• 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.

  • 12/14/2018 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    December 14, 2018, WMS Medigram

    The administrator for the state’s Worker’s Compensation (WC) program signaled support for multiple “agreed-to” bill proposals in the upcoming 2019-2020 state legislative biennium. This allows for one of the bills to contain solely “non-controversial” statute and administrative code updates for the Department of Workforce Development, which oversees the state’s program for work-related injuries. Administrator and former State Sen. Frank Lasee made the comments at the most recent meeting of the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC), held December 11 in Madison.

    Separate bills would be a departure from the norm for the state’s WC policy-making process, which usually sees just one “omnibus” bill each legislative session. The WCAC—which has voting members from Labor and Business entities—meets throughout the biennium to debate potential changes to the state’s worker’s compensation program. The negotiated agreement is then submitted as legislation to the state legislature. The Society is one of the WCAC’s four non-voting health care liaisons who advise Labor and Business on how policy proposals may affect health care’s ability to provide care to patients suffering a workplace-related injury.

    Last session’s omnibus bill included a provision that would have for the first time created a fee schedule for worker’s comp-related care. The Society and other health care groups strongly opposed the legislation as an unnecessary disruption to a WC system viewed as a national leader, providing patients ready access to high-quality care resulting in faster return-to-work and lower costs compared to other states’ systems. That proposal received just one public hearing in the State Senate’s Labor committee and was never introduced in the State Assembly. Administrator Lasee’s suggestion signifies a recognition that future bills containing items health care considers “poison pills” could continue to scuttle any progress in less controversial areas.

    Neither Labor nor Management members of the WCAC signaled agreement with Administrator Lasee’s suggestion—perhaps because Lasee’s position is a gubernatorial appointment and Tony Evers will become Wisconsin’s 46th governor on January 7, 2019.

  • 12/14/2018 1:30 PM | Anonymous
    December 14, 2018, WMS Medigram  

    While the drama of last week’s two-day, overnight extraordinary session approving three lame duck session bills is over, the final fate of those proposals remains unknown.

    The somewhat picayune rules of the legislative timeline could maintain that mystery until after Christmas: once Gov. Scott Walker receives the bills that have passed the legislature, he has six days (excluding any Sunday) to do one of the following:

    • approve the bills in full.
    • veto the bills in full.
    • exercise his line-item veto power over bills that contain any appropriations.
    • allow the bills to become law through inaction.

    Legislation that has passed both houses of the legislature does not automatically get sent to the executive branch—the Governor can “call” for the bills to be delivered at any time. If he does not call for the bills by 4:30 p.m. on December 20, they will automatically be sent—at which point the six-day clock begins ticking. That means that December 27 is the latest date to know the fate of the lame duck bills.

    The Society was part of a broad health care coalition opposing Senate Bill 886, the lame duck bill affecting the state’s Medicaid program. After its passage, the Society reached out to the Governor’s office reiterating those concerns, asking him to utilize his veto power to allow state government the maximum opportunity to adapt when providing Medicaid coverage under any federal waiver. Under the approved bill, any desire for the executive branch to modify, suspend or terminate a Medicaid waiver would also require legislative authorization. Gov. Walker earlier this week indicated that some vetoes are possible on one or more lame duck bills.

  • 12/03/2018 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    November’s election results are set to shake up healthcare in Wisconsin. But how far will Democrat Gov.-elect Tony Evers be able to go with a Republican Legislature? What are the chances of campaign promises like expanding Medicaid? And where are there areas for compromise?

    On Dec. 11, we’re assembling some of the state’s best political and healthcare reporters to recap the year’s biggest stories, dissect the potential healthcare impact of the elections and preview the most important stories for 2019.       


    • Scott Bauer, Associated Press
    • Guy Boulton,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    • Jessie Opoien, Capital Times
    • David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal

    Register Here

  • 11/20/2018 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    November 20, 2018, Wisconsin Medical Society 

    The Wisconsin Medical Society’s House of Delegates (HOD) will convene Sunday, April 7, as part of the Society’s 2019 Annual Meeting at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. Any Society member may submit resolutions for consideration by the HOD to help shape Society policy on important medical issues. The deadline is 4:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.*

    These guidelines should be followed when drafting resolutions:

    • Select a title that appropriately reflects the action the resolution seeks.
    • Carefully check the resolution for accuracy.
    • The wording of the “Resolved” statement should be able to stand alone as an item to be acted upon by the HOD, because the HOD adopts only the “Resolved” language. The wording in the sections of the resolution that begin with “Whereas” does not appear in the official record of the proceedings of the HOD and will not appear in the Society’s Policy Compendium if the item is adopted by the HOD.
    • The Society strongly encourages—but does not require—that all resolutions contain a statement by the author about relevant existing policy or a statement that the Society does not have any current policy on the topic.
    • Resolutions that request the Society’s HOD to forward the policy item to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates for its consideration should contain a statement by the author about relevant existing AMA policy or a statement that the AMA does not have any current policy on the topic.

    If the implementation of an adopted item would require the expenditure of funds not normally included in the Society’s budget, the Society will add a fiscal note to it. Those who submit resolutions should ensure that a sponsor will attend the reference committee hearings to introduce the resolution and testify, providing background information and the rationale for the “Resolved” statements.

    Members who need help developing a resolution may contact Society staff for assistance or click here for a brief primer on resolution writing.

    Any resolution received after the Feb. 1 deadline will be considered a “late resolution,” unless it is presented by the Board of Directors, the Speaker, Vice Speaker, constitutional officer or by a council or committee of the Society or the HOD. All “late resolutions” will be forwarded to the Rules Committee for review. The Rules Committee will make recommendations to the HOD regarding the acceptance of any “late resolutions” at the April 7 opening session. Click here** for information about the late resolution process, including the information that must accompany a late resolution. The HOD is unable to accept late resolutions unless two-thirds of the Delegates present consent to the acceptance of the item.

    Submit resolutions for the 2019 House of Delegates to CEO, Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA, Wisconsin Medical Society, PO Box 1109, Madison, WI 53701 or via email to Noreen Krueger.

    The House of Delegates is only one avenue for raising issues or submitting resolutions. Members may submit issues or resolutions throughout the year via the Society’s year-round resolution process by using the online Member Communication Form. Members who have time-sensitive issues can opt to use the year-round submission process for prompt disposition rather than waiting for the next Annual Meeting. Issues submitted via the year-round process are referred to the Board for further study and recommendations.

    For more information about submitting resolutions for the 2019 HOD, contact Noreen Krueger at 608.442.3904 or 886.442.3800, ext. 3904 (toll-free).

    *According to the Society’s Bylaws, members must submit resolutions in proper form to the CEO’s office on Feb. 1 or 60 days prior to the first session of the HOD at its Annual Meeting, whichever date is earlier.

  • 11/16/2018 5:12 PM | Anonymous

    November 16, 2018, WMS Medigram  

    The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) voted to adopt several new policies on emerging health care topics during its Interim Meeting this week, including policies aimed at making e-cigarettes less appealing to youth as well as policy aimed at addressing intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ population.

    Other policies adopted by the AMA HOD include:

    • Protecting and Improving Access to Zero-dollar Preventive Care
    • Continued 9-1-1 Modernization and Implementation of Text-to-9-1-1 Service
    • Sexual Assault Education and Prevention in Public Schools
    • Affirming the Medical Spectrum of Gender
    • Opposing the Detention of Migrant Children
    • Increased Access to Identification Cards for the Homeless Population
    • Increasing Patient Access to Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV in Emergency Departments

    Click here to read more about these policies.

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