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  • June 14, 2016

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  • Bill to Extend Illinois' Medical Cannabis Pilot Program to 2020 Awaits Governor's Signature

    cannabisIn the waning hours of the spring legislative session, the Illinois General Assembly gave final approval to extend the state's Medical Cannabis Pilot Program by two years until July 1, 2020. The bill, which awaits signature from Gov. Bruce Rauner, also adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and terminal illness with which patients have less than six months to live to the list of debilitating medical conditions for patient certification.        

    Also, physicians will no longer have to recommend cannabis, as is currently the case. Instead, they will certify that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and that the physician is treating or managing treatment of that condition. The other provisions of the new legislation include:

    • Patient and caregiver cards 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.

    Illinois has 37 registered dispensaries and currently, patients are able to use medical cannabis for 39 health conditions. Once signed, the Illinois State Medical Society will revise its Medical Legal Guidelines on medical cannabis and make them available to all ISMIE policyholders with additional instructions as appropriate.

  • For a Better Understanding of 'The Patient Experience,' Consider This ISMIE Mutual Seminar

    patientDo you and your team fully understand how your patients view the care and services you offer?

    Case studies and real-life situations inform ISMIE Mutual's The Patient Experience: What Is It Like to Be the Patient? held through November at locations throughout Illinois:

    • June 22, The Sangamo Club in Springfield
    • July 12, The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus in Oak Brook
    • Oct. 18, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in East Peoria
    • Nov. 15, ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company in Chicago 

    Register to attend one of the dates.

    Policyholders may earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for attending any one session of "The Patient Experience."

    If you have further questions on this ISMIE Risk Management program, email the Risk Management Team or call 800-782-4767 ext. 3300.

  • Your Policy Renewal Date is Coming Up. Could Premium Financing Help?

    ISMIE Mutual knows many of our policyholders prefer spreading out premium payments. To accommodate, we suggest using our Premium Financing program offering a below-prime lending rate

    You'll be asked to pay just 8 percent of your annual premium at the start and complete your premium payment in 11 equal monthly installments.  

    The program is run by First Insurance Funding Corp., a solid premium financing enterprise.

    For more details, contact ISMIE's Underwriting Division at 312-782-2749 or 800-782-4767, fax 312-782-2023 or email underwriting@ismie.com. If you utilize an insurance broker, you may also wish to contact him or her.

  • Get the Right Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan for YOU!

    PBTInterested in finding a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to help cover out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles? 

    Physicians' Benefits Trust (PBT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company, offers plan options that are available to ISMIE policyholders and their spouses.

    Find the right Medicare Supplement for you by calling PBT, your physician-managed insurer, at 800-621-0748 (choose option 3) to learn more and begin the application process.

  • They're at it Again...Snack Attack

    The Ninth Court of Appeals in California is going to bat for all of us who have grabbed a bag of potato chips unwittingly thinking that we were eating health food.

    (ISMIE Newskeeps salty snacks to a minimum as we hang with a lot of doctors.)

    Last week, the court resuscitated shopper Scott Bishop's dismissed 2013 proposed class action against the convenience store chain 7-Eleven.  Bishop had originally alleged that the nutrition claims on the front labels of several 7-Eleven private label food products - including their potato chips, pretzels, ice cream and something called cheese jalapenos - didn't match the FDA-ordered nutrition label on the back.

    In a two-page order issued June 7, the appeals court wrote, "Bishop adequately alleged that he relied on 7-Eleven's potato chips' front-of-package '0g trans fat' and 'no cholesterol' representations, and that he would not have purchased the chips had 7-Eleven included on the front of the package the 'See nutrition information for fat content' disclosure required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."  

    Frankly, we were a little surprised as Bishop's original lawsuit had been dismissed in part for what the judge described as "ambiguity and non-specificity" throughout the complaint.

    Oh, well. All we can say is "thank heaven" for the eagle eyes of the plaintiffs' bar. Where we see empty calories, they see dollars.