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  • 14 Sep 2018 4:21 PM | Deleted user

    Sept. 14 News Alert, Wisconsin Health News

    Gov. Scott Walker would call a special legislative session if necessary to ensure that those with pre-existing conditions have access to health coverage, a spokesman for his re-election campaign said Friday. 

    “Everyone with pre-existing conditions in Wisconsin is already covered,” spokesman Brian Reisinger said in a statement. “If something were to change, Scott Walker would call a special session in a heartbeat and get it passed.”

    The announcement follows a back-and-forth between Walker's campaign and that of his challenger Superintendent Tony Evers and other Democrats over the governor’s position on insurance protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

    “Walker has no credibility on the issue, and Wisconsinites have no reason to trust him and these hollow election-year promises,” Sam Lau, Tony for Wisconsin spokesperson, said in a statement.

    Democrats have raised concerns about a lawsuit filed by Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel and other conservative attorneys general that seeks to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.

    The Trump administration has declined to defend the law, but said the court should only strike down some provisions, like those guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Attorneys general from other states like Minnesota and Illinois are defending the law.

  • 14 Sep 2018 4:18 PM | Deleted user

    Wisconsin Health News will present its annual insurance CEO Roundtable. Insurance leaders on Tuesday, October 9 in Milwaukee. 

    Leaders will discuss the most pressing issues facing their industry, including the fate of the Affordable Care Act, prescription drug prices, value-based payments and more. Panelists include:

    • Dustin Hinton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin
    • Coreen Dicus-Johnson, CEO, Network Health
    • Cathy Mahaffey, CEO, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative

    Register here to attend.

  • 14 Sep 2018 4:15 PM | Deleted user

    September 1, WMS Medigram

    The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation is seeking individuals to serve on its Board of Trustees and/or committees as terms expire. Interested candidates should be supportive of the Foundation’s mission of advancing the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting medical education and health initiatives.

    The Foundation has positions both for physicians and non-physicians and seeks Board members who represent a diversity of ages, genders, locations, ethnicities, types of practice, skills, connections, etc. Board members serve three-year terms and are required to attend Board meetings held three to four times per year and to serve on at least one committee.

    In addition to serving on the Board, there also are some opportunities for involvement on committees. Currently, a new member is needed to serve on the Foundation’s Grant Committee. Responsibilities include reviewing proposals and helping make recommendations on awards for grants and medical student fellowships. Positions on other committees including Finance and the Scholarship Committee will become available over the next year or two as terms expire.

    If you are interested in getting involved or would like to recommend someone for the Nominating Committee to consider, contact Foundation Director Eileen Wilson at 866.442.3722.

  • 20 Aug 2018 5:52 PM | Deleted user

    Healthcare is poised to play a central role in the 2018 state and federal elections, and the results could reverberate across Wisconsin. 

    Democrats are hoping a blue wave will put the brakes on President Trump’s attack on the Affordable Care Act, but if Republicans retain control of Congress, it may seal the law’s fate. Meanwhile, the races for Governor and the Legislature are certain to shape the future of healthcare for years to come.

    A panel of the state’s top healthcare lobbyists will analyze what’s at stake for the Badger State and preview their priorities for the coming year. Panelists:

    • Eric Borgerding, CEO, Wisconsin Hospital Association
    • ​Dr. Bud Chumbley, CEO, Wisconsin Medical Society
    • ​Stephanie Harrison, CEO, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
    • ​John Sauer, CEO, LeadingAge Wisconsin
    • ​Nancy Wenzel, CEO, Wisconsin Association of Health Plans
    The event is Tuesday, September 11 at the Madison Club (11:30am – 1pm).  Register here.
  • 16 Aug 2018 9:26 AM | Deleted user

    UW Madison will host a day-long workshop on Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training, presented by national experts Drs. Jack Jordan and Nina Gutin, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at the Pyle Center in Madison.

    This unique opportunity in the arena of suicide post-vention and prevention coincides closely with the conclusion of National Suicide Prevention Week. Few clinicians have been properly trained to understand and respond to the complicated features of grief associated with suicide loss. The workshop is designed to prepare clinicians for working with individuals who are grieving the loss of someone to suicide. 

  • 16 Aug 2018 9:22 AM | Deleted user

    Healthcare is poised to play a central role in the 2018 state and federal elections, and the results could reverberate across Wisconsin.

    Wisconsin Health News will host a panel discussion & luncheon in Madison on September 11. The lineup of panelists who will analyze what's at stake, and preview their priorities for the coming year, include:

    • Eric Borgerding, CEO, Wisconsin Hospital Association
    • Dr. Bud Chumbley, CEO, Wisconsin Medical Society
    • Stephanie Harrison, CEO, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
    • John Sauer, CEO, LeadingAge Wisconsin
    • Nancy Wenzel, CEO, Wisconsin Association of Health Plans
    Learn more & register.
  • 26 Jul 2018 3:29 PM | Deleted user

    July 12, Wisconsin Health News

    Workers’ compensation premiums for businesses are set to decline by 6.03 percent this October, according to a statement from the Department of Workforce Development.  

    That could result in an estimated $134 million in annual savings for businesses, the Tuesday statement noted. It’s the third year that workers’ compensation rates have declined, following an 8.46 percent decrease last year and a 3.19 percent decline in 2016. 

    “A safe workplace results in a more productive and profitable one for employers,” Ted Nickel, insurance commissioner, said in a statement. "Employers are recognizing the relation between their employees' safety and the savings that ensue as premiums continue to decline." 

    Mark Grapentine, senior vice president of government relations for the Wisconsin Medical Society, said the report shows that “good news keeps coming” for the state’s workers’ compensation program. 

    “We’re already a national model, with faster return to work, fantastic patient satisfaction and ready access to the highest-quality healthcare in the nation – all at a cost per claim that is below the national average,” he wrote in an email. “Another significant insurance rate reduction is just more evidence that Wisconsin’s system is win-win for both businesses and their employees.” 

    Grapentine added that there’s room for improvement, pointing to a need for the state’s on-the-job injury rate drop below the national average. He added that healthcare providers are “always striving to find better ways to improve care.” 

    Chris Reader, director of health and human resources policy, also lauded the announcement. He said the reduction follows a national trend as employers and workers have invested in and focused on safety. But he noted that costs for medical treatment for workplace injuries are on the rise. 

    “Had Wisconsin enacted a medical fee schedule like almost every other state, medical costs also would have been kept in check and the insurance reduction today would have been even greater," he wrote in an email. 

    Reader also argued that the rate reduction doesn’t mean much to fully-insured employers who don’t pay insurance costs and are left footing “incredibly high medical bills.” 

    Proposals to establish a fee schedule haven't gained traction with lawmakers.

  • 26 Jul 2018 3:27 PM | Deleted user

    The annual Wisconsin Health News CEO Roundtable is August 14 in Madison. A panel of the state’s leading health system and hospital leaders will discuss the most pressing issues facing their industry.

    Panelists include:

    • Dr. Sue Turney, CEO, Marshfield Clinic Health System
    • Robert Van Meeteren, CEO, Reedsburg Area Medical Center
    • Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO, UW Health

    Register now (link).

  • 12 Aug 2016 3:36 AM | Deleted user

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its ruling today in the Ascaris Mayo v. Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund case to uphold the $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages, thus restoring medical malpractice caps in Wisconsin.

    In January, a coalition of medical specialty organizations jointly filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the cap. The collaborative efforts of Wisconsin’s medical community resulted in a major victory for physicians and helped preserve access to healthcare across Wisconsin.

    An amicus brief was filed on behalf of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, the Wisconsin Academy of Ophthalmology, the Wisconsin Orthopaedic Society, the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association, the Wisconsin Radiological Society, the Wisconsin Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Wisconsin Society of Plastic Surgeons by Guy DuBeau and Axley Brynelson, LLP.

    The case centers around Ascaris Mayo, who lost her limbs after a Milwaukee emergency room failed to identify an untreated infection. A court awarded her economic damages as well as $15 million intended to compensate for pain and suffering.

    The state’s Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, which covers large medical malpractice claims in the state, moved to reduce the $15 million to $750,000. An appeals court backed the award and ruled the law unconstitutional.

    Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote the majority opinion upholding the law, in part because she said the Legislature acted rationally when creating the law.

    “We conclude that the Legislature's comprehensive plan that guarantees payment while controlling liability for medical malpractice through the use of insurance, contributions to the fund and a cap on noneconomic damages has a rational basis,” she wrote. “Therefore, it is not facially unconstitutional.”

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