On the national scene the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether and in what form the Court will consider the constitutional issues raised by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or at least possibly address the riveting problem of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance.
At the local level, the Chicago Medical Society continues to sponsor the educational activities that members have told us they need. Our well-attended programs include OSHA requirements for bloodborne pathogens, patient safety, health information technology, and financial incentives for demonstrating “meaningful use.” The physicians and office managers who attended these programs scored them as highly informative. More are being planned to assist you through the bewilderingly complex changes in medical practice. Keep in touch with us at cmsdocs.org or ASKCMSDOCS.ORG and plan to attend!
On the state level, your membership linked to ISMS provides funding for critical activities like watching and nudging our legislators in Springfield, otherwise known as lobbying on your behalf.
The good news is that the Illinois Medical Practice Act has been renewed. That document prevents unlicensed individuals little or no education or training from legally engaging in the practice of medicine. Better yet, legislators rejected the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s proposal to double the current medical licensure renewal fee and reduce the renewal cycle to two years or less. We fought hard on your behalf to achieve these victories.
The bad news is that legislators renewed the Act for only one year, and we expect the demand for a fee increase to resurface next year.
We need your support in this ongoing battle so we can continue to engage the forces that would diminish your ability to treat patients.
You can help by renewing your membership, recruiting your colleagues as new members, and donating to the ISMS PAC. It is an unfortunate fact of political life in Illinois that legislators are too often tone deaf unless the musical quality of the argument is amplified by financial contributions.
Thomas M. Anderson, MD