2020 Session - Week 1
The 2020 Legislative Session got off to a strong start for out top legislative priority this year – a hard cap on noneconomic damages. The groundwork IMS and our coalition partners have done over the past six months to meet with key legislators and arrange for local physicians to reach out to target legislators, was evident as the coalition continued their discussions with legislators this week. Multiple legislators have shared that they have heard from local physicians and facility leadership about the importance of this issue in their area. This week, the coalition in support of a hard cap grew as additional provider organizations, including several midlevel provider groups, officially engaged on the issue. IMS also spent time this week in meetings with legislative leaders and key legislators in both chambers, working to update them on the work that has been done and discussing strategy to move this legislation forward. Thank you to all who have taken action to ensure your legislators hear from their local physicians on the importance of this issue. If you have not already reached out to your legislators, please take a few minutes to do so through the IMS Action Center.
Governor's Budget & Policy Priorities
On Tuesday, the governor delivered her annual Condition of the State Address. This is address is an opportunity to lay out her legislative priorities and budget recommendations for the coming fiscal year. This includes a number of proposals of interest to the medical community.
- $80 million to fully fund the behavioral health system reforms enacted in 2018 and the new comprehensive Children’s Mental Health System created in 2019.
- $5 million to support expansion of telehealth providers and sites of service under the Medicaid program.
- Medicaid policy change to allow schools to be recognized as a site of service for the provision of telehealth services.
- $400,000 to create a year-long Family Medicine OB/GYN Fellowship program for up to four physician fellows annually.
- $100,000 to create a Project ECHO-style telehealth program to support consultations between OB/GYNs and primary care physicians in rural communities to expand access to obstetric telehealth services.
- Allow for pharmacist-administered birth control without an individualized prescription.
Rural Health Access
- Development of a Centers of Excellence pilot program to test regionalized care delivery models to ensure the long-term sustainability of basic healthcare services.
- $500,000 for the development of a state matching grant to support two regional Centers of Excellence pilot programs.
- $400,000 to maintain status quo funding for IDPH-administered medical residency grants.
- $1.4 million to maintain status quo annually funding for the Rural Primary Care Loan Repayment Program.