Nominations are now being accepted for several Wisconsin Medical Society offices, and all nomination materials are due to the Society’s House of Delegates (HOD) Nominating Committee by Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.
Candidates are sought for the following offices:
• President-Elect for 2019-2020.
• Speaker for 2020 and 2021—to succeed Michael Miller, MD, of Middleton. (Doctor Miller is eligible for reelection.)
• AMA Delegate for 2020 and 2021 (two positions)—George M. Lange, MD, River Hills; Charles Rainey, MD, River Hills (incumbents).
• AMA Alternate Delegate for 2019 and 2020 (one position)—currently vacant.
• AMA Alternate Delegate for 2020 and 2021–Nameeta Dookeran, MD, West Allis; Don Lee, MD, Milwaukee (incumbents).
All candidates must submit a curriculum vitae not to exceed three pages, a cover letter no longer than one page, a completed candidate questionnaire for the office the candidate is seeking and a completed Disclosure of Significant Affiliations (conflict of interest) form. The candidate questionnaire forms are available here.*
The House of Delegates Nominating Committee will meet Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, at 4 p.m. at Society Headquarters in Madison. The Committee will interview and evaluate the candidates for Society offices and prepare a slate of nominees for presentation to the House of Delegates on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at the Annual Meeting in Madison.
October 4, WMS Medigram
A bill that aims to address the opioid crisis at the national level has overwhelmingly passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Last Friday, lawmakers in the House passed the bill 393-8, and yesterday the Senate followed suit, with a 98-1. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
The Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) is a cumulation of House and Senate opioid efforts over the last year. The bill encompasses more than 170 distinct provisions, which include regulatory measures as well as guidance on existing programs, grants, prescribing practices and procedures related to handling and disposing of opioids.
Prior to the Congressional votes, the Wisconsin Medical Society weighed in on in some of the bill’s provisions in a letter from Michael McNett, MD, chair of the Society’s Opioid Task Force to Speaker Paul Ryan. In it, Dr McNett asked for support of the temporary repeal of the Institutes for Mental Diseases exclusions for Medicaid beneficiaries, increased Medicare payments for non-opioid treatments for post-surgical pain, and increased access to medication assisted therapy (MAT) and codifying increasing patient caps on MAT.
“Much work remains to be done in fighting the opioid crisis. Specifically, the Society would like to see increased and continued funding for MAT and non-opioid treatments for pain, along with grants for training both physicians and medical students on proper prescribing methods,” Dr. McNett wrote. “The current actions of both the House and the Senate represent a positive step in addressing opioid crisis and lay the foundation for future efforts.”
With an overall fiscal impact estimated at $1.024 billion by the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 6 authorizes over $850 million in new grants to create projects aimed at increasing access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, first responder training, creating recovery centers and education programs. It also requires that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its subsequent agencies conduct studies, issue reports and collect data to better understand the opioid epidemic, determine possible solutions and facilitate data sharing.
H.R. 6 is organized into to the following sections.
Medicaid—The Medicaid provisions of H.R. 6 consist of the following categories: coverage and access to services for children and mothers, increasing access to substance use disorder (SUD) and MAT treatments, improving data and data sharing/reporting as it relates to the opioid crisis and changing regulations surrounding exclusions for the Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD). There are also provisions to allow Medicaid SUD services to be provided via telehealth and to require prescribers to check a prescription drug monitoring program when prescribing a Schedule II controlled substance for Medicaid beneficiaries.
Medicare—Similar to the Medicaid provisions, the Medicare aspects of H.R. 6 expand access to treatment, including MAT, for both traditional Medicare recipients and those with Medicare Advantage plans. H.R. 6 also places an emphasis on the secure prescribing of opioids under Medicare, including a provision that by 2021 all opioid prescriptions be prescribed electronically. These provisions also place an emphasis on opioid education for both prescribers and patients pertaining to proper prescribing protocols, alternative nonopioid treatments and storage and disposal of opioids. Other provisions include specific requests for studies and programs aimed at either creating new payment models under Medicare, studying prescribing incentives under Medicare or creating new opioid prescribing models/education for Medicare patients.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) & Controlled Substances—The FDA section of H.R. 6 also contains provisions related to MAT, specifically codifying into law caps on the number of patients a trained and certified physician can treat with MAT. It also lifts the time limits on MAT prescribing for nurse practitioners and physician assistants and would allow clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives and certified nurse anesthetists to prescribe MAT for five years. These provisions also include significant guidance and regulation of pain medicines, safety packaging, importation of illegal narcotics, safety and disposal and data sharing to help prevent diversion of opioid medications.
Public Health—The public health provisions of H.R. 6 aim to address numerous issues including the following: improving awareness and training for first responders; indexing narcotics, fentanyl and opioids; pain research; communication of patient records during emergencies; studies and guidance for programs aimed at helping pregnant women and infants; SUD and workforce concerns; emergency department procedures; funding for comprehensive opioid recovery centers; trauma informed care procedures; and peer supports. This section also reauthorizes the targeted state response grants from the 21st Century Cures Act.
Miscellaneous—H.R. 6 also features a number of “miscellaneous” provisions that include addressing trafficking concerns and overdose protections; fraud prevention; grants for workforce improvement; peer supports for veterans; pilot housing programs; residential treatment; drug testing; and reauthorization of funds for existing federal offices and programs such as the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Free Communities and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program.
The Wisconsin Medical Society, in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will host a two-day conference April 5-6, 2019 focused on emerging health care trends and preparing for summer.
The conference has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1™ credit and will address three areas of health care especially relevant during the summer months: environmental health, trauma and Infectious disease.
“We’ve heard over and over from physicians across the state that they really value coming together face-to-face, and this event will provide an opportunity for physicians from all specialties to network, socialize and gain valuable insight on topics that are relevant across specialties and geography,” said Society CEO Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA. “We’re very excited about how this conference is coming together and especially thankful to the medical schools for their leadership and involvement. It’s going to be a great program.”
The conference will precede the Society’s annual House of Delegates meeting, which is Sunday, April 7. The inaugural ceremony will be held Saturday evening after the conference concludes, and the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s Annual Fundraising event is Friday, April 5 beginning at 5 p.m.
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.
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:
Register here to attend.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Contact WCMS563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136
Ph: 920-560-5641 | Fax: 920-882-3655Email: WaukeshaCMS@badgerbay.co
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