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Legislative Highlights

Grassroots efforts had their launch at CMS and now await the governor’s signature

THE CHICAGO Medical Society was the point of origin for several bills that passed both chambers during the marathon spring session. Evolving out of the CMS resolutions process, the measures were carried to the Illinois State Medical Society, for study and adoption. ISMS then introduced those proposals as bills in the state legislature. Some initiatives, while not from CMS, reflect longtime priorities of the Chicago Medical Society. Others were strongly opposed by CMS.

The avalanche of legislation this session included attempts to expand the scope of physician assistants and certified nurse anesthetists. These inappropriate expansions did not advance, thanks to the intervention of the Illinois State Medical Society and other groups.

Certified Nurse Anesthetists  (SB 1683, HB 2813)
Strongly opposed by the Chicago Medical Society and the Illinois State Medical Society, the bills would amend the Nurse Practice Act to allow CRNAs to provide anesthesia independent of a physician. A physician need not be personally present during the delivery of anesthesia services, but only remain “available” for diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of emergency medical conditions.
OUTCOME: the bills failed to advance.

Child Neglect and Abuse Reporting Act (SB 1239)
This Chicago Medical Society initiative introduced by the Illinois State Medical Society amends the Act to require that any report received by the Department of Children and Family Services alleging the abuse or neglect of a child by a person who is not the child’s parent, a member of the child’s immediate family, a person responsible for the child’s welfare, an individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child’s parent shall be referred immediately to the appropriate local enforcement agency and or state’s attorney for consideration of criminal investigation or other action.
OUTCOME: passed both chambers and awaits action by the governor.

Tobacco 21 (HB 0345)
This bill, which aligns with Chicago Medical Society policy, and legislation successfully advanced by CMS in both Chicago and Cook County, raises the age at which tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products may be sold and possessed, from 18 to 21 years of age.
OUTCOME: passed both chambers and was signed into law.

Prohibition on Smoking inCars with Minors Present (HB 2276)
A longtime priority for the Chicago Medical Society, the measure prohibits individuals from smoking in a car when a minor is present whether the windows are open, the car is moving or at rest. Imposes fines for first-time and subsequent offenses.
OUTCOME: passed both chambers and awaits action by the governor.

Removing Ethylene Oxide as a Medical Sterilant (SB1852)
This Chicago Medical Society effort, introduced by the Illinois State Medical Society, prevents ethylene oxide emissions and substitutes ethylene oxide with less toxic sterilization alternatives, including hydrogen peroxide, steam, and other safer alternatives. Additionally, the bill requires facilities to prioritize the modes of sterilization when evaluating surgical and medical devices for the highest degree of worker and environmental safety, in addition to best patient outcomes.
OUTCOME: passed both chambers and awaits action by the governor.

Legalization of Adult Use of Cannabis  (HB 1438)
The Chicago Medical Society and Illinois State Medical Society did not support this legislation. Anticipating the bill might pass, however, CMS called for scientific research on the potential benefits and risks associated with recreational marijuana, and to maximize safety in order to limit adverse events. CMS’ resolution also said that physician input was essential for any rulemaking or other processes establishing regulation of recreational marijuana.
OUTCOME: passed both chambers and signed into law.

Restrictive Covenants—Non-Compete Act (HB 2328, SB 2328)

As proposed in a Chicago Medical Society resolution, the Illinois State Medical Society introduced bills to amend the Hospital Licensing Act to prevent employment agreements between hospitals and physicians from containing provisions that restrict the ability of a physician to leave employment with the hospital or hospital affiliate and immediately continue to practice in the same field of medicine in the same geographic area.
OUTCOME: lawmakers maintained that this is a contracting issue rather than a problem to be addressed in state law, and as such, the bills failed to advance.

Independent Medical Exam—Attorneys  (HB 3714)
Initiated by the Chicago Medical Society’s resolution process, and carried forth by the Illinois State Medical Society, this bill prohibits the presence of an attorney representing any party in an adversarial legal action during an independent medical examination unless consent has been obtained from both the patient and the healthcare professional performing the examination. If an attorney is present, then other parties represented by an attorney must also have their attorney present. Attorneys present during an independent medical examination may not communicate with the patient or health care professional who is performing the medical examination.
OUTCOME: failed to advance.

Illegal Use of DEA Numbers and Prescriber Licenses (HB 2303)
Advanced by the Chicago Medical Society, this effort was introduced as legislation by the Illinois State Medical Society to amend provisions of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act to make it unlawful for any person to knowingly use or possess an Illinois prescriber’s controlled substance license or DEA number for purposes other than prescribing or dispensing controlled substances; insurance processing; professional employment; credentials collecting; or licensure without authorization. The bill imposes fines for fraudulently obtaining any medication or fraudulently creating a prescription or order.
OUTCOME: passed the House unanimously but was held up in the Senate.

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