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Welcome to IPS

As a District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Illinois Psychiatric Society has served as the voice of
psychiatry in Illinois for more than 60 years, representing approximately 1100 physician members trained in the treatment of mental illness.



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 IPS News

Government Warns Physicians They Will Be Penalized For Not Using Electronic Medical Records
In a 1,500-word article, USA Today (2/2, Ungar, O'Donnell) reports that physicians “are being warned by the federal government that they’ll soon be penalized for not using electronic medical records, prompting a backlash from those who say the technology is fraught with problems.” Recently, “a group of 37 medical societies led by the American Medical Association sent a letter to Health and Human Services...saying the certification program is headed in the wrong direction, and that today’s electronic records systems are cumbersome, decrease efficiency and, most importantly, can present safety problems for patients.” The CMS “responded to the criticism late last week, saying it would ease reporting burdens on doctors in a proposed rule to come this spring,” but penalties would not be eliminated.  Click here for more.

New Billing Code to be used for Medicare beneficiaries
Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions account for a significant portion of total program expenditures, but effectively managing these patients has proved challenging for clinicians and policymakers alike. To address this problem, effective January 1, 2015, Medicare began to reimburse physicians and certain other healthcare practitioners for furnishing “chronic care management” services to beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions. Medicare payment for such services is made under the Part B Physician Fee Schedule using a newly created billing code, CPT 99490.  Click here for more information.

IPS member, Dr. Alexander Hilkevitch dies at the age of 97
Click here for the Chicago Tribune article.
Click here for the article

IPS Points Out Rigors of Psychologist Prescribing Law
The Illinois Psychiatric Society has received questions about the specifics of the psychologist prescribing bill that was passed in Illinois last May. Meryl Sosa, executive director of the IPS, has provided a chart comparing a version of the pre-passage bill with the bill that became law. "IPS was able to create a bill that requires extremely rigorous education comparable to that of a physician assistant," wrote Linda Gruenberg, M.D., in a recent issue of the IPS newsletter. "The bill includes restrictions on the patient populations that they may treat as well as restrictions on the medications that they may prescribe. Further, the bill requires additional oversight by physicians through a collaborative agreement." The chart can be accessed here.

Revised APA Practice Guidelines
The Revised APA Practice Guidelines for Psychiatric Evaluation are now available online at: You will be prompted to use your member number to sign-in to access the Web page.

Medicare Reimbursement Penalties Coming
In the proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) advanced several initiatives that, in combination with already existing programs, can affect the reimbursement that physicians will receive from Medicare for their services. APA's Office of Healthcare Systems and Financing has posted detailed information on APA's website, including a chart with 2014 measures that are relevant to psychiatry.

Handbook for Providers of Pharmacy Services
Four Prescription Policy Exception- Antipsychotics

Medicare Opt-Out Rules Clarified
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has assured APA that physicians who have opted out of Medicare can still have referrals and prescriptions for privately contracted Medicare patients covered. The matter was a subject of confusion and concern on the part of APA members after a July 9 report in the Wall Street Journal seemed to indicate that CMS had changed its policy with regard to physicians who opt out of Medicare. But the confusion apparently stemmed from what appears to be a typographical error in a portion of the OIG report quoted by the Journal.

Ellen Jaffe, director of the APA Practice Management HelpLine, contacted CMS and was assured that physicians who have opted out are indeed permitted to order and refer. A CMS official told Jaffe that what the OIG report was intended to convey is that claim denials will be issued to physicians who have not submitted a valid opt-out affidavit.

APA Launches HIPAA Privacy Rule Compliance Manual
This week APA released its updated HIPAA Privacy Rule Manual, a Guide for Psychiatric Practices. The manual includes step by step instructions, checklists, template forms and patient notices, frequently asked questions, a thorough explanation of the regulations, and cross references to useful APA developed materials on issues including treatment of psychotherapy notes and 'minimum necessary' disclosure standards. The manual is a offered as a free benefit for only APA members.  Click here for more. 

 Advocacy Alerts

Let Congress Know Medical Research Funding Matters to You!
Click here for article.

Urge Congress to Repeal the Failed SGR Now! 
APA is urging Congress to repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula during the current lame-duck session. There are only two weeks left for Congress to act – your voice is needed today!

After years of last minute temporary fixes, the current SGR “patch” is set to expire at the end of March 2015. Without a permanent fix, Medicare payments could be cut by nearly 30 percent. Multiple temporary fixes have ended up costing Congress more money than it would currently cost to repeal the flawed SGR and implement a new model. During this lame-duck session, we are urging Congress to repeal the SGR and implement a new payment system that will allow physicians to continue providing the high-quality care our nation’s aging population.

We need your help today! Please contact your Member of Congress, before they adjourn, and ask that SGR be repealed and a new payment system implemented. Click here to contact your Senators and Representative today.
Thank you.




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