The Derm Review
Around the world, major government health agencies and medical experts have found that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is predominantly transmitted through respiratory droplets that are projected through the air, which is why masks have become a major part of stopping the spread of the disease.
As the pandemic spread in early 2020, one of the first reported methods for stopping COVID was to frequently wash your hands, for at least 20 seconds. For people who had to be out in public, due to work or caregiving activities, hand sanitizer became a vital secondary solution for those who needed to clean their hands but did not always have access to sinks and soap.
Wisconsin Health News
Waukesha County anticipates that it'll start transitioning its COVID-19 vaccination operations from its public health department to health systems at the end of this week, when it expects that 60 percent of the county’s eligible population will have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
That means the county won't schedule any new first-dose clinics at its mass vaccination site at the Waukesha County Expo Center. The site will close once all scheduled second vaccine doses are given. The county is planning the final clinic for May 19.
Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and ProHealth Care will be able to meet demand once the county reaches 60 percent, per a statement.
“The collaboration between these providers is historic,” Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said in a statement. “This allows Waukesha County to focus on mitigation and recovery.”
As of Tuesday, vaccinators administered around 300,000 vaccines in the county, including more than 30,000 at the Expo Center’s clinic.
Fifty-six percent of eligible Waukesha County residents have received at least one dose, and 45.7 percent of all county residents have.
Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram
Doctor Day 2021 is just weeks away and there are two issues that seem to be emerging as hot topics, but other topics are on the menu for discussion with your legislator visits as well.
Two significant topics that can be part of Doctor Day advocacy include Telehealth and strengthening our state’s Medicaid program through more reasonable physician reimbursement.
TelehealthAs we continue to explore lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, one health care practice that stands out is the increased use of telehealth technology. Already on the increase before the pandemic, patients and physicians both embraced the opportunity to hold meaningful interactions virtually. While these kinds of encounters are not necessarily a substitute for important face-to-face appointments, some of the flexibilities established to allow for greater telehealth use during COVID-19 should be made permanent, and Doctor Day will provide the opportunity to share real examples of how properly-reimbursed telehealth opportunities can be another important tool for our health care system.
MedicaidDoctor Day is also well-timed to coincide with the state legislature’s deliberations over the next biennial budget. A major issue is funding our state’s Medicaid program, allowing our poorest and sickest citizens to access high quality health care. Physician reimbursement for services provided to Medicaid patients often does not cover the basic costs of providing that care, which means private insurance costs are artificially higher due to government under-reimbursement – and especially so for primary care and emergency care physicians. Doctor Day gives physicians an opportunity to ask policymakers to prioritize proper funding for our Medicaid program, including exploring how to access additional federal Medicaid funding via the incentives recently provided in the American Rescue Plan Act.
No matter which topics are part of the Doctor Day discussions, the event allows for important relationship-building with your elected officials, which is critical to help educate lawmakers on health care policy that matters to physicians and patients. Your interaction with legislators and their staffs can be powerful and help guide better policy throughout the legislative session.
Visit widoctorday.org to register or learn more about the day. It’s a day of advocating for your profession that you don’t want to miss!
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.
The Institute for Health & Equity, in partnership with the Genomic Sciences & Precision Medicine Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is now accepting applications for the new Precision Medicine Master of Science degree and certificate programs (PM Ed). Begin an application at: https://admissions.mcw.edu/apply.
The PM Ed program will provide innovative training to clinicians to diagnose, treat and prevent disease by accounting for individual variation in genes, environment, and lifestyle to meet the upsurge in precision medicine patient care needs.
The PM Ed program has more than 18 course directors, including 11 physicians, who will lead the courses as they relate to their specialized areas of research and clinical expertise within precision medicine. Learners will be able to customize their educational experience by choosing elective courses to best meet their needs and work with faculty who share similar research interests.
Additionally, the precision medicine program offers a flexible, online distance learning schedule for busy clinicians.
The priority deadline for the Fall 2021 semester is April 1, with a final deadline of July 1.
Additional information is available on the Precision Medicine Education website: Precision Medicine | Medical College of Wisconsin (mcw.edu).
Begin an application at: https://admissions.mcw.edu/apply. If you have any questions, please contact Kellie LeGrave, Education Program Coordinator, email@example.com or (414) 955-4139.
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 EquityWhat 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?
Public HealthJoin 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 UpdateThe 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.
WCMS Opens Nominations for Heroes of COVID-19 CampaignWCMS Will Highlight Local Heroes Both Behind the Scenes and on the Front Lines
Waukesha County, Wis. – March 11, 2021 – With a year of the pandemic now in the rearview, Waukesha County Medical Society (WCMS) wants to show support for all of the local COVID heroes who live or work in the Waukesha County community.
Through the “Heroes of COVID Campaign,” WCMS 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.
Please nominate your Heroes of COVID-19 today at www.waukeshacms.org/. Your nomination might be for: a mentor who has shown leadership on your team during the pandemic; a support staff who has worked tirelessly to help keep things running; a postal worker who never fails to deliver; a family member who has volunteered in the community; or even a small business owner adapting to a changing world. Your nomination may be for an individual or a group of people who have come together during the pandemic to really set an example.
Through this virtual campaign, WCMS will begin showcasing Heroes of COVID as soon as your nominations have been submitted! Let us share the stories of those who have helped make a difference in Waukesha County or in your lives this past year. To view and share the WCMS Heroes of COVID-19 stories, make sure you LIKE our facebook page and visit our website.
Click here to view full press release.
From the County Executive, Paul Farrow:
Residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can sign up now for Waukesha County's Registration and Standby List. We will use this list to send invites out for upcoming appointments the week of March 8 and beyond.
Waukesha County is currently focusing on vaccinating adults 65 and older, until at least 60% of that population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Sign Up for the Registration and Standby List
To Sign Up for the Registration and Standby List
Click the link above to register to be on a waiting list for any appointments that will be available in the next few weeks.
Everyone will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. However, this process will take time as vaccine quantities are limited.
More opportunities will be announced as they are available. Please continue to monitor your email for updates.
We are working to connect residents with vaccine as quickly as possible. More information clarifying this process will available soon. We thank you for you ongoing patience.
More information is also available on our website, www.waukeshacounty.gov/covid19.
Wisconsin Doctor Day - May 5, 2021
Opening Keynote Address Featuring AMA President, Susan R. Bailey MDDr. 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
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.
Contact WCMS563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136
Ph: 920-560-5641 | Fax: 920-882-3655Email: WaukeshaCMS@badgerbay.co
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