New laws: Attorney General recommendations, “right to try” bill

By Gary Scott on January 2, 2016 at 9:18am

As we finish our look this weekend at new laws impacting West Central Illinois, we turn our focus to the Illinois Attorney General.

Attorney General Lisa Lisa Madigan’s office is highlighting some of the new laws for 2016 proposed by Madigan.

Annie Thompson, a spokesperson for the Attorney General, says one law impacts families with loved ones receiving advanced care.

“One that a lot of folks are familiar with will allow nursing home residents and their families to install video or audio recording devices in their rooms to make sure that residents are receiving quality care,” Thompson says.

One measure prohibits hospitals and doctors from demanding payment from crime victims until the victim receives compensation from the state, according to Thompson.

“This law stems from frequent instances in which vendors will take legal action to collect on a crime victim’s bill, while payment from the state is still pending which can be not only emotionally traumatizing for the victims, but it can also be very harmful to their credit rating,” she says.

Other new laws include crackdowns on unlicensed employment agencies, a measure that makes sure victims of sexual assault in Illinois are not billed for their emergency room forensic exam.

Another new state law gives terminally-ill patients greater access to experimental drugs. It’s called the “Right To Try” law, letting those dying take advantage of clinical trials and experimental treatments and medications. The bill sponsor is Michael Connelly of Wheaton.

“If your doctor says it will help you, if the pharmaceutical company says they’re willing to do it, it allows you expedited access to experimental medications that may save or prolong your life,” says Connelly.

Previously, such drugs were only available if they ahd received final approval from the FDA. The law doesn’t mandate that insurance companies cover the experimental treatment.