IPS has had some major legislative victories over the years on behalf of our members, patients, families, and the mental health community. We fight for safety.
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.
Eating Disorders in Parity Law:
IPS successfully lobbyied to add eating disorders to the list of mental illnesses covered by the Illinois Parity law. (pica, rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and “any other eating disorder contained in the most recent edition of the DSM")
Network Adequacy and Transparency Act:
IPS supported and successfully lobbyed for this bill introduced by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) that requires Insurance company networks meet patients' needs. That means insurance plan networks must have enough health facilities and doctors, including specialists, in close proximity to where their policyholders live.
It also requires insurers to maintain updated provider directories and ensure that patient care must not be disrupted due to changes in health insurance networks. i.e. A patient's doctor may be dropped from the network, but pregnant women and patients with complex conditions will be able to stay with their doctors long enough to make a smooth transition - without extra charges.
The fight continues for patient safety. IPS has consistently opposed licensure of psychologists to prescribe medication. Nevertheless, in 2014 psychologists were for the first time granted the right to apply for licensure. IPS played a crucial role in the rule-making process of this new law, enforcing educational standards that match those of advanced practice nurses or physician assistants. The new law limited prescribing authority to patients over 17 years of age and under 65 years of age. It also prohibited psychologists from prescribing controlled drugs.
As new amendments come up, IPS continues to stand for quality care and patient safety, and will work tirelessly to educate elected officials and the public on the dangers of expanding prescriptive authority to mental health professionals with inadequate medical training.
IPS supported and successfully lobbied for a bill that would retain an insurance plan’s step therapy program, while providing for an exceptions process when clinically appropriate. It also applies to medical exceptions procedures.
IPS introduced, lobbyied for, and passed a bill that requires an offender's Medicaid benefits to be suspended only and then reinstated upon discharge. This has been very important with the passage in Illinois of Medicaid expansion. Prior to this bill, if an offender entering prison had Medicaid benefits, those benefits were terminated at the time of entrance into prison and thus the prisoner upon discharge would have to reapply for benefits, which left them without any benefits for at least 3 months.