The Illinois Medical Practice Act is an essential state law that governs the practice of medicine in our state; without it, any person regardless of quali cation could practice medicine in Illinois without restriction or penalty. Because medicine is an ever-changing eld, the Act is set to expire on a regular basis, enabling the legislature to ensure that the law keeps pace with the current state of medical practice. Unfortunately, this regular expiration has also allowed politicians and interest groups to use this indispensable piece of legislation as a tool for exercising political in uence.
A downstate doctor has filed for a Preliminary Injunction to quash a subpoena from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Department sent a subpoena for records to a Hospital at which the doctor had worked in the past. However, the subpoena was part of an ongoing case, and the Department did not sent a copy of the subpoena to the doctor or his attorneys. Also, some of the the Department’s investigative procedures pursue the to 225 ILCS 60/7.5 were ignored. Pursuant toe 68 Ill. Admin. Code 1110.40 the Department must follow the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure with respect to subpoenas.
Recently, an Arizona Appellate Court ruled that the Office of Administrative Hearings does not have the authority to hold a party in contempt. Only the superior court has the power to hold a party in contempt. So if a party will not comply with an Administrative Law Judge’s decision, the other party must seek relief in Superior Court. Whitmer v. Hilton Casitas Homeowners Association.
Effective January 1, 2019, the Illinois Grandparent Visitation Act (750 ILCS 5/602.9) will be modified to require that grandparents seeking visitation rights with grandchildren whose parents are not married, will only need to establish the parent child relationship with the parent to whom they are related. Currently, parental grandparents need to establish paternity by a court of competent jurisdiction. Grandparents can petition a court for visitation if they are unreasonably denied visitation and if they can prove that the child is suffering undue emotional, physical or mental harm.
Addiction to prescription painkillers is an ongoing problem in our society. With addiction and misuse of the drug, comes heavy fatalities. According to a report by the CDC, drug over doses killed a staggering 63,632 Americans in 2016, with more than two thirds (66%) being due to prescription or illicit opioid.
Governor Bruce Rauner, will soon be looking into a bill that has proposed that in order to avoid overuse and overdoses of opioids, certain patients should be allowed temporary access into the states medical marijuana program.
According to Senator Don Harmon, the legislation which passed with bipartisan and supermajorities will be soon placed in front of the republican Governor.
Medical marijuana, being given and allowed in place of prescription painkillers and opioids will not end and subside the endemic of opioid overuse, however it may help to curtail it. Studies and reports have shown reduction in opioid-related fatalities and opioid prescriptions in states that allow the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.
According to Sen. Harmon this bill has a number of benefits as it would do more than just assist pain patients in taking part in what would be called “Opioid Alternative Pilot Program”. It would significantly reduce waits for other patients to get access to one of the state’s approved cannabis dispensaries after their doctors certify that they have one of the 41 qualifying conditions. Patients are waiting 60 to 120 days for documents to be processed by the state so they can receive program membership cards.
According to this proposed bill, patients for the traditional medical cannabis pilot program would almost immediately receive provisional permits to buy less than 2.5 ounces of cannabis from dispensaries every two weeks for up to 90 days after they submit the required forms and certifications from their doctors. The long term applications can then be processed meanwhile.
This bill is manufactured in a way to give legal access to medical marijuana for the same time frame that the pain patients would otherwise be prescribed opioids, which are far more addictive and hazardous.
The bill would also eliminate the previous requirement of fingerprinting and background checks, a process that delays the patient from receiving their membership cards.
The bill also proposes to have the application forms filled by the patients themselves, a process that is being heavily billed by some companies, as they take advantage of the patients and have them fill the form through them. The bill outlaws and dismisses such fees and violators could face charges of class C Misdemeanour.
If approved and accepted, this bill could potentially increase the enrolment of the Medical Cannabis program by almost eight fold.
Medical marijuana is known to help pain patients in various ways. For example, one way medical marijuana could be helpful is in avoiding addiction to prescription painkillers and reduce opioid overdoses. Legislation was passed and Governor Bruce Rauner will be soon weighing in. Allowing people who have been prescribed an opioid, to use marijuana instead could possibly reduce opioid-related fatalities. If the legislation is approved it could increase enrollment in the state’s medical cannabis program dramatically. This bill, if passed, would do more than just assist pain patients who would like to take part in the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program but also drastically reduce wait for other patients to gain access to the one of the cannabis dispensaries. The bill would also eliminate the required fingerprinting and background checks for applications and prohibit physicians from using outside medical and office buildings to examine patients and certify whether or not they would qualify for medical cannabis.
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has recently proposed amendments regarding long term care and medical payment. This rulemaking will require long term care facilities to inform DHFS of any death or discharge of a resident on Medicaid within fifteen (15) calendar days. Changes in patient credit, third party liability, or requests for change in care rates—all information is to be submitted within forty-five (45) days. The information must be submitted via either of two electronic portals. The two portals are MEDI, Medical Electronic Data Intercharge, or EDI, the Electronic Data Intercharge Service Vendor. These amendements will add self-neglect to actions that are to be investigated by APS, Adult Protective Services. This will establish an APS registry which will record the names of caregivers who were found to have abused, neglected or exploited “adult” patients with disabilities ages 18 or older. The APS agency will review the victim’s case record and concur with a finding and recommend whether or not the said caregiver be placed on the registry or not concur and recommend against placement. Caregivers will be notified on the decision and soon as one has been made. Those who will be affected by this rulemaking include any agency which provide adult protective services, caregivers of older or disabled adults, agencies which hire or supervise caregivers and any and all law enforcement and fire protection agencies. This proposed amendements to the Medical Payment (89 IAC 140; 42 III Reg 9052) implements Public Act 100-449.