Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram
Yesterday, the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund (Fund) approved waiving the upcoming fiscal year’s premiums for physicians, CRNAs and hospitals enrolled in the fund.
The Society has been working hard to find ways to assist its membership during these unprecedented times and approached the Fund with the idea of a premium holiday to provide some financial relief. "COVID-19 has posed unprecedented health and economic challenges to our state, and the health care industry is no exception," said Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, a Fund Board member and the CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society. "The premium holiday approved yesterday by the board will provide some financial relief to many of the Wisconsin medical professionals and providers who have been affected by the pandemic and who face ongoing challenges."
Full-time physicians will save between $382 and $2,521, depending on their specialty, with Residents saving $229 and part-time or retired physicians saving $95. The premium holiday will be in effect from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Additional details can be found in the Society's update or the Fund’s press release.
Wisconsin Health News
The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 who are hospitalized continues to fall, a positive sign for the state’s fight against the pandemic, according to Medical College of Wisconsin CEO Dr. John Raymond.
As of Tuesday, the number of total hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the state was 2,904, an increase of 44 from Tuesday. The number of total positive tests was 21,308, an increase of 270 from Tuesday.
That put the total percentage of patients testing positive for the disease that were or are hospitalized at 13.6 percent, unchanged from Monday.
That’s an improvement from the beginning of the pandemic when the percentage was around 30 percent, Raymond said during a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce webinar.
“I think that’s good news, probably emblematic that as our testing has grown, we’ve been able to diagnose people earlier in their illnesses and maybe even some asymptomatic individuals,” Raymond said. “I also believe that we know a whole lot more about how to give high quality supportive care to patients with COVID-19 and to triage them appropriately into the hospital, to home or into intensive care settings.”
Raymond said there’s adequate capacity at Wisconsin hospitals, and the number of those in inpatient settings or intensive care units is stable. He said most hospitals have been able to resume “some semblance of normal activity” with stable personal protective equipment supplies.
The most critical needs are goggles and gowns. N95 masks may also become a problem in southeast Wisconsin, he said.
“I can’t breathe.” These were the harrowing last words of an American, George Floyd, spoken as a system deprived him of life. The systemic racist structure failed the promise of life to this American. Racism is a constant threat to health, medical care and longevity in America. The Wisconsin Medical Society, driven by our mission of health to Wisconsinites, declares racism to be a Public Health Crisis and calls for equity in health.
Racism threatens health. Racism worsens the social determinants of health, including housing, employment, education, community and neighborhood, food and medical care. Poor housing, including homelessness, results in illnesses such as diabetes and asthma. Unemployment increases heart disease risks and overall mortality; poor education increases death from diabetes; physical space loss for exercise increases childhood obesity; and food deserts significantly increase African-American obesity. The greatest health threat faced today in COVID 19 has further revealed these profound disparities demonstrated by the disproportionate mortality in communities of color.
The human toll is destructive and untenable. To move forward, we must take a stand against racism. In doing so, we stand in solidarity with organizations across the state and our country condemning racism, injustice, and health disparities.
With the AMA, we know racism is detrimental to health in all its forms.
With ACOG, we acknowledge that people of color face threats to their health and well-being daily across Wisconsin and the United States.
With AAMC, we have seen that over the past three months, “the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the racial health inequities harming our black communities, exposing the structures, systems, and policies that create social and economic conditions that lead to health disparities, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancy.”
With APA, we stand “with the Black community and all those opposed to racism to protect and improve the lives of those who have experienced discrimination and the associated trauma.”
With the ANA, the AAFP, and other health care organizations, we consider racism a Public Health Crisis.
Black lives matter. To remain silent is to be complicit.
The Wisconsin Medical Society refuses to be complicit or indifferent on this issue. Daily, physicians see the tragedy of lost health from systemic racism in our community. We proclaim the “thoughts and prayers” approach to racism to be complicit with systemic racism. The Rabbi Abraham Joshua Hershel clarified the act of complicity well when he said, “The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference.”
Change requires action. As such, we are in solidarity with AAMC, and join them in the key actions outlined below:
As the voice of physicians in the state of Wisconsin, we resolve to make health equity a priority. The Wisconsin Medical Society stands with all Wisconsinites for healing and for the elimination of racism in all its forms.
For a full PDF of this statement, click here.
The Wisconsin Medical Society is hosting a 5-week series with new guest speakers each week in order to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and related topics. If you are interested in participating, please register here!
Remaining Dates:Wed, May 27, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
Wed, Jun 3, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
Wed, Jun 10, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
The Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Wisconsin Hospital Association have partnered to spread the message that hospital emergency rooms and urgent care clinics remain safe, clean and ready to help give patients the care they need. We believe it is important to remind the public that hospitals are hard-wired to provide a safe environment and prevent infection spread. Along with a press release, two versions of an audio Public Service Announcement have been distributed:
On Wednesday, May 13th the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the Evers Administration’s Safer at Home order effective immediately. The Court determined that the extension of the Safer at Home order under Emergency Order 28 went beyond the bounds of executive authority under section 252 of the state statutes and should have been submitted as a rule. Members of the Court had considered a stay of the ruling as requested by the Legislature but ultimately decided against it. Late Wednesday night, the Evers Administration stated it was going to be submitting a rule framework for new regulations in light of the Court’s ruling. The timing, duration and implementation of any new rule is unknown at this time and would incorporate elements from both the Governor and the Legislature.
While the Court’s ruling applies to the statewide order, multiple local municipal orders either remain in place or were announced yesterday. Prior to the Court’s arguments, the Society issued a joint statement with the AMA stating that “decisions about public health should be made based on science, evidence and data… [and] calling on all parties in the state… to put their differences aside and come together and work to improve the health and well-being of the people of Wisconsin.” The Society will closely monitor developments as they unfold.
Do you have questions? Contact HJ Waukau at the Wisconsin Medical Society.
The Wisconsin Medical Society is pleased to announce that Wisconsin health care practices can now order personal protective equipment (PPE) from a reputable and certified bulk PPE supplier through ActionPPE. The project was launched by the Charleston County Medical Society in South Carolina. The Society, along with other state medical societies are coordinating joint orders of products including KN-95 masks, disposable masks and gowns on behalf of our state physicians and their practices. The Society is looking to add other PPE supplies in the future.
These products may be procured by any Wisconsin physician, their practices and all state health care providers.
Information on the vetted vendor, certificates of items and ordering information is available here.
Governor Evers today announced Wisconsin's "Badger Bounce Back" plan which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. In coordination with this announcement, at the direction of the governor, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #31 establishing the process and outlining the phases of the plan. The emergency order is available here.
The Badger Bounce Back plan is informed in part by the President's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again that was issued by the White House on April 16, 2020. Currently, Wisconsin does not meet the criteria the White House established to start reopening our state. The Badger Bounce Back plan takes important steps to get the state of Wisconsin there.
The goal of the Badger Bounce Back plan is to decrease cases and deaths to a low level, and increase capacity in our healthcare system so the phased reopening of businesses is possible. As part of that plan the state will be working to increase access to more testing and expand lab capacity. Under the Badger Bounce Back plan, everyone who needs a test should get a test. The state is setting a goal of 85,000 tests per week, averaging about 12,000 tests per day. More information on the state's testing efforts was released earlier today, and is available for review here.
Next, the state will be expanding contact tracing and more aggressively tracking the spread with the goal of every Wisconsinite who tests positive being interviewed within 24 hours of receiving their test results and their contacts being interviewed within 48 hours of test results.
Additionally, the state will continue to pursue every avenue to grow Wisconsin’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare and public safety entities to conduct COVID-19 testing, patient care, and public safety work. Finally, the plan works to bolster healthcare system capacity where patients can be treated without crisis care and there are more robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers.
The state will be looking for a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 symptoms reported within a 14-day period, and a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period. When the state has seen these efforts be successful, Wisconsin can begin to turn the dial, re-open the state, and get businesses and workers back on their feet.
The Badger Bounce Back plan is available here. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s portion of the Badger Bounce Back plan aimed at helping to ensure workers and businesses are prepared and ready to bounce back is available here. The Badger Bounce Back plan in brief is also available here.
Governor Evers today directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to extend the Safer at Home order from April 24, 2020 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. The order implements some new measures to ensure safety and support the progress we've made in containing COVID-19, but also allows certain activities to start up again.
The extension of the Safer at Home order includes a few changes. Some changes allow more businesses and activities to open back up, while other changes help make businesses safer for employees and customers.
The changes in this order go into effect on April 24, 2020. The order will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on May 26, 2020.
The order is available online (link). The Governor’s full press release is also available online (link).
The State Legislature passed, and the Governor has signed, the state's COVID-19 response package, which includes liability immunity provisions. A late amendment broadens the measure and ensures there is no ambiguity about protections applying to COVID and non-COVID patients alike.
The legislation also includes provisions that will help the state draw down additional federal dollars for Medicaid as well as a provision related to out of network billing.
Below is the liability immunity language as adopted.
SECTION 98. 895.4801 of the statutes is created to read:
895.4801 Immunity for health care providers during COVID-19 emergency.
(1) DEFINITIONS. In this section:
(a) “Health care professional” means an individual licensed, registered, or certified by the medical examining board under subch. II of ch. 448 or the board of nursing under ch. 441.
(b) “Health care provider” has the meaning given in s. 146.38 (1) (b) and includes an adult family home, as defined in s. 50.01 (1).
(2) IMMUNITY. Subject to sub. (3), any health care professional, health care provider, or employee, agent, or contractor of a health care professional or health care provider is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or any damages caused by actions or omissions that satisfy all of the following:
(a) The action or omission is committed while the professional, provider, employee, agent, or contractor is providing services during the state of emergency declared under s. 323.10 on March 12, 2020, by executive order 72, or the 60 days following the date that the state of emergency terminates.
(b) The actions or omissions relate to health services provided or not provided in good faith or are substantially consistent with any of the following:
(c) The actions or omissions do not involve reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct.
(3) APPLICABILITY. This section does not apply if s. 257.03, 257.04, 323.41, or 323.44 applies.
Contact WCMS563 Carter Court, Suite B, Kimberly, WI 54136Email: WaukeshaCMS@badgerbay.co
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