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CMS Alerts Governor Pritzker of Potential Liabilitly Issues for Physicians

March 26, 2020

The Honorable J.B. Pritzker
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Pritzker:

We applaud all the bold actions you’ve taken to date to protect the health of Illinoisans and equip the medical profession with the tools and resources it needs to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Given that a number of states have exempted non-physician professionals from existing requirements, we anticipate that allied health professionals in Illinois will take advantage of the worsening pandemic to advance their own interests and agenda.

We are concerned that during the coronavirus pandemic organizations representing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified registered nurse anesthetists have been lobbying for independent practice, or the lifting of supervision requirements, disguised as a way to expand access to care during a national emergency.

Since most emergency care takes place in hospitals, and is provided by multidisciplinary physician led teams, independent practice is unnecessary. Physicians, however, have deferred elective procedures and reduced private practice clinic hours in order to care for vast numbers of sick people in our state. We have made the ultimate sacrifice. While some of the scope expansions and suspensions have been touted as “temporary,” these actions are very hard to take back once in place.

Should the State of Illinois consider independent practice for these allied health professionals, we respectfully request to have a seat at the table during discussions so that physicians have a voice in any implementation.

Any changes in the law could have unforeseen consequences, both in the immediate and long-term. Patient safety and quality of care remain paramount.

A. Jay Chauhan, DO, FAOCO
President, Chicago Medical Society

Tariq Butt, MD
President- Elect, Chicago Medical Society

Vemuri Murthy, MD
Chairman of the Board, Chicago Medical Society

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