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  • May 5, 2016

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  • IL Supreme Court Schedules Oral Arguments May 11 on Six-Member Juries

    juryIn a little more than a week, the Illinois Supreme Court is scheduled to take up a major issue in judicial fairness - whether to uphold or strike down a Cook County judge's December ruling in favor of 12-member civil-case juries.

    The case is Kakos v. Butler and late last year, Cook County Associate Judge William Edward Gomolinski ruled that language in the 1970 Illinois Constitution ensures that the right to a jury as it existed in 1970 - with 12 members - cannot be changed without a constitutional amendment.  Now that question is in front of Illinois' highest court, with oral arguments scheduled for May 11.

    Here's the history. On Dec. 19, 2014, a trial lawyer-supported bill cutting the size of civil case juries from 12 members to six was gifted in the final days of the Quinn administration. Plaintiffs' attorneys tend to like smaller juries because they've been shown to deliver larger awards.

    Throughout its history, ISMIE Mutual has consistently fought against mandatory jury size reduction in all civil cases, and continues to do so in Kakos.

    Please watch ISMIE News for future developments on this important case.

  • Build Your Skills at These Upcoming ISMIE Risk Management Live Events!

    "Dissecting Diagnostic Error:" June 7 in Northbrook or June 8 in Naperville

    ISMIE Mutual is bringing together two of the nation's leading experts on diagnostic error to present " Dissecting Diagnostic Error," an analysis of the latest major research and solutions clinicians can use to improve their diagnostic accuracy and skills. The programs will be held June 7 at the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook in Northbrook or June 8 at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville, and will feature:

    • Mark Graber, M.D., a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel behind last year's "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care" report, who will discuss major findings from the report and how electronic medical records can play a role in better diagnostic practices.

    • Gurpreet Dhwaliwal, M.D., a practicing emergency medicine physician, hospitalist, and author of "Blueprint for Diagnostic Excellence," who will offer guidance on diagnostic tracking and feedback systems, metacognition, real-time learning and practical skill development.

    Register to attend one of the dates here.

    Eligible policyholders may earn premium discounts and AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for attending.

    "The Patient Experience:" Multiple Dates and Locations, Starting May 13

    Understanding how your patients experience their medical care can lead to better treatment outcomes and a smoother working environment in any practice setting. That's the message behind " The Patient Experience: What Is It Like to Be the Patient," a live seminar to be offered throughout Illinois starting May 13.

    Available to all ISMIE policyholders and their staff, this seminar will focus on how all practice team members, from physicians to billing clerks, can create solid relationships with patients by improving communication skills. Attendees will practice these techniques using case scenarios and real life situations. The program will be held at the following locations:

    • May 13, The Hilton Garden Inn in Rockford
    • 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 here.

    Policyholders may earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for attending.

    For more information on either of these programs, email the Risk Management Team or call 800-782-4767 ext. 3300.

  • Sign Up for FREE Training on Health Coverage for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorders

    drugsThe Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) is offering free statewide training workshops on health insurance coverage parity for behavioral health and substance disorders. Workshops will be held from 6-8 p.m. on these dates:

    • May 19 - Rockford
    • May 26 - Normal
    • May 31 - Collinsville
    • June 1 - Chicago

    To register, click here.

    This program was created by the 2015 Heroin Crisis Act, a comprehensive package of reforms to address heroin and opioid abuse and addiction in Illinois. It includes several provisions to strengthen The Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program, which physicians can use to check patients' controlled substance prescription history. It also improves patient safeguards while protecting physicians from onerous mandates and restrictions.

    Beginning next year, all physicians will be enrolled in the program when receiving or renewing an Illinois medical license. 

  • May is Hepatitis Awareness Month: Keep These Patient and Practice Resources Handy

    An estimated 3.2 million people in the United States are living with chronic Hepatitis C infection, and most of them don't feel sick or know they're infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    As May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, take a moment to check ISMIE'S Hepatitis C Screening Risk Management Resource, which provides a central clearinghouse of the latest Hepatitis information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois State Medical Society.  

    When you're done, take a few moments to introduce your staff to the full list of ISMIE Risk Management Resources. You'll find current, topical material to assist all aspects of your practice. 

  • They're at it Again...Hey, That's Cold

    You remember the Hot Coffee Lawsuit, right? Now get ready for the Way-Too-Icy Iced Beverage Lawsuit!

    Starbucks, which was sued in March for allegedly underfilling its lattes, is now allegedly overfilling its iced drinks with, you guessed it, ice. On April 27, a customer filed a $5 million lawsuit in federal court charging the world's largest coffee chain with misrepresenting the amount of coffee, tea or other blended liquids it actually sells in those chilled drinks.

    So what is it with caffeinated drinks and landmark moments in civil justice reform history?

    For its part, Starbucks says it will "gladly remake" any order their customers are unhappy with. For our part, it's the lawsuit that seems a bit watered down.