News

  • 08/29/2019 9:29 AM | Anonymous

    With Doctor Day 2020 five months away, it’s time to add it to the calendar! This is the eighth year Wisconsin Medical Society has provided this day of advocacy in partnership with many specialty organizations. The goal of Doctor Day is a worthwhile day of education, camaraderie and advocacy.

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  • 08/19/2019 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    August 19, Wisconsin Health News

    State lawmakers are pushing a bipartisan bill that would raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21.

    Fourteen lawmakers asked their colleagues to sign on to the bill earlier this month. In an email asking for support, they described the use of e-cigarettes among teenagers as a public health crisis.

    Bill author Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, cited an investigation by the Department of Health Services of people with seriously damaged lungs who reported vaping. According to DHS, there were 15 confirmed cases and 15 cases under investigation as of last Thursday.

    “I am also very concerned about the potential for illegal drugs and narcotics to be added to vaping products with – or without – the consent and knowledge of a user,” Marklein said in a statement. “We are already seeing this issue manifest in emergency rooms and hospitals throughout the state. Teenagers, who acquire their vaping products from others, may be more subject to this type of threat to their health and well-being."

    Public health organizations, youth groups, educators, healthcare providers, law enforcement and e-cigarette companies back the bill.

    Other states, including Illinois, have approved Tobacco 21 laws, which now cover half the nation's population, according to the lawmakers. Federal legislation is also pending.

    Matthew Hauser, CEO of the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said they are reviewing the legislation and haven’t taken a position. He said that one of the most common sources of e-cigarettes sold to minors is through the internet and that they believe an in-person ID check should occur before people receive the products, whether at the store or at their homes.

  • 08/01/2019 1:15 PM | Anonymous

    August 1, Wisconsin Medical Society

    The Wisconsin Medical Society is excited to launch WisMed Voice, a new digital advocacy tool to connect physicians with their lawmakers. 

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  • 07/18/2019 1:14 PM | Anonymous

    July 18, Wisconsin Medical Society

    In the July 3 Medigram alert, Governor Tony Evers used his veto pen to remove $24 million allocated for additional physician Medicaid reimbursement in the biennial budget. 

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  • 06/06/2019 1:11 PM | Anonymous

    June 6, Wisconsin Medical Society

    The Wisconsin State Senate overwhelmingly approved two Society-supported bills during floor session Wednesday at the State Capitol in Madison.

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  • 05/24/2019 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    May 24, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    The time is now to weigh in on the state budget. Physician voices are needed to make the case to legislators that access to care increases through improved reimbursement and additional funding for Graduate Medical Education.

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  • 04/19/2019 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    April 19, 2019, WMS Medigram  

    A summary of the actions taken by the House of Delegates (HOD) during the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Annual Meeting on April 7 is now available online.  

    Read more.

  • 02/01/2019 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    February 1, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    Nearly 54 percent of Wisconsin physicians are experiencing burnout—a rate that surpasses national benchmarks, according to a special report published in the current issue of WMJ.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society), in conjunction with the American Medical Association (AMA), conducted a survey of 1,165 Wisconsin physicians to assess the severity of physician burnout and its contributing factors. Results indicate that not only is burnout on the rise, but 47 percent of Wisconsin physicians plan to decrease their clinical hours or retire in the next five years. In 2014, 47 percent of physicians reported some degree of burnout and 41 percent planned to reduce hours or retire.

    “This is a very real problem, because it affects not only physicians, their families and the entire health care team, but patients as well,” said Society President Molli Rolli, MD. “That’s why the Society’s top priority is not only increasing awareness of this issue but identifying its systemic causes and working to address them.”

    Based on survey responses, the major contributors to physician burnout include:

    • frustration with electronic health records (EHR), combined with increasing insurance and government regulations.
    • loss of autonomy and lack of a supportive practice environment.
    • poor work/life balance.

     
    “These findings aren’t that surprising,” said Society CEO Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA. “Practicing medicine has changed tremendously in the last decade, particularly in Wisconsin with the emergence of increasingly large health systems. The physician/patient relationship is increasingly influenced by the EHR and health system policies and not always for the best.”

    To address the issue, the Society has identified four key priorities in 2019:

    1. Convening stakeholders to improve the functionality of electronic health records.
    2. Developing and encouraging physician leadership opportunities.
    3. Create a Center for Physician Empowerment to unite stakeholders and lead system change through collective education and action.
    4. Pursue legislation to establish a Physician Health Program.

    “No one entity or issue is to blame for physician burnout, and stemming the tide is going to take the collaborative efforts of health care systems and their executive leadership, insurers, government entities, EHR vendors and physicians themselves,” said Dr. Chumbley. “As the organization that represents all physicians in Wisconsin, the Society’s top priority is convening these stakeholders to create and implement solutions so that physicians can continue to do what they do best—care for their patients.”

    To read the Society’s special report on physician burnout, click here. For more information about the report or the Society’s burnout priorities, contact Kendi Parvin.


  • 01/25/2019 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    January 25, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    The Wisconsin Medical Society joined the American Medical Association (AMA) on an amicus brief filed Tuesday in Wisconsin Supreme Court. The brief asserts that the owners of an online marketplace designed to facilitate illegal gun sales to prohibited buyers cannot escape liability for human harm resulting from preventable firearm violence.

    The case of Daniel v. Armslist will test the enforcement of existing state and federal laws that limit high-risk or dangerous individuals from purchasing or obtaining firearms. The Armslist website was designed with features that undermine these public safety laws. An undue number of criminal acts have arisen through firearm sales facilitated by Armslist that put guns in the hands of individuals who can’t purchase weapons legally. Armslist contends it is immune from liability for violent acts, including murder, that have resulted from illegal firearm sales via its website.

    “Physicians treat both the immediate and long-term physical and psychological effects of gun violence on victims every day in our state and country,” said Society CEO Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA. “It’s a public health crisis further exacerbated by illegal gun sales, and that’s why holding this company accountable is an important step to safeguard our patients and make it clear there are serious consequences for those who would undermine laws put in place to protect the public.”

    The physician brief, prepared by the Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies, contends that Armslist is not protected from liability immunity granted to website operators by section 230 of the federal Communication Decency Act (CDA). The CDA immunizes website operators who do nothing more than publish third-party postings, but it does not apply to operators who specifically design their websites to further illegal conduct.

    Armslist allowed buyers to filter ad searches to find unlicensed private sellers who are not required to perform background checks on persons to whom they sell guns. Armslist did not require users to register, thereby facilitating anonymity, nor did it impose any waiting period on the purchases, despite the 48-hour waiting period imposed on licensed sellers.

    “Wisconsin and federal laws that prohibit dangerous people from purchasing a firearm should not be undermined by an inaccurate reading of the CDA,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, in this press release. “Physicians are compelled to urge the court to consider illegal guns sales a public health emergency. We bear the emotional weight of treating the victims of gun violence everyday: their wounds, paralysis, colostomies, brain injuries, depression, chronic infections and post-traumatic stress. Common-sense measures to support enacted laws can help prevent more carnage.”

    For more information, visit the AMA website.



  • 01/18/2019 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    January 18, 2019, Wisconsin Medical Society Medigram 

    The State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board modified the Opioid Prescribing Guideline at its monthly meeting in Madison on Wednesday. Expressing a desire to be less proscriptive in the “Discontinuing Opioid Therapy” section of the guideline, the Board has removed specific clinical suggestions for situations when opioid therapy leads to evidence of addiction risk or is proving ineffective.

    The section’s first two subsections have been shortened, while the third section remains the same:

    Discontinuing Opioid Therapy

    • If lack of efficacy of opioid therapy is determined, safe discontinuation of opioid therapy should be performed.
    • If evidence of increased risk develops, safe discontinuation of opioid therapy should be considered.
    • If evidence emerges that indicates that the opioids put a patient at the risk of imminent danger (overdose, addiction, etc.), or that they are being diverted, opioids should be immediately discontinued and the patient should be treated for withdrawal, if needed. Exceptions to abrupt opioid discontinuation include patients with unstable angina and pregnant patients. These patients should be weaned from the opioid medications in a gradual manner with close follow-up.

    The Board also added a new general provision near the top of the overall guideline:

    2. It is best practice for a practitioner to consider guidelines within their specialty when prescribing opioids.

    The remaining guideline provisions were renumbered to reflect this addition. The new guideline became effective upon Wednesday’s vote approving the changes.

    In other action, the MEB elected its leaders for 2019. They are the same as in 2018, with Ken Simons, MD, reelected chair, Tim Westlake, MD, as vice chair and Mary Jo Capodice, DO, as secretary.

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