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Resolutions March Forward

CMS attacks administrative burdens, scope of practice, and maintenance of certification

THE CHICAGO Medical Society’s resolutions process creates a path to legislation. And this year is no exception as CMS launches new proposals for local and national action. Among those measures CMS is carrying forward to the ISMS annual meeting, which meets April 5-7, and to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, are resolutions that address the following:

Unpaid Patient Deductibles and Physician Staff Time
• Requires insurance companies to pay the full fee negotiated on the physician’s contract with the health plan.
• Opposes any contracts with health insurance companies that require physicians to pursue patient out-of-pocket costs resulting from deductibles and co-pays created by insurance companies.
• Calls for legislative implementation.

Herbal Remedies and Dietary Supplements
• Creates a licensing body to oversee herbal remedies and dietary supplement manufacturers.
• Requires the products to be analyzed and for stricter advertising and labeling guidelines.
• Requires manufacturers to supply proof that their products have health benefits.
• Provides that manufacturers pay the cost for increased oversight.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests
• Endorses the AMA, FTC, FDA and CDC recommendations establishing policies for datasharing, educating participants about the risks and benefits of genetic studies by each genetic testing company.
• Modifies HIPAA rules to prevent genetic testing entities from transferring the date of birth and state of residence to third parties which may result in the re-identification of the user based on surname inference.
• Urges Congress and HHS to extend the consumer protections of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 by adding long-term care, disability insurance, and life insurance to the Act.

Topical OR and ER Medications for Postdischarge Patient Use
• Amends the Illinois Pharmacy Practice Act to allow specific patients to take home topical antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, dilation, and glaucoma drops or ointments used in the hospital provided they come from stored stock supplies on standby, or are retrieved from a dispensing system, or brought in from an outside pharmacy.
• Supports properly counseling, labeling, and dispensing of applied, unlabeled operating and emergency room-derived topical medications to specific patients on discharge.
• Promotes measures to reduce medicine waste, reinforce facility adherence to the regulations, and educate the public and health care providers about the benefits and cost-savings to patients.

Anesthesia Care
• Opposes any legislation that seeks to expand the scope of practice including independent practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Legalization of Marijuana for  Recreational Use
• Does not support legislation seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois.
• Calls for broad medical input into any rulemaking or other processes establishing regulation of recreational marijuana.
• Commits to maximizing the safeguards so as to limit adverse events and further continue the scientific study of marijuana.

Maintenance of Certification
• Calls for an immediate end to mandated secure, pass/fail MOC exams and the “Quality Improvement/Practice Improvement” components of MOC until the independent “Vision Commission” releases its final report.
• Affirms that review and analysis are essential to assessing the value of MOC on patient outcomes.

Removing Ethylene Oxide as a Medical Sterilant
• Supports the substitution of ethylene oxide with less toxic alternatives, including hydrogen peroxide, steam, and other safer alternatives, which do not release carcinogens into the workplace or community and allow no residual exposures to the patient.
• Urges the prevention of emissions or the phaseout of EtO and replacement with other safer methods of sterilization in health care. • Provides that when health care facilities are evaluating surgical and medical devices that require sterilization, in addition to effectiveness of the device for best patient outcomes, that the facilities also be required to prioritize the modes of sterilization for the highest degree of worker and environmental safety.

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