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State Government Relations Update

Feb. 2, 2018

Both the Illinois House and Senate convened the inaugural first week of spring legislative session Jan. 30-31, including Governor Rauner's State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 31.  The State of the Budget Address is scheduled for Feb. 14th.

Bills continue to be filed and committees are being assigned. Cook-Witter reviews all legislation introduced and tracks relevant bills for IAFP.  Here are a few of interest:

IAFP Supports HB4297 and SB2332 Tobacco 21.  You can read our statement and download a Fact Sheet

Chiropractors “Return to Play” (draft legislation – no bill number)- stay tuned for updates

HB4164 - Harris - Requires all new HFS Managed Care Organization contracts must be awarded through the Illinois Procurement Code.  This is a continuation of legislator criticism regarding the recent statewide RFP for Medicaid managed care services, which were awarded through a purchase of care arrangement.

HB4165 - Harris - This legislation would prevent the administration from implementing federal waivers that would reduce or eliminate protections or coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act without General Assembly approval.  Medicaid, Insurance and State Group Health are all impacted.

HB4166 - Harris - Rep. Harris' initiative that would impose an assessment of 1% on claims paid by a health insurance carrier or third-party administrator, with proceeds being used for Medicaid funding. 

Laws going into effect January 1st that may be relevant to your practice:

Telehealth Act (SB 1811/PA 100-0317): Creates the Telehealth Act which authorizes licensed health care professionals in Illinois to practice telehealth services. Clarifies that telehealth services are limited to the professionals’ scope of practice under their licenses, and that telehealth services are to be provided under the same standard of care as in-person services. Additionally, amends the Medical Practice Act to clarify that telemedicine (telehealth) can be practiced in the state of Illinois and clarifies that physicians can provide services to existing patients while either the physicians or patients are traveling.

EMS-Administered Controlled Substances (HB 3910/PA 100-0280): Provides that emergency medical services personnel may administer Schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substances to a person in the scope of their employment without a written, electronic, or oral prescription of a prescriber.

Direct Care Staff Administer Medication (HB 2383/PA 100-0050): Allows authorized direct care staff in certified day programs for individuals with developmental disabilities the ability to administer medication (currently, a RN has to administer medication to day program participants).

Hospital “Do-Not-Admit” List Prohibition (HB 2762/PA 100-0306): Prohibits hospitals from maintaining a list of individuals that may not be admitted for treatment at the hospital. The prohibition does not prevent a hospital’s medical staff from recommending an alternate provider, coordinating an appropriate transfer, or arranging access to care services that best meets the needs of an individual patient.

Identification Bracelets (HB 223/PA 100-0293): Residents in long-term care facilities will have flexibility when asked to use identifying bracelets. The changes allow a resident's guardian or power of attorney to ask for the removal of a physician-ordered identifying wristlet, which might include the resident's name, as well as the name, telephone number and address of the facility issuing the wristlet. Physicians will still be required to document the reasons for mandatory wear in a resident's clinical record.

Abortion Coverage (HB 40/PA 100-0538): Mandates state insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions.

Mammogram Coverage (SB 314/PA 100-0395): Provides that insurers must provide coverage for breast MRI if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue (when medically necessary).

Cancer Awareness (SB 838/PA 100-0224): Requires the Department of Public Health to promote awareness and programs for providing cancer screening of veterans.

Organ Donation (HB 1805/PA 100-0041): Provides 16-17 year olds the option of signing up to be organ and tissue donors when they apply for a driver’s license or identification card.

Early Detection of Mental Health Conditions (HB 3502/PA 100-0184): Establishes a council to look into ways to implement statewide early identification and treatment of mental health conditions.

Asthma Examinations for School (SB 1846/PA 100-0238): Requires the Department of Public Health to develop rules and procedures to include asthma in the standard school health examination.

Combating Synthetic Drugs (HB 2534/PA 100-0368): Adds new synthetic drugs and cannabinoids to the list of controlled substances to allow for the regulation of drugs such as “bath salts” whose complex chemical compounds have fallen outside the definition of a controlled substance.

Clean Syringe Act (SB 1944/PA 100-0326): Allows for an individual to purchase, and a pharmacist to sell, up to 100 hypodermic syringes in a day (rather than 20 syringes per visit). It also allows for a prescriber, rather than only a licensed physician, to direct a patient to have in their possession hypodermic syringes as well.

Other items of interest:

Physical Exam Form for School Year 2018-19
The Child Health Examination Form, is the correct form for school year 2018-19.   It is the form dated 2015, and is the only permitted form for students residing in Illinois and entering Illinois schools. Changes related to recent legislation will not be reflected on the form for school year 18-19.  Remind parents (and health care providers) that students may begin obtaining those exams at any time up to a year before school starts.  The exam needs only to be completed within the prior 365 days of school entry (i.e., any date on or after August 30, 2017, if your next school year begins August 29, 2018)

Hospital Assessment Talks Continue
Hospital assessment negotiations between the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association continue but the anticipated house hearing for this week was cancelled.
A major negotiating point between hospitals and the department remains what the upper payment limit will be in the new assessment regime - and in turn, how much Medicaid funds are returned to individual hospitals.  The current assessment authorization expires this summer.  General Assembly action will be necessary to implement any new legislation, as well as federal approval.  This Chicago Tribune story includes more information:

Family physicians needed to serve on Advisory Council on Early Identification/Treatment of Mental Health Conditions
HB 3502 created the Council and requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to develop regulations to include age-appropriate social and emotional screening in the school health examination for Illinois children. Here is a link to the bill that outlines the requirements for appointment by the different constituencies.  If you would like to be nominated to the Advisory Council, please contact Gordy. Furthermore, if you know of other family physicians who meet the geographic requirements, we would welcome their contact information so that we may similarly ask if they would like to be nominated. From the law, “Four family primary care physicians recommended by a statewide organization that represents family physicians, one from the Chicago area, one from suburban Chicago, one from central Illinois, and one from downstate Illinois, appointed by the President of the Senate.”