News

  • 12/19/2019 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    December 19 - Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram

    Wisconsin Medical Society staff continues to gather member feedback on proposed changes to the Society’s policy creation process. After hosting eight events across the state this fall and speaking with 77 individual physicians about the proposed changes, Society staff and member leadership will be heading out again in January and February for a second round of district meetings. While the first meetings were designed to gather a wide range of ideas, these meetings will provide a more tangible framework for the future of Society governance.

    Key to the future process is the development of a dynamic and accessible digital platform to facilitate submission and review of policy resolutions on a year-round basis. With the recent launch of WisMed Community, the Society now has the technological infrastructure to support this framework. Based heavily on the model used by Colorado Medical Society, the emerging process is designed to include more members in policy creation and allow for more timely review of developing state and federal policy.

    “It is an exciting time for the Society,” said Peter Welch, Chief Operating Officer, “Our investment in technology will ensure that we have more of today’s busy physicians engaged in the policymaking process right at their fingertips.”

    Over the next two months, Society staff will be traveling to each of the 8 districts to hear feedback on this process. Click here to RSVP for your district’s meeting. You can also fill out this form with your questions and concerns about these proposed changes.

    Contact Peter Welch with questions.

  • 12/05/2019 5:20 PM | Anonymous

    December 5 - Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram

    The Wisconsin Medical Society is excited to announce that WisMed Community – the new online community just for WisMed Members – will be live on Monday, December 9! This new member benefit will allow physicians to connect, collaborate and celebrate their successes.

    Initially, there will be two community groups: WisMed Members (for general discussions about things like tips and recommendations) and Share a Success (for you to share the great work you or a colleague is doing to advance health care). More community groups will go live in the coming months including Advocacy in Action, so be sure to check back often.

    Members will receive an email on Monday with information about how to get logged in and start connecting with colleagues. Please add connectedcommunity.org to your safe sender list so you stay connected.

    Contact Anne Hauer with questions.

  • 12/02/2019 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    December 2 - Wisconsin Health News

    Health experts say Wisconsin can do more after a recent report found the state was average-to-above average in the treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer.

    The report, released by the American Lung Association, found Wisconsin as the fifth-best state in the nation for the percentage of high-risk patients who receive screenings for lung cancer. Just over 8 percent of those at high risk in Wisconsin were screened, compared to 4.2 percent nationally.

    Wisconsin also ranked above average with just 12.4 percent of cases not being treated, 11th lowest out of 46 states with available data. The national rate is 15.4 percent.

    The state ranked average in the report’s four other metrics, which were the number of new cases, early diagnosis rate, those who undergo surgery as part of the first course of treatment and the number of residents living more than five years after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

    While Wisconsin scored average or above in all metrics, Dona Wininksy, director of advocacy, grassroots and patient engagement at the American Lung Association of Wisconsin, said the state should be able to do better with all its available resources.

    “While we celebrate that more Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer, the disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths, and much more can and must be done in Wisconsin to prevent the disease and support families facing the disease,” she said.
  • 11/22/2019 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    The Wisconsin Medical Society has partnered with the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health to bring together experts on emerging health care trends within the transition zone of adolescents becoming young adults for the Society’s Annual Meeting CME Conference. Navigating the Transition Zone: From Adolescence through Young Adulthood,* will be April 17 and 18 at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, Madison, Wis.

    Saturday’s keynote, Childhood Adversity and Lifelong Health: The Science Behind Trauma-informed Care, will be presented by Pamela McGranahan, DNP, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Nursing, DNP Program Director.

    With a focus on mental and behavioral health, sexual health, adolescent lifestyles and complex diseases within the transition zone of adolescents becoming young adults, this conference is designed for physicians and other members of the health care team to gain valuable insight on topics that are relevant across specialties.

    Plan your weekend! The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction will be from 5 pm – 8:30 pm on Friday, April 17 and the Society House of Delegates meeting will be on Sunday, April 19.

    Contact Brianna Farwell at 608.442.3791 with questions.
    * This conference has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and AAFP Credit.

    Find more information here!

  • 10/21/2019 12:13 PM | Anonymous

    October 11 - Wisconsin Health News

    Hospital leaders weighed in on what health systems can do to cut costs and the role they should play in addressing the social determinants of health at a Wisconsin Health News panel this week.

    Panelists included:

    ·     Dr. Scott Rathgaber, CEO, Gundersen Health System

    ·     Damond Boatwright, President, SSM Health Wisconsin

    ·     Luke Beirl, CEO, Hayward Area Memorial Hospital

    Watch a WisconsinEye video of the event.

  • 10/21/2019 12:11 PM | Anonymous

    October 21, Wisconsin Health News

    The annual economic cost of binge drinking in Wisconsin is $3.9 billion, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

    The report called binge drinking a “critical public health concern" and said it leads to increased spending on healthcare, crime and other costs.

    “Everyone who lives and works in Wisconsin is affected by the health and economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption, including binge drinking,” the report noted.

    The prevalence of binge drinking in Wisconsin last year was 24 percent, compared to the median of 16 percent in the United States.

    Productivity losses contributed to 66 percent of the total cost of binge drinking, with 10 percent attributed to healthcare, 15 percent to criminal justice and 9 percent to other losses like motor-vehicle crashes. The annual cost per resident, including children, is $666.

    Local, state and federal governments pay for around 41.4 percent of total binge drinking costs, which is around $1.6 billion. 

    The state alcohol tax revenue in Wisconsin last year was $609 million, 1.6 percent of the total cost of binge drinking.

    The report noted limitations like the numbers being “substantially underestimated” due to gaps in data and by not including intangible costs like pain and suffering.

    Read more.
  • 10/08/2019 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    Charles Franklin, PhD, nationally recognized government scholar and pollster, will headline Doctor Day 2020.

    Doctor Franklin has served as director of the Marquette Law School Poll since its inception in 2012.  During that year’s highly scrutinized election cycle, he established Marquette as the definitive source for information concerning public opinion in Wisconsin.

    Under Doctor Franklin’s direction as a visiting professor at Marquette, the poll became the largest independent polling project in state history. It accurately captured voter attitudes before every major election in 2012, including the gubernatorial recall, U.S. Senate and presidential races.

    Since joining Marquette as a professor of law and public policy in August 2013, Doctor Franklin has used the poll to continue tracking political races of interest to voters and explore additional public policy issues.

    At Doctor Day on January 29, 2020, Franklin will share his insight and polling data relevant healthcare policy and the 2020 election.

    Click here for more information!

  • 09/26/2019 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    September 26, Wisconsin Health News

    Substantial health disparities exist among ethnic groups and those with different healthcare payers in the state, according to a recent report from the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.

    The collaborative, with help from the University of Wisconsin Health Innovation Program, looked at disparities related to race, payer and location.

    Matt Gigot, director of performance measurement and analysis at the collaborative, said they’re seeing substantial disparities among American Indians and Alaska Natives as well as the state’s black population.

    They’re also seeing substantial disparities among Medicaid enrollees and the uninsured compared to the commercial population.

    Read more. 


  • 09/17/2019 1:08 PM | Anonymous

    September 17, Wisconsin Health News

    Wisconsin's ranking for the health of women and children dropped compared to other states last year, according to a new report from the United Health Foundation.

    Wisconsin is ranked 19th in the nation in the report, down five spots from last year. That was one of the largest drops in the country.

    Among the biggest drivers for the decrease is the amount of excessive drinking among Wisconsin women and a lower percentage of children with adequate health insurance, both of which were among the bottom 10 in the nation. 

    Wisconsin also saw an increase in the number of teen suicides. The number of deaths per 100,000 adolescents between ages 15 to 19 has increased from 10.6 deaths to 13.8 deaths over the past three years.

    “A 30 percent increase is certainly concerning,” said Dr. Linda Genen, chief medical director of women’s health for Optum, and a member of the United Health Foundation.

    In Wisconsin’s favor is the low rate of diabetes among women, which is fifth-best in the nation.

    The state is also top 10 in terms of having a higher number of cervical cancer screenings, a higher number of women having dedicated healthcare providers, a lower percentage of households with food insecurity, a higher percentage of prenatal care before the third trimester and a lower percentage of low-risk cesarean deliveries.

    “There are certain strengths that are coming through as well,” Genen said. She added that potential steps for improvement could include policymakers taking steps to increase insurance availability for children.

     The report ranked Rhode Island as the top state for women and children’s health. Mississippi was ranked at the bottom.

  • 09/09/2019 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    September 9, Wisconsin Health News

    Wisconsin and Illinois health officials published a report with other researchers Friday detailing a series of vaping-related hospitalizations as the number of cases continues to grow.

    There have now been five reported vaping-related deaths in California, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon and Minnesota. As of Friday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had identified more than 450 possible cases of the disease in 33 states and one territory.

    In Wisconsin, there were 34 cases, with 12 cases needing further investigation as of last Thursday. Fifteen counties had cases. 

    The CDC believes that a chemical exposure is likely associated with the illnesses. Some laboratories have identified vitamin E acetate, a common vitamin often used in skin creams, in product samples, according to Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, incident manager of the CDC 2019 Lung Injury Response.

    “However, and I really want to stress this, more information is needed to determine which specific products or substances are involved,” Delman told reporters on a Friday conference call. “At this time, no one device, product or substance has been linked to all cases, and continued investigation is needed.”

    The report from Wisconsin, Illinois and other researchers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses 53 case patients that were studied by the states’ health departments since July.

    About 83 percent were male, with the median age being 19 years.

    Almost all the patients presented at the hospital with respiratory symptoms, the most common being shortness of breath. Patients also often had a fever, fatigue and weight loss as well as gastrointestinal symptoms.

    A total of 94 percent were hospitalized, with 32 percent needing ventilators to breathe. Around 84 percent of patients reported vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.

    Dr. Jonathan Meiman, chief medical officer at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said both states have developed a working case definition to identify patients with the disease, which they’ve also refined over time with other states’ epidemiologists and the CDC.

    The Illinois Department of Public Health conducted a review of emergency department cases over the last year and a half, finding that the monthly rate of visits related to severe respiratory disease in June through August was twice the rate observed in the same months in 2018.

    Dr. Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist at the department, said the findings are preliminary and they can’t say for sure if it’s a new or newly recognized phenomenon. But the analysis suggests it’s new, she added.

    “These are not just cases and data points, but these individuals are individuals who are suffering from severe, serious illness,” Layden said. “We want to do what we can – everything we can – to assist a larger investigation and prevent additional illnesses.”


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