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  • July, 12 2016

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  • Illinois Medical Cannabis Law Extended to 2020 - Significant Program Changes Ahead

    On June 30, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation that will extend Illinois' medical cannabis program until July 1, 2020.


    It contains important changes advocated by the Illinois State Medical Society. The first regards the physician certification standard. Before, physicians had to state that in their professional opinion the patient would be "likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis." Now, physicians simply certify that the patient is under the physician's care and has a qualifying condition.

    The second is the requirement for the Illinois Department of Public Health to electronically submit the names of all approved cannabis registrants into Illinois' Prescription Monitoring Program. This requirement will allow doctors to see whether a patient under their care is already certified for medical cannabis.

    The extension also adds two more qualifying conditions for patient certification, including post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness in which the patient has less than six months to live.

    Other provisions of the new legislation include:

    • Patient and caregiver cards are now valid for three years, instead of one.
    • Upon renewal of patient and caregiver cards, no fingerprinting is required in some circumstances.  
    • Minors may have two caregivers.
    • The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will be reconstituted, and a new procedure created for accepting patient petitions for the addition of new conditions to the program.

    ISMIE's policyholder resources on medical cannabis are currently undergoing review and will be revised to reflect the changes. 

  • New ISMIE Case Study: Patient Privacy

    There's never a bad time to remind your fellow medical professionals and office staffers that patient privacy mistakes can be verycostly.

    From fumbling an ordinary patient records request to the escalating risk of a computerized data breach, the latest installment of ISMIE's Lessons from the Field series addresses common HIPAA patient privacy situations that if mishandled, can easily cost practices and institutions millions of dollars.

    ISMIE's Risk Management team authors the Lessons series. If you have additional questions on this or any other case study, email riskmanagement@ismie.com or phone 800-782-4767 ext. 3300.

  • Our Policyholders Say it All: ISMIE's Claims Service is at an All-Time High

    ISMIE medalHearing that you're being sued has to be one of the most stressful moments in a medical career.

    That's why ISMIE constantly monitors every aspect of our claims performance, from your first phone call to the day your case is closed. ISMIE also continues to survey policyholders long after claims are finished for helpful reactions and suggestions.

    Our latest claims survey report, covering July 2014-15, shows an overall policyholder satisfaction score of 9.6 out of 10, the highest in our history.

    Among policyholders who had a claim closed one year ago, 92% said they would prefer the same ISMIE representative and 90% would prefer the same defense counsel if they had another claim. This response tells us you want to stick with ISMIE, and we will work tirelessly to keep your loyalty. 

    Even if you've never had a claim, we're happy to answer any questions about your coverage or the claims process. Email us at claims@ismie.com or call us at 800-782-4767.

  • ISMIE is 40 Years Strong!

    In case you haven't heard, ISMIE Mutual recently celebrated an important birthday.

    On July 1, we marked our 40th year in business and our unchallenged leadership as a top U.S. medical liability insurer. When it comes to policyholder service, innovative coverage and vigorous defense of claims, in Illinois and in expanding practices around the nation, ISMIE is unmatched.

    In the near future, we'll be sharing important reminders on why ISMIE is an easy choice for medical liability protection.

    By the way, ISMIE is now on Twitter. Follow us at @ISMIEMutual.

  • They're at it Again...Look! I Drew a Yacht!

    A Florida man recently sued Apple for $10 billion, saying he thought up the iPhone, iPad and iPod back in 1992 and has the sketches - yes, sketches - to prove it.

    According to Britain's Telegraph newspaper, Thomas Ross of Miramar had filed a patent 24 years ago for an "electronic reading device" or "ERD," a rectangular handheld gizmo with a screen. His lawsuit, obtained by the Telegraph, shows hand drawings of the device that Ross filed with his patent application - which was declared abandoned by the U.S. Patent Office in 1995 for non-payment of fees.

    No matter. Just let this be a lesson to you as to where you discard your future abandoned patent applications. Ross alleges that "Instead of creating its own ideas, Apple chose to adopt a culture of dumpster diving as an R&D strategy."

    As supporting evidence, the suit quotes the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as saying "we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas" and claims that the Cupertino, California-based technology giant has caused Ross "great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money."

    But he's going to try. If the suit doesn't get tossed out of a Southern Florida federal courtroom, Ross will ask for the $10 billion and "a reasonable royalty" of 1.5 percent a year, which the newspaper estimates at "another $3.5 billion" annually based on Apple's 2015 revenues.

    That ought to ease the pain.

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    If you utilize an insurance broker, you may also wish to contact him or her.