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  • December 11, 2018

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  • Remember, Dec. 31 is Your Deadline to Qualify for Your Maximum Premium Discount – Check These Important Scheduling Notes

    physician working on their coursesIt’s time.

    Eligible policyholders have less than a month to complete all qualifying Managing Risk coursework for a premium discount in 2018. Deadline is midnight, Dec. 31.

    And here’s an important note – on deadline day, our offices will be closed and no live assistance will be available.

    So please plan ahead, and keep this information handy:

    Here’s Your Year-End Managing Risk Help Guide:

    ISMIE’s offices will be closed:

    • All day Dec. 24 and 25, reopening 8:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
    • All day Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, reopening 8:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

    Password/Web Assistance:

    Call 888-476-7776 or email us . After business hours, we offer password and login assistance online

    Questions for our risk management team:

    Contact the risk management division at 800-782-4767 or by email .

  • One More New Year’s Eve Deadline! Don’t Risk a Late Fee - Make Sure Your Medical Corporation License is Renewed on Time!

    physician renewing their licenseAll Illinois medical and professional service corporations and limited liability companies are required to renew their licenses annually with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) by January 1.

    Keep in mind that physicians operate under a variety of business structures, so if you’re unsure about the licensing status of your practice, make a call to your practice attorney or other qualified expert now.

    Also, take a moment to download this Issue Brief from our partners at the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) to help guide your first-time or renewal licensing process.

    Many Illinois medical corporations miss the deadline. Don’t be one of them.

    If you have immediate questions about the process, contact David Porter at 312-580-2468 or email davidporter@ismie.com.

  • Great News for Illinois Medical Professionals Helping Workers’ Comp Patients - Legislators Push Necessary Protections Into Law

    inside of a government buildingIt wasn’t easy, but new legislation to protect medical professionals in the Illinois workers’ compensation system is now law.

    Late last month, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to override Governor Rauner's amendatory veto of Senate Bill 904 by a margin of 110-2. The House's action comes after an earlier Senate vote of 55-1 in favor of the override. Here’s what it means:

    • Medical professionals can now collect interest on late workers’ compensation medical payments by filing a claim for this interest in circuit court. While this interest has been required by law since 2005, there had been no enforcement means to actually collect it. 
    • Workers’ compensation insurers are now prevented from ignoring a 2011 Illinois law requiring them to use electronic billing for workers' compensation claims. Standardized electronic billing is now common throughout the health care system and speeds all aspects of the claims process.
    • Workers’ compensation insurers are now required to send an Explanation of Benefits statement to medical professionals explaining why they have denied a bill and/or what additional information they require.

    Our partners at the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) worked diligently to encourage overturn of that amendatory veto, making sure that physicians – some who were waiting up to three years for payment for their services – won’t have to face such logjams in the future.

  • Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Has Been National News in ’18 - Check These New Illinois Numbers

    pregnant woman at her checkupOne of the leading health stories this year has been rising U.S. maternal mortality rates at a time when similar statistics are falling around the world.

    This disturbing trend should be a call for awareness at all medical practices, and staff members should be aware too. That’s because the Illinois Department of Public Health just released its first Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report and the findings are eye-opening.

    During 2008-2016, an average of 73 Illinois women died each year within one year of pregnancy, and black women were six times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition as white women.

    Read the report here

  • Your EHR is More Than an Electronic Filing Cabinet - Researchers Are Using EHR Data to Detect Patient Risk

    physician looking at electronic health recordsDrexel University researchers have developed an analytical model for detecting early warning signs of sepsis – all from EHR data.

    In a study announced last month, the Philadelphia-based university’s researchers developed a model to analyze the relationship between in-hospital mortality and sepsis symptoms related to seven organ systems – cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematopoietic, metabolic, nervous, renal, and respiratory. The purpose? To determine which organ dysfunctions resulted in deaths.

    Researchers used EHR data from more than 210,000 hospital visits between 2013 and 2016 to construct this model. The team is hoping to build a “clinical decision support system” to provide clinicians with real-time alerts about patients at high risk of dying from sepsis.

    ISMIE’s risk management program offers coursework, events and resources to improve overall diagnostic performance in your practice. Stay tuned to ISMIE News for more news and information on how your practice technology can boost patient safety.

  • As the Holidays Approach and Families Gather, Consider Recommending ‘A Personal Decision’ to Your Patients

    family having a holiday dinnerHaving a family discussion about future health care wishes is clearly not the most fun thing to do during the holidays. However, having everyone together to talk through options is the most effective way to set plans in place.

    Keep in mind that Medicare now reimburses for advance care planning counseling, which promotes dialogue between patients and physicians. And here’s a valuable resource to guide that conversation.

    “A Personal Decision” was created by our partners at the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) to cover the Illinois-specific legal issues and documentation necessary to confirm one’s end-of-life health care preferences. 

    While not a substitute for individualized advice from a legal or qualified personal advisor, “A Personal Decision” offers both practical guidance and examples of necessary forms that include:

    • A Living Will Form
    • Statutory Short Form for Power of Attorney for 
    • Health Care
    • Illinois Official Statutory Declaration for Mental 
    • Health Treatment Form
    • Organ Donor Card
    • IDPH Uniform Practitioner Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Form

    ISMS members can request up to 300 free print copies per year. ISMIE policyholders who aren’t ISMS members may purchase the resource at money-saving bulk rates. ISMS also makes the booklet available as a free download.

    ISMIE also has several advance care planning resources available for download. Our risk management resources offer additional information on advance directives, do-not-resuscitate orders and power of attorney for health care.

  • They're At It Again...Tropical Disturbance

    animals at the court roomWe’re all about the local food movement, but some people take things a little too far.

    Exhibit A: a Honolulu man and a California woman who filed a now-federal lawsuit late last month. Having bought bags of potato chips in “Hawaiian” flavors, they were shocked to learn that the chips were manufactured not in the Aloha State, but in the decidedly less-tropical state of Washington.

    The plaintiffs claim they were thrown by the all-Aloha artwork on the front, everything from hula dancers wearing grass skirts and leis, Hawaiian feather helmets and of course, an erupting Kilauea volcano, all Hawaiian symbols exploited by the New Jersey-based manufacturer “for their own financial benefit.”

    We can’t figure out why this particular potato chip maker has drawn the plaintiffs’ wrath, other than recently being purchased by one of the largest food companies in the country.

    Presumably their lawyers are hoping to go free range on the potential damages, but this sounds like a grass-fed beef to us.