Silver Lining in Illinois

If you thought the process to revise the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to produce  DSM-5 might short change science (what little exists) in favor of politics, imagine a gaggle of real politicians legislating diagnosis in the Illinois Senate. IL Senate Bill 679 appears to do just that to the apparent joy of Autism Action Network. As I read it the bill provides that anyone diagnosed with Autistic Disorder under DSM-4 TR will keep benefits they might have lost with adoption of more restrictive DSM-5 criteria.

You can call this a slap in the face to the American Psychiatric Association and DSM-5.

However, in effectively disconnecting benefits from DSM the IL Senate may have freed the authors of the diagnostic manual from external political pressures, allowing them more discretion to give priority to evidence and science rather than financial impact in crafting criteria and categories.

Now if only we could get out from under the AMA's CPT codes so physicians could charge by the hour or by whatever other paradigm we choose, and let the payers and their subscribers fight over reimbursement without trying to put physicians in the middle.

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