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  • Bringing relevant issues to practice management professionals
    WINTER 2017

  • All of Your Controlled Substance Prescribers Should Register with the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program by Jan. 1

    Doctor writing a prescriptionHere’s an alert for all controlled substance license holders in your practice.

    The Illinois General Assembly recently passed legislation that will require everyone who holds an Illinois controlled substance license to register in Illinois’ Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) by January 1, 2018.

    While the measure is not yet law, our partners at the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) are urging physicians to begin the process for PMP registration now.

    Beginning January 1, the expected law will require prescribers to access the PMP before writing an initial prescription for a Schedule II narcotic, such as an opioid, though some exceptions apply.

    For your team members licensed in Illinois to prescribe controlled substances who are not already registered with the PMP, guide them to www.ilpmp.org to begin their registration. If they experience problems with that process, they should contact the PMP directly at 217-524-1311 or email dhs.pmp@illinois.gov.

    For general questions about the PMP, call 800-782-4767 or email HPResearch@isms.org.

  • Just a Few Weeks Left Until the Illinois Medical Corporation License Deadline - Don’t Risk a Late Fee!

    December thirty-firstDecember 31 is the deadline for Illinois medical and professional service corporations and limited liability companies to renew their annual license with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

    Not sure about the licensing status of your practice? Since physicians operate under different types of business structures, now is a good time to confirm your licensing structure with your practice attorney or other qualified expert.

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

    Many Illinois medical corporations failed to renew on time last year. Don’t be one of them.

    One last reminder: The 31st falls on a Sunday this year, and IDFPR’s renewal process can only be done online, so don’t wait until the final day to renew because assistance won’t be available.

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

  • Time to Get Organized for Next April’s Medicare Card Changeover

    People receiving new medicare cardsIn case you haven’t heard, Medicare is finally getting rid of Social Security numbers on their beneficiary cards starting next April. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plan to ship some 57.7 million new Medicare ID cards that month, each carrying a randomly selected Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).

    The MBI will take the place of each beneficiary’s Social Security number and become the only identifier accepted on Medicare ID cards after December 31, 2019. 

    With this change, CMS is hoping to combat fraud, reduce ID theft and better protect all Medicare patients.

    Our partners at the Illinois State Medical Society offer these tips to prepare your team and patients for the changeover:

    1. Advise your Medicare beneficiaries that their identification cards will be changing. 
    2. Verify all of your Medicare patients' addresses. If the addresses you have on file are different from the Medicare addresses you receive on electronic eligibility transactions, ask your patients to contact the Social Security Administration to update their Medicare records.
    3. Test your system and work with your billing staff to ensure that your medical office will be ready to use the new MBI format.

    As the date gets closer, ISMIE will provide further updates. For now, consider bookmarking CMS’ New Medicare Cards website for information. 

  • ‘Starting Your Career: A Guide for New Physicians in Illinois’ - Now Available!

    stethoscopeIf new physicians – or physicians new to Illinois – are joining your practice, ISMIE is offering access to a brand-new ISMS resource that can make their orientation a little easier. 

    “Starting Your Career: A Guide for New Physicians in Illinois,” is a comprehensive new guide from your state medical society with general advice and resources for physicians completing their training or those resuming their practice in Illinois. Topics include:

    • Organizing an effective job search while finishing up a busy residency, fellowship or current position (including samples of cover letters and CVs to build a portfolio);
    • Evaluating job offers and contracts;
    • Licensing and credentialing information for new Illinois physicians, including specifics for International Medical Graduates (IMGs);
    • Financial planning, including basic managing medical student debt;
    • Understanding Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements in Illinois, and
    • Enjoying ISMS-specific benefits that smooth all aspects of starting a new practice in our state.

    ISMIE is pleased to offer this new resource from ISMS. For your complimentary copy, send an email with “Starting Your Career” in the subject line. 

  • Getting More Flu Calls? We Can Help

    Mother checking her daughters temperatureIt’s looking like a tough flu season this year, and recent reports indicate cases might peak over the holidays.

    Take a moment to access ISMS’s 2017-18 influenza database, where you can access current federal resources on this year’s flu season as well as the Society’s own toolkit to ensure your staff is properly vaccinated. 

  • Illinois Has Finally Started Paying Off Its Longtime Bill Backlog - If You’re Still Waiting for Overdue Payments, Here’s What to Do

    Stack of unpaid billsIf your physician team treats Medicaid patients and/or state government workers and retirees covered under the State Employees Group Insurance Program (SEGIP), this news is for you.

    A $6 billion bond sale in October enabled the State of Illinois to start paying off its backlog of unpaid bills a few weeks ago – the original backlog of $16.7 billion now stands at just under $9 billion and claims are in process.

    However, if your practice has received some money but not all you are owed, consider calling the managed care organization(s) (MCOs) in which you participate to confirm amounts and get a timeline on payments.

    The bond issue essentially refinanced a portion of the state’s debt; the comptroller’s office has prioritized plans payments eligible for federal matching funds and those that carry the highest late-payment penalties.

  • Make Sure Your Policyholders Get Their Full Risk Rewards Discount!

    Doctor on the computersISMIE protects your team with some of the richest educational offerings in the medical liability industry: our Managing Risk program.

    Your policyholders also receive an additional benefit by finishing all qualifying coursework by December 31 – up to 15% off their premium. 

    To make sure they get all the Risk Rewards savings they’re entitled to, encourage policyholders to check their 2017 coursework at www.ismiemutual.com where they can determine what coursework they need to complete.

    And for phone and online support, check the following:

    Need Help? Here’s Your Managing Risk ‘Cheat Sheet’

    Live support is available every weekday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. On Monday, December 25, ISMIE will be closed all day.

    All after-hours messages will receive a prompt reply the next business day.

    Password/Web Assistance:

    Call 888-476-7776 or email  onlinehelp@ismie.com. After business hours, we offer password and login assistance  online

    Questions for our Managing Risk team?

    Call the Risk Management division at 800-782-4767 or email riskmanagement@ismie.com

  • Do You Have Our Social Media Guide?

    If your practice is using social media to communicate with patients – or if you’re just thinking about it – ISMIE has a complimentary resource to share with you.

    “Social Media Guidance for Physicians and Their Practice” is an up-to-date risk management resource that can help practice management professionals and physicians establish policies and specific approaches to situations that can arise when using social media to communicate with patients. 

    To receive a copy, email us with the words "Social Media Guide" in the subject line.

    And if you’re wondering what other ISMIE policyholders are doing on social media, check the following:

    Inforgraphic on doctors social media use