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  • 04/23/2018 3:12 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin continues to grapple with the opioid epidemic. Emergency departments in the state saw suspected opioid overdoses more than double between July 2016 and last September, according to recent federal data. While Wisconsin has taken steps to fight the crisis, more work remains. A Wisconsin Health News panel will take a closer look at the challenges facing those seeking treatment and how to boost access.

    Panelists include:

    • Paul Krupski, Director of Opioid Initiatives, Department of Health Services
    • Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette
    • Andrew Whitacre, Senior Associate, Pew Charitable Trusts
    • Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska, Assistant Professor, UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health 

    Register here


  • 03/26/2018 10:13 AM | Anonymous
    March 23, 2018 - Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance and Financial Services

    The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund (Fund) Board this week approved a 10 percent decrease in Fund fees for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This is the sixth decrease approved by the Fund Board in as many years.

    Wisconsin’s excellent medical liability environment is good for your organization’s business: money not spent to obtain coverage and settle claims can be allocated to improve quality and the overall patient experience.

    Your Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) continues to work vigilantly to preserve Wisconsin’s relatively stable medical liability environment, most recently by filing amicus briefs at both the appellate and Supreme Court level in Mayo v. the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund—a case that has challenged the constitutionality of the state’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases. We are also maintaining our active involvement in the primary insurance market, working with our exclusive partner, ProAssurance. Additionally, the WMS Holdings Risk Purchasing Group and Captive are designed to help health systems decrease liability costs and improve quality and efficiency.

    The Society was influential in obtaining this rate reduction through its participation on the Fund Board. This is a great example of how the Society’s advocacy efforts—which the profits generated by Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance & Financial Services help support—benefit the medical community in Wisconsin.

    Don't hesitate to email me or call me at 608.442.3738 if you have any questions about this or for other insurance-related matters. 

    Very truly yours, Shawna Bertalot, President

    Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance and Financial Services


  • 03/26/2018 10:11 AM | Anonymous

     Join us for lunch and discussion with Sen. Leah Vukmir, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. The Brookfield Republican will talk about the past session's major health-related initiatives and what's next for healthcare in the state.   

    Register here. 

  • 02/19/2018 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    February 19, 2018 

    Milwaukee's mental health system is in flux. The county is moving forward with overhauling the way it delivers care, with an emphasis on community supports rather than institutions. It's also working with healthcare providers and others to study how to best provide emergency care for patients. 

    Experts will weigh in on the system's transformation at a Wisconsin Health News panel in Milwaukee on Tuesday, March 13. 

    Panelists:

    Barbara Beckert, Disability Rights Wisconsin Milwaukee Office Director

    Mike Lappen, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division Administrator 

    Joy Tapper, Milwaukee Health Care Partnership Executive Director

    Register Here

  • 01/02/2018 12:11 PM | Anonymous
    December 20, 2017 - Wisconsin Health News

    An Assembly committee is planning to take up a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would allow providers in free and charitable clinics to apply for a loan forgiveness program that now targets those working in underserved areas.

    The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health administers the program for those who practice in federally-designated shortage areas for healthcare providers or for federally qualified health centers. The bill would add workers at free and charitable clinics to that list.

    Under the program, physicians and dentists working 32 hours a week for three years are eligible to have up to $50,000 of their loans repaid. Physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, dental hygienists and nurse practitioners who work the same amount of time may receive up to $25,000 in loan forgiveness.

    Sara Nichols, executive director of Open Arms Free Clinic in Elkhorn, told lawmakers at a public hearing last week that they recently received a federal grant to hire a dentist and dental hygienist.

    “We can’t hire a hygienist,” she said. “We can’t find them. We have no carrot to wave because we have no loan forgiveness program.”

    Lake Area Free Clinic in Oconomowoc recently opened its own dental clinic and is planning to hire two full-time dentists, according to Medical Director Dr. Peter Geiss.

    “We’re not really competitive right now, and it’s difficult for us to hire dentists as well as dental hygienists,” he said. The bill “would help us dramatically,” he said.

    Katherine Gaulke, Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics executive director, said they pursued the legislation in part because the Department of Health Services ended a waiver that allowed dentists to volunteer and serve BadgerCare patients in free clinics without having to be certified by the program.

    “We just want to get on an even playing field with the other partners in the safety net,” she said.

    The program now serves around 20 out of 50 applicants a year, said John Eich, director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.

    The proposal doesn’t add new money to the program, and Eich said that additional applicants would be judged “on equal footing” with existing applicants.

    He doesn’t anticipate seeing many additional applicants under the bill as it’s “very unusual” for providers to volunteer that amount of time or be paid by a clinic. 


  • 12/27/2017 7:47 PM | Anonymous

    December 20, 2017  

    Brown County Medical Society Evening with Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates
    Registration Now Open! 

    Join us on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at the Titletown Brewing Company Tap Room - William Larsen Event Hall for dinner and an evening with Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates! 

    This event is scheduled just prior to the February primary for the Supreme Court candidates. It will be a great opportunity to hear updates on issues affecting issues affecting physicians, patients, and the practice of medicine. Don't miss this unique event to interact with your fellow BCMS members and enjoy dinner at the Titletown Brewing Company. This event is open to BCMS members and their guests.    

    Candidates invited include: 

    • Judge Rebecca Dallet 
    • Mr. Tim Burns 
    • Judge Michael Screnock

    Schedule
    (subject to change)
    6:00 pm - Reception
    6:45 pm - Dinner
    7:30-9:00 pm - Program with Candidates 

    Register Here.


  • 12/11/2017 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    December 11, 2017 

    As the integration of dental care and healthcare steams ahead, access remains an issue for many low-income and special needs populations. A Wisconsin Health News panel will examine what’s being done to address the challenge, as well as the implications of unmet oral health needs.

    Confirmed Panelists (additional panelists to be announced soon):

    • Matt Crespin, Associate Director, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin
    • Greg Nycz, Executive Director, Family Health Center of Marshfield

    Register now (link).


  • 12/11/2017 1:30 PM | Anonymous
    December 11, 2017 - Wisconsin Health News

    The Department of Health Services has accepted the resignation of Medicaid Director Michael Heifetz, who is leaving for the private sector, according to a Tuesday, December 6 statement.

    Heifetz, who also serves as administrator of the Division of Medicaid Services, will leave the department Dec. 13. Deputy Administrator Casey Himebauch will serve as the division's interim leader.

    “Michael has been invaluable in his role as Medicaid director, representing Wisconsin’s vision for the future in the national spotlight,” DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer said in a statement. “We will greatly miss his leadership and insight, as well as his candor and energy.”

  • 12/11/2017 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    December 11, 2017

    The Wisconsin Medical Society's House of Delegates (HOD) will convene Saturday, April 14 as part of the Society's 2018 Annual Meeting. The HOD is the Society's primary policy-making body and provides members an opportunity to influence policies that will shape the Society's mission and position on important matters of healthcare in Wisconsin and beyond. Please consider serving as a Delegate for BCMS to this important event! Contact us if you wish to be a delegate. 

    Additionally, any Society member may submit resolutions for consideration by the HOD to help shape Society policy on important medical issues. All resolutions must be submitted by 4:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 to be considered. Learn more here


  • 12/11/2017 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    December 11, 2017

    Doctor Day 2018 is fast approaching and it’s important that physicians like YOU participate in our annual advocacy event in Madison on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

    It’s a full day of speakers, issue briefings and a visit to the Capitol to advocate on behalf of your profession. The day will conclude with a reception at DLUX.  The tentative schedule and online registration can be found at widoctorday.org. The event is free to all physicians and medical students thanks to very generous support from sponsorship organizations.

    Each year, Doctor Day attendees hear from some of the leading voices in Wisconsin politics and health care policy. We’re awaiting final confirmation from speakers, but physicians attending Doctor Day 2018 will enjoy the same high-level experience. Also, our speakers will update physicians on health care issues still under debate in the State Capitol. The January 30 meeting date coincides nicely with the final days of the state legislature’s activity, and therefore puts physicians in policymakers’ offices at the best time to maximize impact on the issues physicians care about.

    Physicians also will hear the latest regarding Wisconsin's cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases—currently being heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. One of the state’s top medical liability attorneys, Guy J. DuBeau, will explain how a lone case—tried in Milwaukee County—left Wisconsin with no limit on noneconomic damages and what physician organizations are doing to fix that problem.

    Staff and committee members will take care of every detail—from breakfast, briefings, speakers, lunch and scheduling your visits with legislators to the reception at the end of the day!

    Please consider joining us for a great day of advocacy on behalf of your profession and your patients!  

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