One of the Illinois Psychiatric Society's major goals is to advocate for our patients and profession. We do this through the work of our Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC,) our Council, our contract lobbyist(s), our Executive Director, and individual members at the grassroots level.
Our advocacy positions can range from monitoring, interested party, support, active support, opposition and active opposition, depending upon the nature of the subject and the impact that the proposed legislation will have on our patients and profession.
The Illinois General Assembly is underway and IPS is working diligently on a number of bills/issues including those below. (Take Action Information will be posted here soon.)
Senate Bill 2272
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.
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.
House Bill 3498
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.
House Bill 77
FOSTER CHILD-PSYCH DRUGS (IPS opposes this bill.)
Sets rules for prescribing to children in DCFS care, but a comprehensive program for monitoring the safety and appropriateness of psychotropic medications for children in substitute care has been in effect already for many years.
House Bill 2595
INSURANCE-MENTAL HEALTH - Medical Necessity (IPS supports this bill.)
This bill requires insurers to provide coverage for medically necessary treatment of mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions. Medical necessity is defined by currently accepted clinical guidelines determined by non-profit professional organizations of the clinicians primarily responsible for the care of patients with any given condition.
Senate Bill 177
PRIOR AUTHORIZATION REFORM ACT (IPS supports this bill.)
Provides requirements concerning disclosure and review of prior authorization requirements, denial of claims or coverage by a utilization review organization. Provides that health care services are automatically deemed authorized if a utilization review organization fails to comply with the requirements of the Act. Provides that the Director of Insurance may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $250,000 for violations of the Act.
Senate Bill 1568
GUARDIANSHIP-PSYCHOLOGISTS (IPS opposes this bill.)
This bill would allow clinical psychologists to perform the evaluation of patients relating to the adjudication of disability, in spite of their lack of medical education required to diagnose the patient's condition, and to determine the degree of disability caused by the condition.