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Mulroe secures streamlined treatment for patients

physical therapy 081618CHICAGO – Patients will no longer have to visit a doctor’s office for a physical therapy referral under a new law sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe.

“State government shouldn’t be in the business of mandating that people see a physician before they can seek treatment from a physical therapist,” Mulroe said. “This legislation will streamline health services, saving people time and money.”

Mulroe responds to veto of plan to support Medicaid patients, providers

mulroe 051618CHICAGO – State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) plans to file a motion to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have helped Medicaid patients in long-term care facilities whose applications take an excessive time to process.

“The governor’s veto of this legislation will hurt patients and long-term care facilities,” Mulroe said. “Without this measure, facilities will continue to not be paid while their patients are waiting for their determination. The governor’s veto will burden patients and providers with the negative effects of a slow, bureaucratic determination process.”

Under current federal law, determinations for long-term care Medicaid applicants must be made within 45 days. House Bill 4771 requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide provisional eligibility and coverage for applicants who have waited more than 45 days until their eligibility is determined.

“The fact that some long-term care facilities have closed because of delayed Medicaid eligibility processing is unacceptable,” Mulroe said. “These facilities need to be paid for the services they provide within a timely manner. I plan to file the necessary paperwork to override the governor’s short-sighted veto.”

Currently, there are more than 8,000 applications pending more than 90 days due to state delay.

Gov. Rauner vetoed the legislation yesterday. Mulroe plans to push a motion forward to override the governor’s veto during the upcoming fall legislative session.

 

Mulroe ensures babies screened for rare diseases

baby 081418CHICAGO – Bureaucratic hurdles standing in the way of newborns receiving life-saving health screenings will be eliminated under a new law sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“Parents need to know if their newborn has a lysosomal storage disorder so they can plan for their child’s needs,” Mulroe said. “Yet, complicated rules have prevented children from being tested for these life-altering diseases for nearly a decade after the law mandated us to do so. Their lives should not be put on the line because of red tape.”

State government operates under a web of purchasing and contract rules which govern how it solicits goods and services. An October 2017 report from the Chicago Tribune found this bureaucracy prevented the state labs from starting up this important newborn testing.

Originally passed in 2007, the Newborn Metabolic Screening Act mandated testing for diseases, including Krabbe. The disease presents no symptoms at birth, but the genetic defect causes a lack of an enzyme that sustains the protective coating around nerve cells, leading to a painful, debilitating condition. If detected early enough, treatments can be arranged to improve the quality of life.

Since the passage of the 2007 law, the initial deadline of 2010 has been extended as the Illinois Department of Public Health struggled to comply with the screening requirements due to a lack of the necessary technology, equipment, commodities and services to meet them. Ten years of regulatory missteps and byzantine state contracting rules prevented the screenings from being performed until December 2017.

House Bill 4745 exempts newborn screenings from those purchasing rules. 

“Illinois has been derelict in its duty to prevent this suffering,” Mulroe said. “This is the first step toward fixing that.”

The legislation was signed into law Friday. It takes effect immediately.

Mulroe plan to fight breast cancer becomes law

mulroe 052418CHICAGO – Women will now be notified if they have dense breast tissue under a new law sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“This new law is an important step forward to provide women with necessary information to make critical decisions about their health,” Mulroe said. “I hope that with this information, women will feel empowered.”

According to a 2014 report from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 26 women in Illinois are diagnosed with breast cancer every day.

House Bill 4392 requires every mammography service provider to inform patients if they have dense breast tissue and provide information on the related risk factors. Dense breast tissue and cancer cells can appear similarly on mammograms, making it more difficult to detect cancer when dense tissue is present.

It also requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to update its published summary to recommend follow-up tests for patients with dense breast tissue.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to promote breast cancer awareness measures,” Mulroe said.

The legislation, which was signed into law Friday, takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Sen. John G. Mulroe

mulroe-2014-150

10th District

Years served: 2010 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Criminal Law; Insurance (Chairperson); Judiciary; Public Health (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunication and Information Technology.

Biography: Born July 21, 1959, in Chicago; BBA, accounting, Loyola University; J.D., Loyola University School of Law; member of Chicago and Illinois State Bar associations; full-time attorney; former assistant state's attorney and arbitrator for Cook County; certified public accountant; married (wife, Margaret), four children.