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  • June 27, 2017

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  • Victory for Patients, Physicians Fighting Against 'Narrow Networks'
    clapping doctors

    Over the weekend, the Illinois Legislature passed House Bill 311, the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act (the NAT Act). This Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS)-backed bill now goes to Governor Rauner for signature.

    The NAT Act creates several new protections for consumers who purchase state-regulated private health plans. Health insurers are increasingly cutting costs and limiting patient choice by offering plans with a limited range of physicians and hospitals. The growth of these “narrow network” plans has resulted in a dramatic reduction in access to health care.

    Click here for more information

  • Renew License Deadline Ad

  • Meanwhile, in Washington: Medical Liability Reform Legislation Under Consideration in the U.S. House
    government building

    As we go to press, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering medical liability reform legislation. Several votes are expected on amendments and the overall bill as early as today. As most Illinois physicians know, the history of medical liability reform in the Land of Lincoln has been a grim one. However, there’s been a glimmer of hope in Washington with the introduction of H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act.

    This federal legislation contains proven, effective reforms that Illinois doctors and their patients have sought for many years – and may be the best chance for medical liability reform to happen in our state.

    There’s still time to contact your Congressional representative to urge them to support the act and accept only those amendments with a proven positive impact on medical liability reforms. Our partners at the Illinois State Medical Society provide this link to make contact.

  • Still Haven’t Renewed Your Medical and Controlled Substance Licenses? Call the ISMIE Hotline TODAY!
    ISMIE hotline buttonWhat does a three-year Illinois medical license renewal cost if you miss the July 31 deadline?

    Want to renew fast and save a little money besides? Call ISMIE.

    Our medical license renewal hotline at 800-632-7478 will speed you through the process between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each weekday through the deadline. Better still, you won’t have to pay the online processing fees charged by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for all your renewals. However, all other regular charges apply.

    As mentioned, the regular cost of an on-time, three-year medical license renewal is $690, and $15 is required for each controlled substance license renewal, which you should do at the same time. There is no late penalty for controlled substance license renewal.

    For physicians who prefer to go it alone, start at the IDFPR website – but note that those who wait until the last few days before the deadline may face system slowdowns and the possibility your renewal might not go through.

    So why wait?

    As we’ve mentioned, IDFPR renewal reminders have gone paperless via email – by now, you should have received yours with an individual PIN to start the renewal process. However, if you missed that reminder, you can still renew by providing your medical license number, Social Security Number and date of birth. Our helpful ISMIE representatives can talk you through it.

    One more thing: If you already renewed your medical license, but forgot to renew your controlled substance license(s), call us – we can help. Contact us at licensure@ismie.com or call the hotline at 800-632-7478.

  • For Better Management of Your Social Media and Other Digital Communications, Review This ISMIE Webinar
    doctor on mobile device

    Do’s and Don’ts of E-Communications and Social Media, an archived ISMIE webinar, offers a useful overview of the risks medical practices face in the use of social media and other digital communications and suggests ways to minimize those dangers. This May 11 ISMIE webinar doesn’t allow direct questions to the faculty, though questions regarded the content or program may be submitted at any time to riskmanagement@ismie.com.

    Don’t Miss These Upcoming Live ISMIE Events!

    Summer training continues at ISMIE:

    • July 13, 2017 - Noon - 1:00 p.m. | Webinar
      Protecting Your Practice's Privacy & Security
    • September 28, 2017 - Noon - 3:00 p.m. | Live seminar
      Fellowship Fundamentals: Communications - Chicago

  • Is Your Office-Based Practice Assessment Coming Up? Make Time to Watch this Video

    As a service to our policyholders, ISMIE offers all policyholders the opportunity to undergo an on-site assessment to help avoid potential litigation risk.

    Whether you’re going through your first assessment or another in a series, take time to watch Preparing for Your Office-Based Practice Assessment. ISMIE’s practice assessments evolve over time, so watching this video will save you time on preparation and make for a smoother assessment process overall.

    And remember, all practices found to be in substantial compliance with all the guiding principles met during the assessment will be considered eligible for the 5% premium discount awarded under this process.

  • Make It a Safe Fourth!
    burgers on a plate

    The July 4th holiday weekend is upon us, which means it’s a good time to share safety tips with patients on fireworks, food safety and outdoor cooking. The latest numbers from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show that an average of 230 people head to the emergency room each day with fireworks-related injuries during the month around the July 4th holiday. Also, the Centers for Disease Control reminds us that food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures help foodborne germs spread quicker.

    Here are some holiday safety resources to share with patients during office visits or in your practice communications:

    • Fireworks safety tips and permitting requirements from the State of Illinois.
    • Barbecue prep and cooking tips from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
    • Fourth of July Safety Tips from the Department of Homeland Security.

    As the summer season moves into full swing, here’s another reminder. If you're thinking of taking anywhere from one to 12 months off from your practice, your ISMIE policy offers a Suspended Coverage option. To find out more, email ISMIE's underwriting department or call 800-782-4767.

  • They're at it Again...Block That Suit

    Guys like Russell Beckman bleed Packer green, but apparently that’s not enough. He wears it, too.

    A lot of it.

    Beckman, of Mount Pleasant, WI, so loves his Green Bay Packers that he actually bought Chicago Bears season tickets years ago to assure he’d never miss a game between the legendary rivals … or a chance to show his local pride.

    Or so he thought.

    In a federal lawsuit filed against the Bears and the National Football League June 16, Beckman has taken issue with a decision by the Bears to eject him from a 2016 season ticket holders pre-game sidelines event because he was wearing his beloved verdant ensemble.

    Alleging he was able to attend similar events in Packers regalia without incident in 2014 and 2015, Beckman took exception to a change in the 2016 event invitation stating “no opposing team gear will be allowed.” According to the suit, an email exchange between the Bears and Beckman ensured, and when the defiant fan showed up in Packers gear for the Dec. 18 workout, he was turned away.

    Beckman, who plans to quarterback his lawsuit in Chicago federal court if it ever gets that far downfield, points out he’s not seeking compensation “because it is impossible to place a monetary value on this loss.”

    Maybe it’ll be enough for the judge to let him wear his gear while he’s clogging up the court system.