Category Archives: Healthcare Practice

A physician shortage is a complex concept with many moving variables

Among healthcare industry professionals, a national physician shortage is frequently debated. The rising costs of education and medical malpractice premiums are frequent scapegoats. The Illinois physician community is one where young doctors are asked whether they will remain and practice or seek a in a nearby state, something easier to do with the multi-stateIllinois License licensure compact.

Some perceive Chicago’s market as being saturated with too many doctors while rural residents complain of shortages of doctors and are willing to look for doctors who can perform certain tasks by using telemedicine (mobile healthcare). Meanwhile, Southern Illinois University is addressing the physician job market downstate, the reports of which may be noteworthy to young physicians in Chicago and all over Illinois.

One thing young doctors may agree on is the perceived medical malpractice policy problems.

Rising malpractice premiums in Illinois are a concern to many and when surveyed, young physicians may be likely to agree that they share concerned about rising costs of practice along with school loans and a competitive physician marketplace in the Chicago area. However, agreeing with shared concerns alone is not likely the primary factor in deciding where to practice medicine.

A physician market saturation may drive new graduates to find jobs in other areas.

If young doctors cannot find jobs in Illinois, they may start looking to other states in need of young doctors. Those who work in physician talent recruiting and staffing may suggest that information about physician job opportunities may not be as easy to find compared to a professional working in accounting who can easily find jobs using sites like Google and Craigslist.

As senior physicians retire, there are new opportunities to join and grow with some very reputable medical groups all over Illinois, where practices are managed well, and their doctors are quite stable and satisfied with their careers.

Many young physicians leaving Illinois are returning to their home states.

Nowhere in the Midwest can you find as many medical schools as you will in the State of Illinois. Many to-be physicians come to Illinois for school and are open to many opportunities. Some say from the first day of school that they want to graduate and move back to their home state to practice where they know people in their communities. Others are open to whatever prospects may be attractive at the time. With the growth smaller Midwestern cities and states, the opportunities back in young physicians’ home towns may be affecting the rate of young doctors leaving Illinois and returning home early in their career.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

 

Advertisements

Illinois is a principal license designate state for the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Illinois LicenseUntil recently passed legislation, Illinois was not a state of principal license designate for physicians for purposes of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued a statement on the process in a press release:

“Physicians may now elect Illinois as a ‘State of Principal Licensure’ as part of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (“Compact”). Physicians licensed in Illinois can file a request through the Compact’s website to have their education, training and background reviewed by the State of Illinois to determine Compact eligibility. If a physician meets the Compact qualifications, as determined by the State of Illinois, a “Letter of Qualification” will be issued. The “Letter of Qualification” may then be presented (via the Compact Commission) to other Compact states to request issuance of an ‘expedited’ physician license for the applying physician.[i]

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact:

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB3680, which took effect January 1, 2016 by which the State of Illinois joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, becoming the 11th state to join the Compact. By joining in the Compact it is suggested that Illinois healthcare organizations and communities will benefit by the ability to recruit and retain qualified physicians from among the Compact states.

Physicians who wish to practice in multiple states are now able to do so without the additional traditional licensure applications and procedures. An expedited application process to be reciprocally licensed in neighboring states allows for more opportunities for physicians, especially those who live and practice in northern Illinois who may wish to be able to practice over the border in Wisconsin.

For more information about the Compact and physician licensing, please contact the health law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] IDFPR Press Release: Illinois Now a State of Principal License Designate for Physicians, Sept. 7, 2017

Full practice authority: Illinois nurses empowered by new law

Illinois LicenseThis was a good week for Illinois nurses, especially those who licensed as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 313 into law on September 20, increasing the authority of registered and licensed Illinois nurses by lifting certain licensing regulations for the administration of some healthcare services. Upon satisfying certain qualifying criteria, an APRN may be eligible for full practice authority. In a healthcare industry already struggling with a shortage of qualified nursing professionals, this update to Illinois law will not only benefit practicing nurses but also the residents of the State of Illinois seeking efficient and effective healthcare services.

From Governor Rauner’s Press Release:

“This will empower nurses to administer the services that they are fully equipped and educated to perform,” said Gov. Rauner. “I’m happy that Illinoisans across the state will be able to rely more on highly qualified and skilled nurses to deliver care when access to a physician may be inhibited due to costs or geographic barriers.[i]

Requirements for APRNs to qualify for full practice authority:

House Bill 313 amends the Illinois Nurse Practice Act with the addition of certain practice definitions and guidelines for certain nurses in a path to full practice authority, making better use of the education and hours of experience held by nurse professionals in their advancing career paths.

The new law allows an APRN certified as a nurse midwife, a clinical nurse specialist, or a nurse practitioner with a minimum of “250 hours of continuing education or training and at least 4,000 hours of clinical experience” to file a notarized attestation of same with the Department to be conferred with the benefit of full practice authority[ii].

Full practice authority is defined by the Nurse Practice Act as follows: “The authority of an advanced practice registered nurse licensed in Illinois and certified as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse midwife to practice without a written collaborative agreement and be fully accountable: (1) to patients for the quality of advanced nursing care rendered, (2) for recognizing limits of knowledge and experience, and (3) for planning for the management of situations beyond the advanced practice registered nurse’s expertise.[iii]

Licensed Illinois nurses should contact the health law and licensing firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates with questions and for assistance with the new changes in the law.

# # #

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] Illinois.gov, Press Release: Gov. Rauner expands registered nurse practice authority, Sept. 20, 2017.

[ii] Illinois Nurse Practice Act, 225 ILCS 65/65-43 (b).

[iii] Illinois Nurse Practice Act, 225 ILCS 65/65-43 (a).

How do you know if you have an opioid problem?

Anyone can develop an addiction to painkillers. Doctors, nurses and all healthcare professionals are tasked with monitoring patients to whom opioids are prescribed. We hear news stories about pill mills, billing fraud and monitoring programs to keep patients safe and prevent drug diversion and downstream black market sales. Meanwhile, who is monitoring the healthcare professionals up stream? It is too easy to imagine what an addict looks like or where they are getting their pain killers, sometimes it is harder to look right in the mirror.

People with abuse and addiction propensities may not be aware of the stronghold opioids can take on someone’s life. It is said that at stages of addiction the synapses are not firing the same and judgment can be impaired. The moment of realization of not being able to quit taking opioids can certainly be one of shock, fear and loss of control.

You might be able to stop for a day or more, maybe a week or two. Without getting proper detox and rehabilitative care, the cycle of use and addiction is not likely to stop on its own. Once people accept that they have no control over the addiction it can be easier to ask for help, especially when they can accept with the help of others that it is not their fault and it is a disease, from which they can be cured.

Not everyone who uses opioids safely and under a physician’s monitoring is or will become addicted. There are a few signs and symptoms of which to be aware.

Salem, Virginia’s Mount Regis Center for hope, treatment and recovery shares a list of symptoms of opioid addiction as follows, noting that not all individuals with addiction will display all the symptoms. That said, the following are common[i]:

“Mood symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoric mood for a few hours
  • Irritability

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Forging prescriptions for opiates
  • Stealing narcotics from friends and family
  • Robbing pharmacies and other medication dispensaries
  • Not fulfilling familial and other responsibilities
  • Decreased performance at job or school
  • Preoccupation with obtaining, using, and recovering from usage of opiates
  • Lying to others to cover the amount of drug taken
  • Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities
  • Social isolation
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy

Physical symptoms:

  • Exhaustion
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sedation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Psychological symptoms:

  • Addiction
  • Memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Worsening of mental health
  • Decrease in emotional well-being
  • Increase in symptoms of mental illness”

The article about opioid abuse and addiction is worth your review and covers co-occurring disorders, statistics, causes, symptoms and the effects of opioid withdrawal.

The more we learn and share about addiction, the more proactive we all may be in helping our family, friends and colleagues when we see someone may be in trouble and not know why.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] Mount Regis Center website, Opiates – effects signs and symptoms

How safe is your day or med spa, and what do you know about regulations?

Illinois LicenseTechnology has increased the options in cosmetic health and wellness beyond the days of plastic surgery being the main alternative procedure when face creams and treatments fail to do the job. Today we can go to an esthetician at a medical spa for laser treatments and Botox injections with as much ease as going to get a haircut. While Day and Med Spas are becoming increasingly popular, so are the occasional news report of a problem with a service or treatment. Would you know whether the person performing skin laser treatments is required to be licensed and at what level? Is the person working with you covered by their malpractice insurance? To whom would you make a complaint? The more information we know about the law and Med Spas, the better we can use these facilities and share knowledge with one another.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Responsibility (IDFPR) regulates medical spas.

There are several Esthetician[i] professions regulated and licensed by the IDFPR. These state licensed health and wellness professionals must complete specific education requirements and pass state required examinations to obtain their professional license required to practice.

Esthetic services provided at day and med spas are “treatments that affect layers of skin below the surface or treatments that affect other soft tissues of the body, or which are injected (Botox) or removed from the body (liposuction) are medical procedures that which require direct medical supervision. These procedures should only be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician.

What may happen when injuries or damages occur at a med spa?

In 2010, the IDFPR issued a news release warning the public to be more aware of spa treatments that can be performed by a licensed cosmetologist or an esthetician.[ii] With an increase in day and med spas, there are more people new to using these types of services, who may be at risk of “infections or injuries caused by untrained or unsupervised attendings performing what, in some cases, are actual medical procedures.[iii]

In the event of injury or infection, a patient may seek reimbursement for damages directly or through and insurance claim or lawsuit. If the damages are a result of medical procedures performed by an untrained or unsupervised attendant, and not the licensed cosmetologist or esthetician, there could be additional investigations and discipline on the behalf of the state, through the IDFPR and other authorized agencies.

About the American Med Spa Association and its resources

To learn more about the day and med spa treatments, particularly those considered medical procedures requiring a licensed esthetic professional, the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) website for Illinois offers answers to frequently asked questions by the consumers of day and med spa services. The site covers issues involving federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as FDA and DEA information about the substances and products used in treatments.

If you have more questions about day and med spas in Illinois and want to learn more, contact the health law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

 

[i] “The practice of esthetics covers a wide array of techniques that may include (but certainly is not limited to) steaming, waxing, extraction, chemical peels, and pore cleansing.” http://www.estheticianedu.org/what-is-an-esthetician/

[ii] IDFPR News Release: State Warns Holiday Shoppers to Remember: Safety First, Many Day and Med Spa Treatments Need Doctor Supervision. Dated December 15, 2010.

[iii] See HNii above.

PODCAST: Healthcare IT and revenue cycle management solutions and safeguards

craig evansToday’s interview with healthcare consultant, Craig Evans, focuses on healthcare information technology and revenue cycle management. In the patient billing and payment systems there are opportunities to increase efficiency and return on investment which can also benefit healthcare providers with regulatory compliance and reducing the risk of errant and fraudulent medical billing through the implantation of proper healthcare practice management software.

Please use this link to listen to the podcast

Topics covered in this 30-minute interview:       

  • What are the challenges and opportunities in the healthcare revenue cycle?
  • What can healthcare practices do about patient high deductible insurance plans?
  • How can healthcare providers reduce their claim rejection rates?
  • What kinds of data should practice managers be analyzing to best manage the revenue cycle?

Craig Evans helps healthcare practices streamline and maximize billing operations, select electronic medical records systems and start new ventures. With 30 years’ experience, his independent and hospital-based providers benefit from a broad-based yet detailed understanding of workflow and reimbursement challenges. Craig Evans works with Ebix, Incorporated as a Regional Business Development Executive.

To connect with Craig Evans please call the Illinois Professional Licensing Associates by dialing (773) 631-4850.

# # #

Michael V. Favia & Associates are available to advise and represent healthcare professionals and the general Chicagoland community with a variety of legal issues. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburbs, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion.

For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please call (773) 631-4580, visit www.IL-Licensing.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You may also connect with Attorney Michael V. Favia on LinkedIn and on Avvo.com where you may also read client endorsements and reviews.