News from Springfield: Your Legislative Wrap-Up

June 4, 2021
Jann Ingmire, 312-580-9802

For the second year in a row, Illinois’ regular spring legislative session took place in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenging times, your ISMS legislative team fought hard to help pass important bills for medicine. Here’s a summary of key bills that impact your profession: 

Your Care Can’t Wait!

The ISMS-initiated Prior Authorization Reform Act (House Bill 711) passed the General Assembly unanimously. This legislation does not seek to eliminate prior authorization; instead, the goal is to realign what has become a very broken system by requiring transparency, appropriate peer-to-peer review, medically appropriate timelines for both urgent and non-urgent care, and ensuring continuity of care.

Medical Practice Act Extension

Lawmakers passed legislation (House Bill 806) that extends the Medical Practice Act for five years until sunsetting again in 2027. It is significant to note that this is the first time in 15 years that this Act has been extended for more than two years, bringing physicians in line with the renewal cycle of other professions. The bill also merges the Medical Licensing and Disciplinary Boards into one board with 17 members.

Expanded Insurer Coverage for Telehealth Services

The General Assembly unanimously approved House Bill 3308 to expand commercial insurance coverage for telehealth services to ensure that it is provided post-pandemic. In addition, the bill provides that health professionals are to be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person visits; however, this section of the bill sunsets at the end of 2027 except for mental health and substance use disorder telehealth services. 

These bills now head to Governor Pritzker’s desk.

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

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