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  • 04/08/2021 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    April 6, Wisconsin Health News

    The premium holiday for Wisconsin’s medical malpractice fund will continue until mid-2022 to help offset impacts on providers from COVID-19. 

    Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable notified the Joint Finance Committee last week that he’s requesting that fiscal year 2022 rates for healthcare providers participating in the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund remain the same as the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. 

    The committee has until April 15 to approve the request. Currently, the fund is waiving fees for participating healthcare professionals and providers, per a request from the Wisconsin Medical Society. The premium holiday is set to last until June 30, 2022. 

    OCI spokeswoman Sarah Smith said that the rates will remain the same because the fund won’t be charging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Mark Grapentine, chief policy and advocacy officer at the Wisconsin Medical Society, said independent clinics are still fighting COVID-19 related costs and lost revenue and keeping the status quo for now makes sense. 

    “We’re doing all we can to advocate for those independent clinics who provide such important care to their communities while being on the front lines of the pandemic,” he said in an email. “We’re very fortunate to have a fund that’s run prudently and is in a stable financial condition so that it can provide a little fiscal relief for physicians.” 

    The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund covers claims beyond state-mandated insurance limits, which are set at $1 million by occurrence and $3 million by aggregate annually.

  • 03/22/2021 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    Join your colleagues (virtually) for Doctor Day on May 5, 2021 to fight for your patients, profession and sound health care policy. Doctor Day 2021 will include morning breakout sessions on health equity, public health and the latest legal issues facing physicians so you can customize the day to your interests. Organizers are once again lining up presentations from premier experts and policymakers.

    The schedule features three breakout sessions:

    Health Equity

    What are we doing to achieve long-lasting and equitable health outcomes for ALL Wisconsinites? The State of Wisconsin has an overall health disparities grade of “D” according to a recent University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute Health of Wisconsin Report Card. The Report Card notes that while Wisconsin's grade for overall health has remained the same since 2007, the health disparities grade has worsened since 2010. What are we doing to change this?
    Join us for an outbreak session on local public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson will provide an overview of the challenges and successes Wisconsin's local public health departments faced throughout the last 12 months. As fellow frontline workers, local public health officers have experienced this crisis through the lens of both health care and governmental response to public health crises. 
    The always popular and pertinent legal update will explore the latest “hot topics” physicians need to know about. Axley attorneys Guy DuBeau and Aneet Kaur will walk us through the landscape of litigation trends, scope of practice developments and more.

    Public Health
    Join us for an outbreak session on local public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson will provide an overview of the challenges and successes Wisconsin's local public health departments faced throughout the last 12 months. As fellow frontline workers, local public health officers have experienced this crisis through the lens of both health care and governmental response to public health crises. 

    Legal Update
    The always popular and pertinent legal update will explore the latest “hot topics” physicians need to know about. Axley attorneys Guy DuBeau and Aneet Kaur will walk us through the landscape of litigation trends, scope of practice developments and more.

    To learn more about this virtual day of advocacy, go to widoctorday.org to register (it’s free) and see the day’s agenda. Please contact Heidi Green with any questions.

  • 02/25/2021 1:50 PM | Anonymous

    Bailey_Susan.jpgWisconsin Doctor Day - May 5, 2021

    Opening Keynote Address Featuring AMA President, Susan R. Bailey MD
    Dr. Susan R. Bailey, a distinguished allergist/immunologist from Fort Worth, Texas, is the 175th president of the American Medical Association. Doctor Bailey's presentation, What Will Healthcare Look Like Post COVID-19?, will touch on delivery of care, rebounding from physician stress, and the impact of the pandemic on the physician workforce. 

    Click here for more information

  • 02/23/2021 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    BCMS Opens Nominations for Heroes of COVID-19 Campaign
    BCMS Will Highlight Local Heroes Both Behind the Scenes and on the Front Lines

    Brown County, Wis. – February 23, 2021 – With a year of the pandemic now in the rearview, Brown County Medical Society (BMCS) wants to show support for all of the local COVID heroes who live or work in the Brown County community.

    Through the “Heroes of COVID Campaign,” BCMS intends to raise awareness of the many heroes among us and the tireless work they’ve done over this past year to make sure the residents of our community are cared for during the pandemic. There are heroes in all aspects of our lives and our community, and by spotlighting the positive contributions that have been made—and continue to be made—will not only show our gratitude but will strengthen our resilience to us keep moving forward.

    Click here for full press release.

  • 02/22/2021 1:46 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    COVID-19 PSA

    Wisconsin Medical Society President, Erik Gundersen, MD, MA, is featured in a COVID-19 PSA. In addition to reminding patients of the basic safety precautions of masking, physical distancing and handwashing, Dr. Gundersen encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.

    To help encourage timely vaccinations, please feel free to share the PSA which can be found on the Wisconsin Medical Society’s social media channels.

    COVID-19 buttons to spark patient conversations via WisMed and Pharmacy Society partnership

    Wisconsin Medical Society members can get free Stop the Spread buttons. In an effort to encourage conversations with patients about healthy COVID-19 behaviors and vaccine hesitancy, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s COVID-19 Task Force developed a button that can be worn by physicians and other members of the health care team to help spark those conversations. Through a partnership with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, buttons were produced and are currently being distributed around the state.

    Buttons are free to Society members, but there is a limited quantity, so requests will be filled in the order they are received. Click here to order for you and your team today!

    Senate passes COVID-19 liability protection as part of special session bill

    The Wisconsin State Senate approved legislation this morning, February 18, that will provide important civil liability protections related to COVID-19 for health care entities and other businesses. Meeting in a special session called by Governor Tony Evers on a bill to revamp the state’s Unemployment Insurance computer system, the Senate approved January 2021 Special Session Senate Bill 1 on a 27-3 roll call vote. Soon after the vote, Gov. Evers released a statement saying the bill is “a step in the right direction,” perhaps signaling his intention to sign the bill should it reach his desk. The Wisconsin Medical Society has strongly supported establishing civil liability protections related to COVID-19 to help prevent opportunistic lawsuits seeking to capitalize on the pandemic.

    According to the bill, “Beginning March 1, 2020, an entity is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting in or relating to exposure, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus identified as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 in the course of or through the performance or provision of the entity's functions or services.” The immunity would not apply in cases of reckless or wonton conduct or intentional misconduct, nor for any claims already filed before the bill’s enactment. The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance amended the bill on Wednesday to include the liability protection language.

    The bill now heads to the State Assembly, which may take up the measure as soon as Tuesday, February 23. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

  • 02/04/2021 6:49 PM | Anonymous

    While Doctor Day 2021 has shifted to a virtual format, the May 5th event promises to offer equally important hot topics and content.

    This year’s policy and politics panel will include members of the powerful budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance.  Committee co-chairs Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) will be joined by their Democrat colleagues Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point).  

    You will hear a first-hand account of important budget topics, and during the middle of budget negotiations. This includes policy related to the Department of Health Services and funding for the Medicaid Program. This is a great opportunity to hear differing views on policy and spending priorities for the 2021-23 Biennial Budget and current legislative session.

    Other components of the day will again include policy breakouts, priority issue briefings, a keynote presentation and of course, legislative visits.

    Whether you’ve attended many advocacy days in prior years or none at all, be sure to sign up for Doctor Day 2021 and make your voices heard! The unique multi-specialty nature of Wisconsin's Doctor Day offers all physicians across the state from all specialties to come together and advocate for issues affecting their patients, their practices and their specialty.  Learn more and sign up at www.WIDoctorDay.org.

  • 01/15/2021 5:41 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    Gov. Tony Evers said Friday that he’ll declare another public health emergency over COVID-19 so he can continue his indoor mask mandate, which is set to expire next week. 

    “While there's light and hope at the end of this tunnel, this virus hasn’t gone away,” Evers told reporters. The order will extend the mandate by another 60 days, he said. 

    This will be the fifth emergency declaration issued by Evers related to COVID-19. The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard a challenge in November to his ability to issue multiple public health emergencies related to COVID-19.  

    Mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams will also begin their work next week, and a program providing assisted living facilities with COVID-19 vaccine has launched.

    The Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin National Guard will launch a mobile vaccination program next Tuesday to supplement local efforts with additional staff and resources. 

    There will be nine teams at the start, with an intent to scale the program up. Mobile clinics will be staffed by National Guard members and pharmacy or nursing student volunteers through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin System. 

    DHS also said Friday it officially activated the second part of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. The program's first part, launched in late December, focused on nursing homes. The second part of the program, slated to begin Jan. 25, will focus on assisted living facilities. 

    DHS expects all participating nursing homes to complete first doses by Jan. 18.

    Pharmacies and assisted living facilities can launch the second part of the program before the Jan. 25 start date if they have adequate vaccine and capacity to administer doses. 

    DHS said Friday that 213,056 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Wisconsin.

    Of those, 30,805 people have received two doses, completing their vaccination series. 

    So far, 373,100 doses have been shipped or are being shipped to Wisconsin out of an allocated 607,650, with 197,000 held in reserve for long-term care facilities. 

    DHS reported 2,269 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, for a total of 518,251. 

    Thirty-two more deaths were reported, for a total of 5,322. 

    An additional 8,040 people were tested, for a total of 2,945,882. 

    DHS considers 27,611 cases active. 

    The seven-day average for daily new cases is 2,319, down 173 from Thursday and 396 from last week. 

    The seven-day average for daily new deaths is 29, down one from Thursday and seven from last week. 

    As of Thursday, the seven-day positivity rate by person was 25.9 percent, a one-day decline of 0.8 percentage points and seven-day decline of 5.4 percentage points. 

    The rate by test was 8.5 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from Wednesday and 2.3 percentage points from a week ago. 

    Three patients were receiving Bamlanivimab infusion therapy at the surge facility in West Allis on Friday. 

  • 01/09/2021 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    With the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) evolving its policymaking process to a year-round schedule, the Society is seeking a special group of members to help review policy proposals that are submitted for discussion and eventual action by the Board of Directors. This group will include Society members from across the state to ensure widespread representation. The function is similar to the role Reference Committees had in the former House of Delegates structure: listening to testimony on policy proposals and making recommendations for final action to the ultimate deciding body.

    The committee will include members from all eight Society districts and the young physician, resident physician and medical student sections. They will meet as needed leading up to each Society Board of Directors meeting. If you are interested in serving on this policy-reviewing committee, please fill out this form.

    For more information, contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD.

  • 01/08/2021 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    The Minnesota Medical Association’s (MMA) 5th annual physician well-being conference will be held virtually on January 28, 2021. As a promotional sponsor for this event, Wisconsin Medical Society members can access this conference at the discounted MMA member price of $195 with the code JOYMEDPARTNER.

    Bryan Sexton, PhD, an associate professor at Duke University and director of the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety & Quality will kick off the conference with his keynote presentation Bite Size Coping During Times of Uncertainty.

    For additional information including a full agenda and registration, click here.

  • 01/07/2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    The Physician Wellness Advisory Committee held its first meeting in December. The purpose of this committee is to design and establish the framework and operability of a Physician Wellness Program to offer help and respite when needed for the physicians of Wisconsin. The intent is to initiate the program in a short period of time and provide the framework for it to grow and be more robust in the future. Special thanks to Mary Jo Capodice, DO, MPH, Jacqueline Landess, MD, Erica Larson, DO, and Michael Miller, MD, for giving their time and providing recommendations as the Wisconsin Medical Society begins this crucial journey towards providing this valuable service to the physicians of Wisconsin.

    The committee is currently reviewing options that can be provided in the immediate future. A model that has been adopted in multiple states is being strongly considered. This proposed model is similar to an Employee Assistance Program, where a limited number of confidential counseling/coaching services are provided without the need to go through one’s employer or health insurance. The option to pilot the program in specific counties is also under consideration. 

    Updates on the Committee’s progress will continue to be shared. Please reach out to Jim Lorence with any questions or comments. 

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