Legislative Updates 

Updated May 20, 2024: 

From Our Lobbyist:

Current List of Bills (May 2024)

The House cancelled session, this weekend. They return on Monday, May 20 at Noon. The Senate returns on Monday at 4:00 PM. Both are scheduled to be in session through Friday, May 24, which is their tentative adjournment date. Both have reserved May 25 through May 31 as contingent session/budget hold dates.

Many deadlines were extended again – some until May 24 or 31. Of course, either chamber may re-extend any deadline, at any time.

Schedule:
Saturday, May 18 – House Session - Cancelled
Sunday, May 19 – House Session - Cancelled

Monday, May 20, 2024 – House Session @ Noon & Senate Session @ 4 pm
Tuesday, May 21 – House Session & Senate Session
Wednesday, May 22 – House Session & Senate Session
Thursday, May 23 – House Session & Senate Session
Friday, May 24 – House Session & Senate Session; Tentative Adjournment
Saturday, May 25 – Friday, May 31 - House Budget Hold Dates & Senate Contingent Session Dates

Membership Changes:
Mark L Walker has been named to Senator Ann Gillespie (S-27, D.)
Someone will be named to Mark Walker’s House seat (H-53, D.)

Please call or email if you have any questions.

Government Strategy Associates
Maureen Mulhall: [email protected] 

Updated January 2024:

ADVOCACY EFFORTS - OUTPATIENT MEDICAID RATE INCREASE

We are pleased to announce a 14.2% increase to the Medicaid rates set forth in the Department of Healthcare and Family Services' therapy provider fee schedule for reimbursement of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists. This was a result of a collaborative effort between ILOTA, IPTA and ISHA.  The ILOTA OP Medicaid task force continues to advocate for increased rates and decreased processes.  We are available for comments and questions. 

Refer to Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services website for details regarding quantities and codes:  https://hfs.illinois.gov/medicalproviders/medicaidreimbursement/therapyfeeschedule.html

Brenda Koverman
Director of Advocacy

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2023-2024 Focus

The ILOTA Advocacy Committee is focusing efforts on passing the Compact Act. This bill would allow Illinois OT practitioners to join an interstate formal agreement among other states to facilitate interstate practice of occupational therapy without having to have a license in each individual state. There are currently 25 other states that have passed legislation to join the compact agreement. The compact agreement will give greater access to occupational therapy services and ease provider burden in providing services across states. We do not have a bill number for this but if you are going to be meeting with your legislator, feel free to use this Compact Act Fact Sheet linked here. Members of this committee are also available to attend legislative events with you or if you any further questions at [email protected].

Highlights of the New Illinois OT Practice Act - Takes Effect on January 1, 2024

We are pleased to introduce you to our new Illinois Occupational Therapy Practice Act. It passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, and was signed by the Governor in July. It will go into effect on January 1, 2024. The Bill is SB 2057 and we will post the revised Act when it is in the official format.

For now, we’ve listed below the highlights. Please view and download this PDF for the details.

  • Direct Access - NO MD order required to evaluate and treat
  • Gender neutral language throughout
  • Definitions included for care-partners and recipient
  • The word recipient may be used instead of patient or client
  • Expands definition for an OTA to include the concept of partnership with an OT
  • New definition of occupational therapy

In addition to these changes the Department added language concerning the licensee’s duty to keep the Department informed of address changes.

From Our Lobbyist:

Current List of Bills (May 2023)

Both chambers return on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at Noon. Both are scheduled to be in session through Thursday, May 4, 2023. The Senate is scheduled to be in session from Friday, May 5, 2023, (through the weekend) up through Friday, May 12, 2023. The Senate 3rd Reading deadline for House Bills is Thursday, May 11, 2023. Friday, May 12, 2023, is the House deadline for Senate Bills on 3rd Reading.

Schedule at a glance:

Tuesday, May 2 – House & Senate Session at Noon
Wednesday, May 3 – House & Senate Session
Thursday, May 4 – House & Senate Session
Friday, May 5 – Senate Session
Saturday, May 6 – Senate Session
Sunday, May 7 – Senate Session

Monday, May 8 – House & Senate Session
Tuesday, May 9 – House & Senate Session
Wednesday, May 10 – House & Senate Session
Thursday, May 11 – House & Senate Session; Senate 3rd Reading Deadline for HBs
Friday, May 12 – House Session; House 3rd Reading Deadline for SBs

Sunday, May 14 – Mother’s Day
Monday, May 15 through Friday, May 19 – House and Senate Session.

Please note that all Deadlines are for substantive (non-appropriation) bills only. The Senate President or the Speaker of the House may extend any deadline on any bill or groups of bills.

If you have any questions, please email or call,

      Government Strategy Associates
      Maureen Mulhall: 217-638-8175 [email protected]

 

IN NEED OF PATIENT/CAREGIVER OR PROVIDER STORIES ABOUT DELAYS WITH RECEIVING OP OT 

The OP Medicaid task force is looking for stories (can be a few sentences or longer) about patients/caregivers or providers who have experienced delays or other barriers in receiving OP OT services.  Please specify age, condition, and location.  We would like to have names, but will take anonymous narratives.  Please send to [email protected] by 4/14/2023. 

2023 Brings Illinois Requirement for Training in Implicit Bias Awareness and Dementia

ILOTA is currently in the process of developing CE courses that will comply with the new one-hour training requirements for Implicit Bias Awareness and on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Similar to the required training in Ethics and Sexual Harassment, the CE courses will be free to current ILOTA members and offered for a nominal fee to non-members. We expect the new courses will be available by August 15, 2023.  

ILOTA is Celebrating an Advocacy Win!

On July 22, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 3308 into law, expanding access to telehealth services across the state. A key component of this law is payment parity - insurance companies will be required to reimburse for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services. Many thanks to Clare Giuffrida, ILOTA's Early Intervention SIS Co-Chair, for representing ILOTA at the signing. For more information, please see the press release at this link.

 

Governor Pritzker presentation

 

Group at bill signing

 

NEWS! Illinois Representative Dagmara Avelar’s Community Back to School Resources Event on August 14, 2021
 

From Our Lobbyist  

Current list of Bills (May 2023)

Legislative News, March 2021

Maureen Mulhall, ILOTA Lobbyist

Freshman Representatives - Illinois House of Representatives

Freshman Senators - Illinois Senate

***IMPORTANT AND NEW (March 2021) INFORMATION FROM THE COALITION TO PROTECT TELEHEALTH***

Contact Your State Rep. to Support Telehealth House Bill 3498 to address the NEED FOR PERMANENT Occupational Therapy telehealth practice after COVID-19

ILOTA is a member of the Coalition to Protect Telehealth that is requesting Illinois telehealth reform legislation to ensure coverage parity and payment parity of telehealth services with in-person services. On Feb. 22, the Coalition to Protect Telehealth, a group of more than 30 leading health care and patient advocacy organizations, including ILOTA, announced its support for the legislation.​ HB3498 was introduced on Feb. 19, 2021, by Illinois State Rep. Deb Conroy and filed as bipartisan legislation to protect Illinoisans' access to innovative telehealth services by mandating coverage and payment parity with in-person care. A press release summarizing the bill can be found HERE. ILOTA is urging our members and their clients to lend their support to House Bill 3498. To ensure that accessible, safe and reliable telehealth that improves patient outcomes continues to be provided after the COVID-19 pandemic, we need the Illinois General Assembly to pass House Bill 3498 for both coverage and payment parity with in-person services.

How you can support this bill:

                * Please forward them this link to a brief online                    survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BHVK5XB 

                * If easier, we can interview via an online Zoom meeting, please send us an email to: [email protected].

If you would like more background information and specific talking points, click HERE.

For a full text on House Bill 3498 (Learn more about the bill)

Here is a complete collection of the resources available:

A. ILOTA Action Alert Announcement on Telehealth Legislation

B. Telehealth Coalition Meeting Minutes - March 1, 2021

C. Telehealth Press Release

D. Sample Letter Template to Send to Your Representative

E. Talking Points on Telehealth

 

ILOTA Virtual Session on February 1, 2021: Advancing OT Through Advocacy and the Legislative Process

The following items are made available as part of our successful virtual session on February 1, 2021, that drew 76 participants. If you have questions or would like to follow up, please contact the session's moderator, Claudia Cirrincione, who is also the chairperson of the Illinois Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (ILOTPAC), at [email protected].

1. Zoom Recording of Session:

 https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/pVC8-Hk_xlMuonEaoKZ332Spj4k-fMhCsoyD8ZSf-xH01o4Wd8LJBiRD_vSkZOW1.789cHu1n-hp7WoRa

 Access Passcode: PWzC7.ZS

2. PowerPoint Presentation for Session (PDF)

3. Resource: Tips for Planning Your Visit with Illinois State Legislators

4. Resource: Advocacy in the Illinois General Assembly

5. Resource: Telehealth Talking Points

6. Resource: AOTA Congressional Successes for Occupational Therapy