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  • 07/30/2020 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News | July 30, 2020

    Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order on Thursday mandating that Wisconsinites wear masks when indoors starting Saturday.

    Evers issued the order by declaring a public health emergency. It’s the second public health emergency he’s declared during the pandemic.

    Under the order, which expires Sept. 28, Wisconsinites over the age of 5 will have to wear a face covering when indoors or in an enclosed space if they’re around people who aren’t members of their household or living unit. The order doesn’t apply to private residences.

    Face coverings will be recommended when outdoors.

    Evers said that local health departments “have been doing a heck of a job” responding to the pandemic, but there needs to be a statewide approach to fighting the virus.

    “While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, my job as governor is to put people first and to do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I am going to do,” Evers said.

    View full article here.

  • 07/28/2020 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    As states reopen, many small and medium-sized healthcare and other businesses are struggling to sift through all the evolving guidance to create comprehensive, user-friendly return-to-work plans. Yet, having a thoughtful plan in place is critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19 as you increase activity in your workplace and mitigating liability should employee complaints arise.

    Badger Bay is pleased to announce that we have partnered with premier law firm Husch Blackwell LLP to offer members a special discount on an easy, quick, and affordable tool that your members can use to create customized Return-to-Work policies. Husch Blackwell’s new Return-to-Work Policy Generator enables businesses of all sizes to quickly create return-to-work plans, customized to their operations, without starting from scratch. Built-in are Husch Blackwell’s knowledge of health, safety and employment issues, and extensive experience helping clients navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

    The tool involves a 15-minute secure online questionnaire to learn about each company’s operations and policy needs. It generates a customized policy, which an attorney works to finalize directly with the company through an included consultation. Most policies are ready within a few business days.

    Through the tool, Husch Blackwell offers each policy for a flat-fee price quoted up-front based on the complexity of each company’s operations and needs. Members of your associations can enter a referral code (“BadgerBay”) while completing the questionnaire to obtain an additional 10% discount.

    To learn more, see a demo, and try the tool, visit the Return-to-Work Policy Generator here.

    What does it involve?

    1. Your member fills out a quick online questionnaire (approx. 15 minutes)
    2. After determining the scope of the policy, the company will receive a low, flat price (starting at $1,500)
    3. An attorney works with the company to finalize a customized draft

    This is great for lots of companies…

    • Especially small, mid-sized, and regional firms (DIY is overwhelming!)
    • Even those with essential workers (non-essential workers may be returning to work)
    • Especially those in multiple states (the policy pulls in relevant state requirements)
    • Even those that already returned to work (many reopened quickly but still need a policy)

    What’s special here?

    • Quick and easy guided online questionnaire
    • State-specific and federal guidance
    • Industry-specific provisions where applicable
    • Customized to each company’s operations/workplaces
    • Optional forms and links to CDC/OSHA posters
    • Upfront pricing with low, flat fee
    • Included one-on-one attorney review and client consult
    • Saves hours of time and lots of money
  • 07/22/2020 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Masks will soon be required in public spaces around Green Bay.

    The city council voted 7-5 on Tuesday to create an ordinance mandating masks inside buildings the public has common access to. Those would include city buildings and many businesses.

    Public comment on the proposal lasted almost three hours. The debate touched on the science behind masks, civil liberties, and enforcement ability.

    Read more.

    (by Katrina Nickell, FOX 11 News)

  • 07/07/2020 11:43 AM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News | July 7

    The mayors of Wisconsin’s five largest cities said Monday they'll receive $6.3 million from the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life to help with elections in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The funding will help support an adequate number of voting sites, set up drive-thru and dropbox locations, provide personal protective equipment for poll workers and recruit and train a sufficient number of workers. 

    The cities applied for the funding, which has been approved in full by the center but may still require approval from city councils. 

     Cities set to receive funding and the amount of money are:

    • Milwaukee: $2,154,500
    • Madison: $1,271,788
    • Green Bay: $1,093,400
    • Racine: $942,100
    • Kenosha: $862,779
  • 07/02/2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram | July 2

    Save the Date for the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Reference Committees, scheduled for 9 a.m. on August 8 via GoToWebinar. Virtual reference committees and the House of Delegates handbook are still available via WisMed Community. If you need login assistance, please contact membership@wismed.org.

    District 1, 2 and 8 caucuses were not held due to the pandemic declaration but are now being scheduled virtually. To see details on these events, view more information or register, click here.

    The House of Delegates has been scheduled virtually for August 22. Additional information—including registration details—will be coming soon.

    Watch for upcoming emails and future issues of Medigram for registration information and updates on these and other Society events.

  • 06/18/2020 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    June 18 | Wisconsin Health News

    The state’s medical malpractice fund is waiving premiums for the next fiscal year for participating healthcare professionals and providers. 

    The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund’s Board of Governors approved the premium holiday on Wednesday.

    The holiday, originally requested by the Wisconsin Medical Society, will run from July 1 to June 30, 2021. 

    Dr. Bud Chumbley, CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a board member, said the action will “provide some financial relief to many of the Wisconsin medical professionals and providers who have been affected by the pandemic and who face ongoing challenges.”

    The fund covers claims beyond state-mandated insurance limits, which are set at $1 million by occurrence and $3 million by aggregate per year. 

    In April, lawmakers signed off on a plan not to increase participation fees for the fund for the next fiscal year.
  • 06/17/2020 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    June 17 | Wisconsin Medical Society

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) thanks the Board of Governors of the Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund (the Fund) for declaring a premium holiday for the health care professionals and providers, enrolled in the fund, in effect from July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2021.

    The Society has been working hard to find ways to assist its membership during these unprecedented times. The Society requested the holiday on behalf of all health care professionals and providers in Wisconsin, to help ease the economic hardships placed on them because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “COVID-19 has posed unprecedented health and economic challenges to our state, and the health care industry is no exception,” said Bud Chumbley, MD., a Board member and the CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society. “The premium holiday approved today by the Board will provide some financial relief to many of the Wisconsin medical professionals and providers who have been affected by the pandemic and who face ongoing challenges.”

    This action will help those covered by the Fund who have experienced a significant decline in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly physicians in solo and small group practices.

    The Fund is an essential element in maintaining medical liability insurance premiums at a manageable rate for those covered by the Fund. The favorable medical liability environment in Wisconsin helps recruit physicians to Wisconsin and retain physicians in Wisconsin.

    For more information about the Wisconsin Medical Society, visit www.wismed.org.

  • 06/10/2020 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    June 10 | Wisconsin Health News

    The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 who are hospitalized continues to fall, a positive sign for the state’s fight against the pandemic, according to Medical College of Wisconsin CEO Dr. John Raymond. 

    As of Tuesday, the number of total hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the state was 2,904, an increase of 44 from Tuesday. The number of total positive tests was 21,308, an increase of 270 from Tuesday. 

    That put the total percentage of patients testing positive for the disease that were or are hospitalized at 13.6 percent, unchanged from Monday. 

    That’s an improvement from the beginning of the pandemic when the percentage was around 30 percent, Raymond said during a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce webinar.

    “I think that’s good news, probably emblematic that as our testing has grown, we’ve been able to diagnose people earlier in their illnesses and maybe even some asymptomatic individuals,” Raymond said. “I also believe that we know a whole lot more about how to give high quality supportive care to patients with COVID-19 and to triage them appropriately into the hospital, to home or into intensive care settings.” 

    Raymond said there’s adequate capacity at Wisconsin hospitals, and the number of those in inpatient settings or intensive care units is stable. He said most hospitals have been able to resume “some semblance of normal activity” with stable personal protective equipment supplies. 

    The most critical needs are goggles and gowns. N95 masks may also become a problem in southeast Wisconsin, he said.

    There were 347,210 total negative test results reported on Tuesday, an increase of 13,957 from Monday. Total deaths were 661, an increase of 15 from Monday, according to the Department of Health Services.

  • 06/05/2020 12:37 PM | Anonymous

    June 5, 2020 | WI Medical Society Medigram

    “I can’t breathe.” These were the harrowing last words of an American, George Floyd, spoken as a system deprived him of life. The systemic racist structure failed the promise of life to this American. Racism is a constant threat to health, medical care and longevity in America. The Wisconsin Medical Society, driven by our mission of health to Wisconsinites, declares racism to be a Public Health Crisis and calls for equity in health.

    Racism threatens health. Racism worsens the social determinants of health, including housing, employment, education, community and neighborhood, food and medical care. Poor housing, including homelessness, results in illnesses such as diabetes and asthma. Unemployment increases heart disease risks and overall mortality; poor education increases death from diabetes; physical space loss for exercise increases childhood obesity; and food deserts significantly increase African-American obesity. The greatest health threat faced today in COVID 19 has further revealed these profound disparities demonstrated by the disproportionate mortality in communities of color.

    The human toll is destructive and untenable. To move forward, we must take a stand against racism. In doing so, we stand in solidarity with organizations across the state and our country condemning racism, injustice, and health disparities.

    With the AMA, we know racism is detrimental to health in all its forms.

    With ACOG, we acknowledge that people of color face threats to their health and well-being daily across Wisconsin and the United States.

    With AAMC, we have seen that over the past three months, “the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the racial health inequities harming our black communities, exposing the structures, systems, and policies that create social and economic conditions that lead to health disparities, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancy.”

    With APA, we stand “with the Black community and all those opposed to racism to protect and improve the lives of those who have experienced discrimination and the associated trauma.”

    With the ANA, the AAFP, and other health care organizations, we consider racism a Public Health Crisis.

    Black lives matter. To remain silent is to be complicit.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society refuses to be complicit or indifferent on this issue. Daily, physicians see the tragedy of lost health from systemic racism in our community. We proclaim the “thoughts and prayers” approach to racism to be complicit with systemic racism. The Rabbi Abraham Joshua Hershel clarified the act of complicity well when he said, “The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference.”

    Change requires action. As such, we are in solidarity with AAMC, and join them in the key actions outlined below:

    • We must acknowledge and speak out against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias in our environments in our institutions, communities, and society.
    • We must stand in solidarity with the black community and speak out against unjust and inhumane incidents of violence.
    • We must demonstrate empathy and compassion and acknowledge the pain and grief that the families and the communities of these victims are experiencing.
    • We must take the lead in educating ourselves and others to address these issues head on.
    • We must be deliberate and partner with local communities, public health agencies, and municipal governments to dismantle structural racism and end police brutality.
    • We must employ anti-racist and unconscious bias training and engage in interracial dialogues that will dispel the misrepresentations that dehumanize our black community members and other marginalized groups.
    • We must move from rhetoric to action to eliminate the inequities in our care, research, and education of tomorrow’s doctors.

    As the voice of physicians in the state of Wisconsin, we resolve to make health equity a priority. The Wisconsin Medical Society stands with all Wisconsinites for healing and for the elimination of racism in all its forms.

    For a full PDF of this statement, click here.

  • 05/21/2020 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    May 21, 2020

    The Wisconsin Medical Society is hosting a 5-week series with new guest speakers each week in order to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and related topics. If you are interested in participating, please register here!

    Remaining Dates:
    Wed, May 27, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
    Wed, Jun 3, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
    Wed, Jun 10, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT


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