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Hep C Screening Bill Advances

Contact your representative today to urge a “No” vote

Senate bill 661, which mandates primary care physicians to offer Hepatitis C screening to adults born between 1945 and 1965, has passed in the Illinois State Senate and is now under consideration in the State House of Representatives. The Illinois State Medical Society and the Chicago Medical Society oppose the bill.

The proposed legislation is based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. ISMS and CMS believe in the appropriateness of Hepatitis C screening guidelines; more than 36,000 cases of Hepatitis C have been reported to the Illnois Department of Public Health in the last five years. These individuals would not have been identified without the screening ordered by physicians.

Yet ISMS and CMS remain extremely concerned that the bill sets a dangerous precedent by mandating the practice of medicine. Clinical guidelines frequently change as new technology, pharmaceuticals and treatments are discovered and implemented—changes that the legislature will never be able to keep pace with.

A vote can happen any day. Please contact your representatives to urge them to vote “No” on SB 661.

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