CMS Connect Login:

Login Assistance


Teaching Advocacy

The Chicago Medical Society’s presence in Washington, DC, is one of our proudest advocacy accomplishments. In our legislative rounds last Feb. 23-25, on Capitol Hill, the CMS team used every moment to renew our relationships with lawmakers and forge new ones. Each year we meet with Senate and House Committee leaders, and participate in forums and workshops. This February, we brought a grassroots directive that urges Congress to reintroduce several GME-related bills. The legislation would create 15,000 new medical residency slots, with a special emphasis on primary care.

These visits to Capitol Hill reinforce our year-round representation of physicians on a range of critical issues. We host lawmakers at CMS meetings, and engage representatives in their Chicago offices.

Strong sustained advocacy is the bridge to a better future.

But we need all of you to help create momentum. Grassroots physicians are the source of creative solutions to many problems CMS addresses on your behalf. On page 6 of this issue, you’ll find examples of member-driven proposals to reform the Illinois Insurance Code; ease physician workforce shortages, stop the linking of payment policies with standard of care, and halt misguided maintenance of certification. And be sure to review page 12 for CMS public health advocacy.

Influencing legislation, locally or nationally, requires continuous communication and coordination. We must anticipate lawmakers’ needs, and provide the best information at the right moment.

As CMS provides this leadership, I cannot overstate the importance of individual physicians participating in these advocacy endeavors. It’s a personal and professional imperative. Simply put, there is no substitute for medical societies and individuals advocating together.

That’s why the Chicago Medical Society offers doctors flexible opportunities to complement CMS’ global mission. Our newly established “Key Contacts” program trains members in the art of grassroots advocacy. Led by experts, physicians learn how to cultivate relationships with lawmakers. Program “graduates” relay CMS policies and positions to their representative, and report back to CMS and their colleagues. These connections also benefit the legislators who need our technical knowledge and experience.

The first training session, held on Jan. 24, primed our Key Contacts for immediate action. Only days later, ISMS asked us to spread urgent news about HB 421, a bill to expand the scope of practice for advance practice nurses. This harmful proposal does not even increase the training or education required of APNs.

Our physician advocates got help with calling and writing their elected officials, to warn of the negative impact of HB 421 on health care quality in Illinois. CMS then issued ISMS talking points to all members, with the goal of mobilizing Chicago’s doctors into a unified body. We are speaking with one voice.

In the coming year, you can expect more attempts to encroach upon medical practice. There is no better time to join your Key Contact colleagues who are working to make a difference.

Kenneth G. Busch, MD
President, Chicago Medical Society

Document Actions

Join CMS

Why join?  The Chicago Medical Society offers many benefits, including career placement, advocacy, networking, and member to member collaboration. Click here to explore all the benefits of membership.

CMS Connect

CMS Connect is an exclusive community that allows members to discuss the issues impacting their practices today. Visit CMS Connect today.