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Advocacy

The Illinois Psychiatric Society (IPS) has a responsibility to protect patients’ interests by actively participating in the legislative and regulatory process.  We encourage members to share their expertise and express their passion by engaging with IPS and the state legislature to improve conditions for our patients and our profession. 

IPS protects patients by educating elected officials and the public, opposing bills that would be harmful to patients with mental illness or substance use disorders, and by introducing legislation to help people living with mental illness or substance use disorders.  IPS has helped protect the safety of patients by working with the legislature to draft guidelines for prescribing psychologists in Illinois.



What has IPS done for you lately?

Telehealth: With the assistance of APA staff, IPS drafted telehealth legislation, presented by IPS in-person to Illinois legislators in Springfield, just before the pandemic shut-down in March 2020.  IPS also partnered with twenty-four other professional organizations to form the Illinois Coalition to Protect Telehealth, to maintain insurance coverage at the same rate as in-person care, to include audio-only visits, and important rule changes made during the public health emergency. 

Collaborative Care Codes: IPS claimed a victory when the Illinois legislature passed a bill drafted by IPS/APA, requiring the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) and the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) to pay for collaborative care codes that integrates behavioral and physical health care and improves access to quality holistic treatment. 

Uniform Prior Authorization: The legislature also passed an IPS/APA drafted bill requiring the IDOI and HFS to set up committees to revise the process of prior authorization for prescriptions. Finalization is pending for the two uniform prior authorization forms.

More IPS Legislative Accomplishments.

 

What is IPS Working on Now?

The 102nd General Assembly runs from January through June 2021.  While in session, IPS monitors hundreds of the many thousands of bills that state senators and representatives introduce.  Some of them are more important to us than others.  Our lobbyists and members work out strategies to support or oppose bills as they pass through the committees and the two chambers of the General Assembly.  We talk with the sponsors and other legislators and their staffs, to optimize outcomes for our patients, their families and our profession.  Some of the current bills include these:  

PRESCRIBING PSYCHOLOGIST:   (IPS opposes this bill.)  Amends the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act by allowing prescribing psychologists to prescribe medication to children under the age of 17 and seniors, age 65 or older.  It would also allow prescribing rights of Schedule II medications.

Fact Sheet

Reasons IPS opposes this bill:
  • Children’s and adolescents’ bodies and brains continue to develop throughout adolescence and into early adulthood. Their psychiatric conditions are unlike those of adults, and require specialized care.
  • More than half of Americans ages 65 and older have multiple chronic medical conditions. Older adults are often among the sickest patients. The risk of certain diseases increases with age which means that older adults often take multiple medications for medical problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. It is necessary to be knowledgeable about medical conditions as well as psychotherapy issues in order to treat geriatric patients.
  • A board-eligible psychiatrist is a physician with four years of additional residency training beyond his/her four years of medical school education. 
  • Geriatric psychiatrists take an additional year of subspecialty fellowship in the psychiatric care of the elderly mentally ill.  
  • Child and adolescent psychiatrists take two additional years of subspecialty clinical training. 
  • Prescribing psychologists receive only a fraction of the training of physicians treating these most vulnerable populations.

TELEHEALTH SERVICES: (IPS supports this bill.)  This telehealth bill requires that insurance and Medicaid reimburse telehealth the same as in-person treatment and includes phone visits.

More on Current Legislative Priorities 

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Illinois Psychiatric Society
113 McHenry Road, Suite 239
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089