License Renewal Fee Increases

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

For those that have been following the Statehouse activity the last few years, you have undoubtedly heard us talk about the multiple attempts to increase the licensure fees from $300 every three years to as much as three times that. As the State falls further and further into debt, these discussions are becoming more frequent.  Most recently, we have heard that there may be a push for a 150% increase ($300 to $750) that may be attempted before the new legislators take over in the second week of January.  This means there could be action as early as January 2nd on this issue.

Physician license fees should be used only to maintain the Department of Professional Regulation to administer and regulate physicians in Illinois. In years past, this money had been swept (taken from its rightful fund) and put into the general revenue fund (GRF) to pay for miscellaneous state expenses.  When our doctors’ money is used for GRF, our fee becomes a “tax” and that is something we must oppose.

Please follow this link to take action now!
http://www.capwiz.com/ilchiro/issues/alert/?alertid=62306571&type=ST

Categories: Uncategorized

2013 Workers Comp Fee Schedule: Status Update

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

As announced previously, the IWCC posted the 2013 medical fee schedule on its website; however, it pulled the schedule shortly after due to issues identified by the vendor.

The IWCC announcement:

The 2013 fee schedule was posted, but some problems were identified, and the vendor, Optuminsight, took it down to work on it. Optuminsight is working on adding code descriptions and posting the correct surgical codes to the Hospital Outpatient and ASTC fee schedules, so please view the schedule with caution. We will announce when this work has been completed.

In the meantime, if you identify any issues with the 2013 schedule, please let us know.

The 2013 medical fee schedule is effective on January 1, 2013.

In other news:
Illinois Lawmakers face decisions on health care
Gov Quinn remains optimistic on pension reform
Unemployment down in 11 of 12 Illinois metro areas
Video gambling off to slow start in Illinois

Categories: Uncategorized

Putting in the Holiday Hours

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

After a fairly quiet December 26th at the office, we received one very important phone call from the State.  The Illinois Chiropractic Society had been going back and forth with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and the Department of Insurance on a few recent points regarding who is and isn’t a “physician” and the various technicalities that come along with that responsibility.  After submitting pages of comments to the State on the matter, a lawyer called us back yesterday to get clarification on a few issues. Our points were well taken and are supported by both the state law and the agency’s own rules.

All in all it was a good discussion that we hope will prove fruitful in not only addressing our specific concern, but also in continuing to educate these agencies on the primary care physician status granted to our doctors.

We at the Illinois Chiropractic Society would like to wish the very best to all of our members and their families this holiday season.  Keep safe, and have a happy New Year!

VIDEO: 2012 An Inspiring Year In Review

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2012 Laws In Review: The Everything Else Edition

December 18, 2012 2 comments

The ICS does its best to keep our doctors informed of the latest legislation impacting their offices. As the 2012 year draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the other bills that were passed this year.

Bisphenol A Ban
Bisphenol A (used in some plastics or metal containers) is prohibited in new children’s food or drink containers sold in Illinois.

Drug-Overdose Immunity From Prosecution
A person possessing small amounts of illegal drugs will have limited immunity from prosecution if the charge resulted from seeking emergency care for an overdose victim.

Smokers and Cancer Hospitals
This bill would have allowed Cancer Treatment Centers of America to deny employment to tobacco users. Although the law passed the House and Senate, it was ultimately vetoed by the Governor.

Copper Recycling
To help reduce copper theft, dealers in recyclable metals must now obtain and keep records on the identities of those selling copper.

Internet Dating Safety
Internet dating services must now disclose to all Illinois members if background checks are performed, and whether or not sites allow access to those with criminal convictions.

Job Applicant Privacy
Employers may not ask or require employees or job applicants to disclose social networking passwords or other account information.

“Smart Grid” Law
Approved a 10-year electric infrastructure improvement program, allowing ComEd and Ameren to modernize their electric delivery systems with a commitment to increase jobs by 2,450 during the peak year of the program.

Underage Drinking – Parental Responsibility
It is now a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum $500 fine to knowingly allow any “invitee” under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. If the violation results in great bodily harm or death, the crime will be a Class 4 felony.

Adoption
The normal minimum number of months that child must have been in foster care to be adopted by the foster parents can be waived by a judge if it is in the child’s best interests.

Abuse of a Corpse
Engaging in sexual conduct with a corpse will now be a Class 2 felony… because it was not technically illegal before. And we had to create a law for this. Let that sink in.

“Caylee’s Law”
It is now a Class 4 felony for a parent to not report to law enforcement that a child under 13 is dead or missing.

Legislative Scholarships
August 31st, 2012 was the last date a legislator could nominate a student for a General Assembly Scholarship.

Student Loan Garnishment
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission may garnish wages of any employee to recover student loan debt it owns or services.

Shark Conservation
No one may have or offer to sell shark fin or tail after January 1st, 2013.

Cell Phones and Driving
Cell phone use in all roadway work zones is now prohibited. Previously, the use of cell phones was only prohibited in work zones with speed limit reductions. Also, commercial motor vehicle operators will be prohibited from using a hand-held mobile phone or engaging in texting while driving.

Driver’s Licenses
The Secretary of State may now place information about driving restrictions (such as medical conditions) on driver’s licenses.

Strip Club Tax
Starting 2014, a $3 per patron fee will be charged and proceeds will go for grants to organizations that try to prevent sexual assault and provide services to victims.

Disability Parking
Medical personnel can be prosecuted for knowingly making false certifications of disabilities.

Shotgun Hunting Asian Carp
I’m sad to report that House Bill 5317, which allowed you to hunt Asian carp with a shotgun… from your boat, failed to pass in 2012. But there’s always next year.

Categories: Uncategorized

2013 Fee Schedule Rates Will Increase 1.69%

December 13, 2012 3 comments

The medical fee schedule rates will increase 1.69% in 2013, which is less than half the rate of medical inflation (CPI-M). The fee schedule amounts are now running 37% below medical inflation over the life of the fee schedule.  See the chart comparing CPI-M with CPI-U at http://www.iwcc.il.gov/news.htm#cpi

Section 8.2(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that, each year, fee schedule rates shall increase or decrease by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index-U (CPI-U) in the previous year.

The 2013 rates will be posted as soon as the vendor, Optum, calculates them and obtains information about new and deleted codes. The rates are usually posted at the end of the year.

Other Notable News:
Courts Order Illinois to Approve Concealed Carry
Court Ruling on Concealed Carry Sets Stage for Fight

Court Rules that Quinn Can Close Prisons
Quinn: Let Legal Process Play Out On Prisons

Rep. LaShawn Ford Pleads Not Guilty
Sen. Trotter Arrested for Trying to Take Gun on Plane
Recession is Worst “Fiscal Cliff” Scenario for Illinois
Quinn Hopeful Lawmakers Will Send Him Gay Marriage Bill

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Veto Session Quick Links

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Legislators are back for final 3 days of veto session. I had some requests to provide some more general information about what was going on at around the Statehouse so I compiled a list of single topic links. Let me know if you would like to see more of this in the future.

And finally, if you need some help understanding the pension mess we are in, my favorite source of online education (other than the ICS of course) tried to tackle Illinois’ Pension Problem:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Tczu_dvVuuk]

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Week One Recap

November 30, 2012 4 comments

Crowded House Executive Committee, moments before passing our act’s extension.
image

 

Anytime everyone returns to the Statehouse after an extended period, it feels sort of like the first day of a new school year.  You feel like a chunk of time is spent simply reconnecting with the face and the groups that you will be working with for the foreseeable future.  Although there was some action this first week many of the major looming problems (Pensions, Bonding, Budget) remain unresolved.

Medical License Fee Increase
For the last 5 years the Department has been pushing to increase licensure fees for the DC’s, MD’s and DO’s in Illinois, which the ICS has consistently opposed.  This last session they pushed a bill to double our fees, the session before that they tried to triple them.  The stance of the Illinois Chiropractic Society is that it is unfair for the state to increase license renewal fees when the state has historically swept the money from this fund to pay for the state’s other bills.  When that happens, this becomes a doctor tax, not a fee.

Frequently the renewal of the Medical Practice Act is tied to an agreement or compromise language for some other legislative action.  A fee increase would be the exact sort of thing tacked on to the renewal of our act.  Well, good news is that our Act’s extension (and therefore the definition of what is a physician in the state of Illinois) passed the House and was sent to the Senate without any extra language.  I expect to see a renewed attempt at a fee increase come January.

Medicare Fee Schedule Cuts
The ICS has put out a renewed action alert for the proposed 27% fee schedule cuts sitting in Washington. Please contact your Federal Senator and Congressman with this link: http://www.capwiz.com/ilchiro/issues/alert/?alertid=11585016&type=CO

Categories: Uncategorized
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