buy percocet 2015 Legislative Update « ACOFP – IL


2015 Legislative Update

By Betsy D. Mitchell
ACOFP–Illinois Legislative Consultant
March 11, 2015

Another busy legislative session is underway in Springfield. To date over 6000 bills have been introduced. Many bills from past sessions have been re-introduced with new bill numbers but the same content as before; among them include: the Home Birth Safety Act (certifying lay midwives), APN independent Practice, mandatory Hep C Screening, and EKGs for all student athletes. Illinois ACOFP and IOMS remain “opposed” to these bills.
Other hot topics in the legislature include:
• Opioids: There are over 20 bills introduced dealing with opioids this year. In the wake of a large increase in heroin-related overdose deaths, Illinois House lawmakers convened a Task Force on the Heroin Crisis, which has been holding hearings all across Illinois for the past year. On Feb. 23rd, the Illinois State Medical Society presented testimony to the Task Force and submitted a 30-page report which includes ideas for strengthening the state’s existing Prescription Monitoring Program. . IOMS and IAFP Legislative Committees reviewed ISMS’ preliminary plan and offered comments.

Leader Rep. Lou Lang (D/Skokie), the primary sponsor of HB 1 (creates the Heroin Crisis Act) wants mandatory CME a more extensive Prescription Monitoring Program ran by the state. ISMS provided Rep. Lang with a copy of the ISMS recommendations, but he was not very receptive to anything he viewed as less restrictive. While Lang acknowledged that everyone will probably oppose his initial language ISMS has drafted an amendment they plan to offer to Leader Lang . We anticipate this issue remain in flux throughout session.
• Immunizations: Providers are working on passing rules to strengthen the religious exemption process in Illinois. Despite the recommendations from both the ICAAP Immunization Advisory Committee (IAC) and the head of IDPH, the Governor’s office has objected to the inclusion of yearly physician visit as a requirement for religious exemption and has stripped this from the recommendation replacing it with a form that merely states the pro/cons of vaccinations. Alternately, the IAC approach is based on the success in other states of requiring education before exemptions were granted. A coalition is moving forward with a two pronged approach:
1. Drafting a letter to the governor encourage his support of the IAC recommendations
2. Submitting an amendment to be filed by Rep. Robyn Gabel (D, Evanston)
In addition, there are at least three resolutions and two senate bills addressing tightening of religious exemptions: SB1410, SB1776 and HR144, HR184 and HJR26
Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Brief: On February 18, newly sworn-in Governor Rauner unveiled his budget to the General Assembly. The proposed budget calls for no tax increases or new taxes and proposes more than $6 billion in cuts in state spending on universities, health care, local governments and other areas, including reductions in pension benefits for state workers. Governor Rauner’s $31.5 billion spending plan is now before members of the Illinois General Assembly to debate, especially among Democrats, who hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the legislature.
Here are some proposed reductions that impact healthcare and human services:
• The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services reports they are the largest insurer in Illinois with 3.18 million individuals covered by Medicaid. As such, they will continue to move up to 60% of their covered population to managed care and reinstate Medicaid eligibility redetermination.
o Another goal will be evaluating the results of different care coordination models.
o Their overall budget was reduced by $1.47 billion (roughly 10%)
• The Illinois Department of Public Health receives only 19% of their budget from the state’s general revenue fund which was reduced by 16% or $21.8 million. Director Shah indicated they will delay hiring and filling vacancies to accommodate some of these cuts.
o A 10% cut will be implemented to numerous grant programs while local health protection grants will be maintained.
o The Tobacco Settlement Recovery Fund will be reduced by $3.1 million with specific cuts to the Tobacco Quitline and Tobacco Free Communities.
• The Illinois Department of Human Services budget reduction totals $423 million, including a 50% cut ($18.5 million) to mental health care coordination.
In addition, the Governor’s budget would re-impose the 2012 state law known as the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together, or SMART, Act, which cut most adult dental services, podiatry services and a four drug limit for children; all of which were later reinstated at an estimated $320 million.
Work is underway as the leaders in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle attempt to reconcile their priorities and compromise on a state budget that needs to pass in both chambers by May 31st – stay tuned throughout session! There is much talk that this session will go into an overtime session.
Here is the link to the Office of Management and Budget: You should be able to select the proposed budget items you wish to view.

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