If your office sees Medicare patients, a blitz of new ID Cards will begin appearing at your check-in desks in April.

Coming in April of 2018 new Medicare ID Cards will be sent by mail to all beneficiaries.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is preparing an initiative designed to combat fraud and better protect patients.

The big change is that the cards will NO longer contain society security numbers. Instead, they will use a unique, randomly-selected number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), and 11-digit number using alpha and numeric characters. The MBI will replace the current Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), which is based on patients social security number.

The new cards will begin to be mailed out in April 2018. The transtiion period that will run from April 2018 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Test your system and work with your billing staff to ensure that your medical office will be ready to use the new MBI format.

Questions, call Sue at the Medical Soicety officee at 815/744-5676 or email her at wgcms220@outlook.com



Effective January 1, 2018, Six insurers will administer medical benefits to Medicaid recipients across the state of Illinois.

This plan will move 80% of Medicaid  enrollees  will be moved into Managed Care in every county in Illinois.

Contracts will go into effect January 1, 2018 for those who are already enrolled in managed care. Enrollees who are new to managed care will join on April 1, 2018.

Insurers are:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of ILL, Harmony Health Plan, Molina Healthcare of ILL., Meridian Health, IlliniCare Health Plan, and CountyCare (which will operate only in Cook County).



New this year the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will no longer mail a second paper renewal notification for your DEA registration. Instead it will be sent to you by email.

All licensed medical practitioners who prescribe controlled substances must secure a registration from the DEA every three years (3). This will go by your initial DEA registration date.

You will receive your paper reminder about two months before it expires, followed by an email reminder for those who have a DEA registration.

For more information visit the DEA website.

Medicare’s MU Program

Physicians who are eligible to participate in the Medicare’s Meaningful Use (MU) program in 2017, but have never attested before are to receive a negative payment adjustment in 2018.

To ease the burden on physicians and avoid a financial penalty, the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a one-time hardship exception for 2017 first-time reporters who plan to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS program).

For more information, visit CMS’s web page, Payment Adjustments & Hardship Information. You will be able to download the application for hardship along with instructions.

Senate Bill 1348, which extends the sunset of the Medical Practice Act until December 31, 2019.

The bill passed the General Assembly unanimously. This is a two year renewal.

House Bill 311 has passed the House of Representatives. The bill was previously approved by the Senate and will now be sent to the Governor Bruce Rauner for signature.

This legislation creates several new protections for consumers who purchase state regulated private health insurance plans. The NAT Act empowers consumers to make more informed choices when purchasing health insurance, and offers peace of mind that they are actually getting what they pay for, Dr. Nestor Ramirez, ISMS President was quoted as saying.

Here are a few highlights of the bill:

  1. Insurance companies will have to make sure their networks meet patient needs. They must have enough health facilities and doctors, including specialists, in close proximity to where their policyholders reside.
  2. Health plans must be more transparent. Insurers must maintain updated provider directories. If a doctor or hospital is dropped  from network, they will have to notify patients in a timely matter to avoid surprise out-of-network charges. Doctors will have  new patient notification requirements if they choose to leave a network.
  3. Patient care will not be disrupted due to changes in health insurance networks. A patient’s doctor may be dropped from the network, but pregnant women or patients with complex medical conditions will be able to stay with their doctor long enough to make a smooth transition – without getting charged extra.

Medical Publishing, LLC has published the Illinois Healthcare & Hospital Guide. Please find your complimentary copy via the enclosed link.



A physician-patient relationship is established once an appointment has been made for a patient to see a physician.

So what do you do when it ends?

Physicians may withdraw for a physician-patient relationship, provided the relationship is terminated in the proper manner. However, termination of the relationship can be difficult in some situations.

Learn more with ISMS medical legal guideline, Physician-Patient Relationship: Withdrawal or Termination. This resource covers  various circumstances in which ending the relationship may be desirable,and discuses the process for terminating  the relationship. This is offered by ISMS to members only and is password protected.



On October 22, 2016 the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) along with the Drug Enforcement Administration will be promoting Safe Medication Disposal by mailing out more than 11,000 promotional kits to Illinois Physicians.

These kits will feature critical information for doctors and patients, including details about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day!

All members of ISMS can get electronic copies of the ISMS Take-Back Kit are available to anyone at http://www.isms.org/TakeBack


Thank you for visiting the Will-Grundy County Medical Society website.



Feel free to contact us at P.O. Box 275, Channahon, IL 60410,  or phone 815/744-5676 or reach us through our Contact Page.


Various members are associated with the following:

Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center, now part of Presence Health

Silver Cross Hospital

Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers

Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital

Become a member today.  For a membership application, click here.  Press the “More” button for Print and/or E-mail Options.


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