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  • 02/01/2019 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    February 1, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    Nearly 54 percent of Wisconsin physicians are experiencing burnout—a rate that surpasses national benchmarks, according to a special report published in the current issue of WMJ.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society), in conjunction with the American Medical Association (AMA), conducted a survey of 1,165 Wisconsin physicians to assess the severity of physician burnout and its contributing factors. Results indicate that not only is burnout on the rise, but 47 percent of Wisconsin physicians plan to decrease their clinical hours or retire in the next five years. In 2014, 47 percent of physicians reported some degree of burnout and 41 percent planned to reduce hours or retire.

    “This is a very real problem, because it affects not only physicians, their families and the entire health care team, but patients as well,” said Society President Molli Rolli, MD. “That’s why the Society’s top priority is not only increasing awareness of this issue but identifying its systemic causes and working to address them.”

    Based on survey responses, the major contributors to physician burnout include:

    • frustration with electronic health records (EHR), combined with increasing insurance and government regulations.
    • loss of autonomy and lack of a supportive practice environment.
    • poor work/life balance.

     
    “These findings aren’t that surprising,” said Society CEO Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA. “Practicing medicine has changed tremendously in the last decade, particularly in Wisconsin with the emergence of increasingly large health systems. The physician/patient relationship is increasingly influenced by the EHR and health system policies and not always for the best.”

    To address the issue, the Society has identified four key priorities in 2019:

    1. Convening stakeholders to improve the functionality of electronic health records.
    2. Developing and encouraging physician leadership opportunities.
    3. Create a Center for Physician Empowerment to unite stakeholders and lead system change through collective education and action.
    4. Pursue legislation to establish a Physician Health Program.

    “No one entity or issue is to blame for physician burnout, and stemming the tide is going to take the collaborative efforts of health care systems and their executive leadership, insurers, government entities, EHR vendors and physicians themselves,” said Dr. Chumbley. “As the organization that represents all physicians in Wisconsin, the Society’s top priority is convening these stakeholders to create and implement solutions so that physicians can continue to do what they do best—care for their patients.”

    To read the Society’s special report on physician burnout, click here. For more information about the report or the Society’s burnout priorities, contact Kendi Parvin.


  • 01/25/2019 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    January 25, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    The Wisconsin Medical Society joined the American Medical Association (AMA) on an amicus brief filed Tuesday in Wisconsin Supreme Court. The brief asserts that the owners of an online marketplace designed to facilitate illegal gun sales to prohibited buyers cannot escape liability for human harm resulting from preventable firearm violence.

    The case of Daniel v. Armslist will test the enforcement of existing state and federal laws that limit high-risk or dangerous individuals from purchasing or obtaining firearms. The Armslist website was designed with features that undermine these public safety laws. An undue number of criminal acts have arisen through firearm sales facilitated by Armslist that put guns in the hands of individuals who can’t purchase weapons legally. Armslist contends it is immune from liability for violent acts, including murder, that have resulted from illegal firearm sales via its website.

    “Physicians treat both the immediate and long-term physical and psychological effects of gun violence on victims every day in our state and country,” said Society CEO Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA. “It’s a public health crisis further exacerbated by illegal gun sales, and that’s why holding this company accountable is an important step to safeguard our patients and make it clear there are serious consequences for those who would undermine laws put in place to protect the public.”

    The physician brief, prepared by the Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies, contends that Armslist is not protected from liability immunity granted to website operators by section 230 of the federal Communication Decency Act (CDA). The CDA immunizes website operators who do nothing more than publish third-party postings, but it does not apply to operators who specifically design their websites to further illegal conduct.

    Armslist allowed buyers to filter ad searches to find unlicensed private sellers who are not required to perform background checks on persons to whom they sell guns. Armslist did not require users to register, thereby facilitating anonymity, nor did it impose any waiting period on the purchases, despite the 48-hour waiting period imposed on licensed sellers.

    “Wisconsin and federal laws that prohibit dangerous people from purchasing a firearm should not be undermined by an inaccurate reading of the CDA,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, in this press release. “Physicians are compelled to urge the court to consider illegal guns sales a public health emergency. We bear the emotional weight of treating the victims of gun violence everyday: their wounds, paralysis, colostomies, brain injuries, depression, chronic infections and post-traumatic stress. Common-sense measures to support enacted laws can help prevent more carnage.”

    For more information, visit the AMA website.



  • 01/18/2019 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    January 18, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    The State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board modified the Opioid Prescribing Guideline at its monthly meeting in Madison on Wednesday. Expressing a desire to be less proscriptive in the “Discontinuing Opioid Therapy” section of the guideline, the Board has removed specific clinical suggestions for situations when opioid therapy leads to evidence of addiction risk or is proving ineffective.

    The section’s first two subsections have been shortened, while the third section remains the same:

    Discontinuing Opioid Therapy

    • If lack of efficacy of opioid therapy is determined, safe discontinuation of opioid therapy should be performed.
    • If evidence of increased risk develops, safe discontinuation of opioid therapy should be considered.
    • If evidence emerges that indicates that the opioids put a patient at the risk of imminent danger (overdose, addiction, etc.), or that they are being diverted, opioids should be immediately discontinued and the patient should be treated for withdrawal, if needed. Exceptions to abrupt opioid discontinuation include patients with unstable angina and pregnant patients. These patients should be weaned from the opioid medications in a gradual manner with close follow-up.

    The Board also added a new general provision near the top of the overall guideline:

    2. It is best practice for a practitioner to consider guidelines within their specialty when prescribing opioids.

    The remaining guideline provisions were renumbered to reflect this addition. The new guideline became effective upon Wednesday’s vote approving the changes.

    In other action, the MEB elected its leaders for 2019. They are the same as in 2018, with Ken Simons, MD, reelected chair, Tim Westlake, MD, as vice chair and Mary Jo Capodice, DO, as secretary.

  • 01/14/2019 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    Medical College of Wisconsin CEO Dr. John Raymond wants to make Milwaukee one of the nation’s healthiest and safest cities. To do that, MCW is partnering with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation on an initiative aimed at addressing social determinants of health including workforce, housing and food insecurity. 

    It’s also continuing its focus on the state’s looming physician shortage and increasing access to behavioral health. 

    At a newsmaker event on February 12, Raymond will provide an update on the Flourishing Lives Initiative, discuss what’s next for MCW’s regional campuses and more.  The event will be held at the Wisconsin Club (900 West Wisconsin Avenue); lunch served at 11:45am, with the program to follow from 12:15pm to 1pm.

    Register Now (link)


  • 01/11/2019 11:26 AM | Anonymous

    January 11, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    Negotiations are underway for the city of Madison to purchase 3.5 acres of land along Lake Monona where the Wisconsin Medical Society headquarters sits. A resolution was introduced during the Madison Common Council meeting on Tuesday to purchase the property from the Society for $5.5 million, on the condition that it be used for parkland.

    In 1996, the Society sold another parcel of land along the lakefront to the city, also granting right of first refusal for the remaining property in the event the Society decided to sell.

    “There’s no question this site is a real treasure, and the building is far larger than we need today,” said Society CEO Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA. “Our Board of Directors agreed that the timing is right to work with the city to restore it to parkland so that everyone is able to benefit from it.”

    Before the sale is finalized, the resolution must be referred to the parks committee and voted on by the City Council. Doctor Chumbley anticipates that the sale could close as early as February, but that Society operations would not move until summer. A committee comprised of Society members and staff are currently exploring options in the Madison area for the Society’s new headquarters.

    “We’re definitely going to miss the beautiful view, but we’re glad that as part of the Society’s ongoing legacy, the property will accrue to the benefit of the citizens of Madison and its visitors,” Dr. Chumbley added.


  • 01/11/2019 11:24 AM | Anonymous

    January 11,2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    A recent health policy panel event in Madison including legislators, an attorney expert and a leading addiction medicine physician raised the possibility that some kind of marijuana-related legislation could advance in the State Capitol during the 2019-2020 biennium.   

    Longtime Society leader and addiction medicine expert Michael Miller, MD, DFASAM, DLFAPA, participated in the Wisconsin Health Newsnewsmakers panel this week on the future of marijuana and CBD in Wisconsin. Others on the panel included State Sen. Pat Testin, R-Stevens Point, State Assembly Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, and Legislative Council Senior Staff Attorney Michael Queensland. The panel met on Monday; WisconsinEye has coverage of the event here.

    Both Sen. Testin and Rep. Taylor shared anecdotes of constituents and family members who had various maladies reportedly helped by marijuana use, which has broadened the legislature’s desires to explore changes to Wisconsin’s laws. Doctor Miller shared the latest science regarding what is both known and unknown about the effects marijuana and its components may have on the human body. He cautioned against the legislature wading into the issue of determining what is effective medicine—as some states have done in creating “medical” marijuana systems. As an alternative, Dr. Miller pointed out that the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana has wider support among organized medicine.

  • 01/04/2019 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    January 4, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram  

    The reporting deadline for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) portion of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program is only a few months away, and eligible clinicians who don’t report measures by the March 1 deadline will face a 5% Medicare reimbursement penalty in 2020.

    Any physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist or certified registered nurse anesthetist who bills more than $90,000 per year in Medicare Part B charges and provides care to more than 200 Part B enrolled Medicare patients per year is considered an eligible clinician under MIPS. Those who successfully report MIPS data for calendar year 2018 (January 1–December 31) as well as any 90-day period between January 1 and October 2, 2018, for the Promoting Interoperability and Improvement Activities measures will avoid the penalties, can potentially earn a small incentive and may be eligible for additional bonus money based on their performance.

    To assist members in meeting the reporting deadline, the Society has partnered with Premier to offer MIPSwizard, an easy-to-use online tool to help MIPS-eligible clinicians quickly and easily participate in the MIPS program.

    MIPSwizard is a CMS-Qualified Registry for MIPS reporting that allows clinicians to report as individuals or as a group and gives the option to report the minimum to avoid penalties or to maximize the incentive. The software guides clinicians through a few easy steps to rapidly collect, validate and submit their results to CMS, and provides easy integration with electronic health records, allows for real-time data validation and performance feedback, and provides the option for retrospective reporting.

    To learn more about 2018 MIPS reporting, click here. Click here for more information about MIPSwizard.


  • 12/21/2018 12:09 PM | Anonymous

    December 21, 2018, WMS Medigram  

    The Wisconsin Medical Society has urged the state’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) to be flexible when approving courses related to opioid prescribing so that more physicians can receive useful education befitting their particular specialties. 

    Read more.

  • 12/21/2018 12:05 PM | Anonymous
    December 21, 2018, WMS Medigram 


    Although more than 30 different health care organizations voiced opposition to Senate Bill 886, the lame duck bill affecting Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, Gov. Scott Walker signed into law the bill as a whole last Friday in Green Bay. 

    Read more. 

  • 12/14/2018 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    December 14, 2018, WMS Medigram 

    The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) has announced there will soon be changes in the license renewal date for credentialed DO physicians. Per 2017 Wisconsin Act 329, the renew-by date for DOs will be aligned with the renew-by date for MDs, meaning DOs must renew their Wisconsin credential by October 31 of odd years.

    The next renewal date for DOs will be October 31, 2019. Since the renew-by date is now sooner than the normal two-year biennium, DSPS will be charging a one-time prorated renewal fee of $118 instead of the normal $141.

    DSPS will be communicating details of this change with DO credential holders via email in the near future.



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