate Licensed Activities.
Optometrists Providing Vaccinations: HB 4929 (Sponsor: Rep. Theresa Mah) - House Bill 4929 would allow optometrists to provide the influenza vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine and the shingles vaccine. Vaccinations are considered primary care and should be provided by primary healthcare professionals who are able to determine who should get a vaccine and, more important, who should not. ISMS opposes this bill, which remains in the House Rules Committee.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) Independent Practice: SB 2566 (Sponsor: Sen. Melinda Bush) - Senate Bill 2566 would eliminate important patient safety requirements when nurse anesthetists provide care, including physician input, having an anesthesia plan agreement and physician availability to treat medical emergencies. Patient safety must be the primary driver behind any modification to our healthcare laws. ISMS opposes this legislation, which remains in the Senate Assignments Committee.