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  • February 17, 2021 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    The Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine will begin the third year of hosting the X-Waiver Training Series with the first training available on March 5, 2021.  WISAM partners with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services  in order to offer these trainings for FREE to all Wisconsin providers who are eligible to prescribe buprenorphine. The partnership continues with the American Society of Addiction Medicine in order to provide the ASAM Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Course (TOUD). 

    This series is designed to increase treatment capacity for opioid use disorders by training more prescribers to be able to treat opioid use disorders with buprenorphine. This live course has been approved by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board as meeting the requirements for the two-hour continuing education course on responsible opioid prescribing per Med 13.03(3) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

    The course involves 4 hours of online training paired with 4 hours of in-person training. The self-paced online course will be available through ASAM’s website upon registration.

    This course is open to MDs, DOs, NPs, and PAs. MDs and DOs must complete the full 8-hour course to be eligible for their DATA Waiver. NPs and PAs must complete the full 8 hour course, plus 16 additional hours provided free by ASAM (contact about registering for the additional 16 hours.) Medical students and NP and PA students are eligible to take the course, but will not be eligible to apply for their waiver. Eligible providers who do not yet hold DATA Waivers are particularly encouraged to attend, but Waiver-holding providers can also attend for CME credit. You must attend the entire course to qualify for CME credit.

    Click here to view the full schedule 

  • February 15, 2021 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    Wisconsin has received a grant to help develop an implementation plan for 988, a new calling code that will launch next year for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

    The $171,701 grant from Vibrant Emotional Health, the administrator for the national lifeline, will fund a coalition organized by the Department of Health Services to establish a system to ensure everyone in the state has direct access through the number to trained counselors.

    “A three-digit calling code will open the door for more people to seek the help they need, while sending the message that healing, hope and help are happening every day,” said DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. 

    The new calling code is expected to launch July 2022. The coalition will start meeting in April, with a goal of having a draft of the plan completed by August and the final plan by the end of the year. 

    The coalition will ensure statewide coverage for 988 calls, sustainable funding and that call centers will be able to handle the current and projected volume of calls. They’ll also look at how to market the helpline. 
  • February 10, 2021 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    Grants states power to restart Medicaid services for incarcerated individuals 30 days before their release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mike Braun (R-IN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are leading the Senate introduction of the bipartisan Medicaid Reentry Act, legislation expanding access to addiction treatment and other health services for Medicaid-eligible individuals 30 days before their release from jail or prison. The bipartisan legislation is also being re-introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) and Michael Turner (R-OH-10).

    Currently, federal statute prohibits any form of federal health coverage for incarcerated individuals except under very limited circumstances. In most states, Medicaid coverage is immediately terminated when someone is sent to a correctional setting. This creates a serious coverage gap when individuals are released, as they often have no access to health care or addiction treatment during a stressful and dangerous time. This bill is a bipartisan response to this issue, following alarming evidence published in the New England Journal of Medicine that individuals reentering society are 129 times likelier than the general population to die of a drug overdose during the first two weeks after release.

    “The opioid and substance use disorder epidemic remains rampant in Wisconsin and across the country, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically impacting the addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery landscape in this country. This problem is harshly affecting incarcerated individuals who are working to reenter society, but currently lack the health care coverage they need to continue their recovery,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to make sure these rehabilitated folks have Medicaid or other health care coverage needed to seamlessly transition back to community care, and reduce the risk of overdose deaths post-release. I’m proud to work with my Senate and House colleagues on this bipartisan reform to address our nation’s addiction crisis and support our continued fight against this deadly epidemic.”

    Read more.

  • January 25, 2021 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    Washington Post | By Dan Diamond and Lenny Bernstein

    The Biden administration is preparing to halt a last-minute plan by the Trump administration to let more physicians prescribe an opioid-treatment drug, said three officials with knowledge of the pending announcement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan.

    The Trump plan had been hailed by physicians as loosening requirements they said had slowed their response to the nation’s worsening opioid crisis. Then-presidential candidate Joe Biden also criticized the prescribing rules and vowed to lift them if elected president. But some legal experts warned that the Department of Health and Human Services lacked the authority to issue guidelines that allowed physicians to avoid requirements mandated by Congress.

    “Unfortunately, the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder announced by the Trump administration in its last days had significant legal and clinical concerns,” according to a draft announcement obtained by The Washington Post. “The Biden Administration will not issue the Guidelines previously announced.

    Read more.

  • January 15, 2021 5:29 PM | Anonymous

    Updated 1/22/2021

    The previously announced, Trump Administration, HHS practice guidelines regarding a new exemption from certain X-waiver certification requirements for certain physicians never posted to the Federal Register-- which means the exemption never went into effect.  The Biden Administration has put a temporary freeze on matters not yet posted to the Register, pending further review.  As soon as ASAM receives further information from federal agencies about all of this, we will inform our members.

    In the meantime, on Capitol Hill, ASAM continues to advocate for a complete elimination of the X-waiver while ensuring controlled medication prescribers have baseline education on addiction – that will require a legislative “fix.”

    Posted 1/15/2021

    We have some important news to share regarding buprenorphine prescribing from HHS. For physicians, the requirement for a separate X-Waiver to prescribe Buprenorphine/naloxone will no longer be required. The patient limit for physicians without the X-Waiver will be 30 patients but it is unclear at this time what it will mean for X-waived providers. This does not apply to PA's or NP's. ASAM plans to put out a statement in the next few days when more details are available.


    David Galbis-Reig, M.D., DFASAM
    President, Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine

    HHS Expands Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

  • January 14, 2021 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that the the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has awarded nearly $9 million to 23 county agencies and five tribal nations to provide treatment services for the harmful use of opioids—such as prescription pain relievers, heroin, and fentanyl—or stimulants—such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

    “Too many Wisconsinites, and their friends, family, and neighbors, have experienced the tragedies of harmful use of stimulants and opioids first hand,” said Gov. Evers. “It tears apart families, impacts our kids, and has affected every Wisconsin community in one way or another. I am glad we are able to get these critical funds out the door to provide treatment and hope for so many.”
    “The problem use of opioids and stimulants is an epidemic in Wisconsin,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “These grant awards enable our county and tribal partners to expand access to help those who need it most, giving them hope and healing, as we continue our collective work to build healthy communities.”
    The grant awards listed below are based on the level of need for treatment services in the county or tribe and the types of treatment services to be provided by each county or tribe.

    Read more.

  • January 07, 2021 5:42 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    Society weighs in on Assembly GOP COVID Response Bill

    Signaling the importance of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin State Assembly Republicans and Democrats each unveiled their own COVID-19 response bills on Inauguration Day, January 4. With Republicans in control of that legislative house, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) introduced Assembly Bill 1 Monday afternoon, with a committee hearing and vote taking place the next day.

    The 63-page omnibus bill hits a wide variety of areas, from schools to unemployment programs to health care workforce and funding. The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) highlighted both the positive and concerning portions of the bill in this testimony, which was delivered electronically to the Assembly Committee on Health. Protection from COVID-19 exposure civil litigation, ensuring the state’s SeniorCare program covers COVID-19 vaccinations and preventing patients from facing copays or coinsurance for vaccinations garnered the Society’s support. Provisions limiting local public health and state health department powers during communicable disease outbreaks and interfering with employers’ ability to protect employees and customers from SARS-CoV-2 were not supported.

    The Assembly Health Committee approved the bill Tuesday afternoon on an 11-5 party-line vote. The full State Assembly convened this afternoon, amending the bill to place stricter limits on public health and school board powers, then passing the bill on a similarly partisan 56-34 vote. The bill now heads to the State Senate, where the bill’s fate in that house is unclear. Any bill passing both houses must then survive Governor Tony Evers’ veto scrutiny.

    Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

    Society opposes VA rule allowing care without physician supervision

    The Wisconsin Medical Society joined with dozens of other state- and specialty-based health care organizations on a letter opposing a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs proposed rule that would allow virtually all non-physician providers (NPP) to practice without the clinical supervision of a physician. The proposal would trump state scope of practice laws and regulations.

    “NPPs are an integral part of physician-led health care teams,” the letter reads. “However, NPPs cannot substitute for physicians especially when it comes to diagnosing complex medical conditions, developing comprehensive treatment plans, ensuring that procedures are properly performed, and managing highly involved and complicated patient cases. Nowhere is this more important than at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which delivers multifaceted medical care to veterans, including those with traumatic brain injuries and other serious medical and mental health issues. As such, our nation’s veterans deserve high quality health care that is overseen by physicians.”

    The letter was signed by more than 100 organizations and delivered to the Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs today. Contact Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

    You’re a member! Now what? Exploring WisMed Assure

    Explore the benefits of Wisconsin Medical Society membership by joining the WisMed team for an overview of WisMed Assure, the only Wisconsin-based insurance firm exclusively serving the health care community. Tune in on Wednesday, January 13 at 12 p.m. and learn how they can help you! Register today!

    Designed for the busy schedules of physicians, these 15-minute webinars will occur on the second Wednesday of the month, 12 - 12:15 p.m. Whether you're a brand-new member or have been involved for years, you can learn more about the latest member benefits designed specifically for you!

    You’re a member! Now what? 
    January 13 – Exploring benefits available through WisMed Assure
    February 10 – Become an active advocate
    March 10 – Take hold of your financial future
    April 14 – Member benefits 101

    Register once to be signed up for all four sessions. Contact Jess Bourin-Schreiter with any questions.

    Help shape Medical Society policies in 2021

    With the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) evolving its policymaking process to a year-round schedule, the Society is seeking a special group of members to help review policy proposals that are submitted for discussion and eventual action by the Board of Directors. This group will include Society members from across the state to ensure widespread representation. The function is similar to the role Reference Committees had in the former House of Delegates structure: listening to testimony on policy proposals and making recommendations for final action to the ultimate deciding body.

    The committee will include members from all eight Society districts and the young physician, resident physician and medical student sections. They will meet as needed leading up to each Society Board of Directors meeting. If you are interested in serving on this policy-reviewing committee, please fill out this form.

    For more information, contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD.

    Physician Wellness Advisory Committee moving forward

    The Physician Wellness Advisory Committee held its first meeting in December. The purpose of this committee is to design and establish the framework and operability of a Physician Wellness Program to offer help and respite when needed for the physicians of Wisconsin. The intent is to initiate the program in a short period of time and provide the framework for it to grow and be more robust in the future. Special thanks to Mary Jo Capodice, DO, MPH, Jacqueline Landess, MD, Erica Larson, DO, and Michael Miller, MD, for giving their time and providing recommendations as the Wisconsin Medical Society begins this crucial journey towards providing this valuable service to the physicians of Wisconsin.

    The committee is currently reviewing options that can be provided in the immediate future. A model that has been adopted in multiple states is being strongly considered. This proposed model is similar to an Employee Assistance Program, where a limited number of confidential counseling/coaching services are provided without the need to go through one’s employer or health insurance. The option to pilot the program in specific counties is also under consideration. 

    Updates on the Committee’s progress will continue to be shared. Please reach out to Jim Lorence with any questions or comments. 

    Minnesota Medical Association physician well-being conference Jan. 28

    The Minnesota Medical Association’s (MMA) 5th annual physician well-being conference will be held virtually on January 28, 2021. As a promotional sponsor for this event, Wisconsin Medical Society members can access this conference at the discounted MMA member price of $195 with the code JOYMEDPARTNER.

    Bryan Sexton, PhD, an associate professor at Duke University and director of the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety & Quality will kick off the conference with his keynote presentation Bite Size Coping During Times of Uncertainty.

    For additional information including a full agenda and registration, click here.

    Part 2 of COVID Relief Bill

    As expected, the COVID Relief Bill was signed into law just before the end of 2020. The $900 billion bill was embedded in the much larger Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

    Click here for some key provisions applicable to Wisconsin families and health care.

    Please contact Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF® at 608.442.3750 with any questions. 

    Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®
    WisMed Financial, Inc. part of the Wisconsin Medical Society

  • January 06, 2021 5:40 PM | Anonymous


    The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) will present the 2021 Virtual ‘Total Tox Course’ on three Fridays in February – the 5th, 12th, and 19th. Attendees may choose to register for one, two, or for the complete course, all three days. Register here.

    The Total Tox Course is a comprehensive review of the scope of emergency toxicology and will include up-to-date interventions and management options for poisoned patients. Prominent experts in medical toxicology and emergency medicine will lead the course. The 3-day course will focus on medical toxicology topics of interest to Physicians, Pharmacists, Advanced Practice Nurses, Nurses, Physician Assistants, Medics, EMTs, Specialists in Poison Information (SPI), Laboratorians, Poison Center Educators, First Responders, Operational or Tactical Specialists, Residents and Students. Attendees will be presented with the most up-to-date information to evaluate and manage cases of poisoning and exposure to medications, drugs of abuse, chemical terrorism, and environmental toxins.

    Topics will include:

    • Dangers and Management of Opioid Abuse
    • Over-the-Counter Poisons
    • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    • Envenomations
    • Disaster Preparedness - Radiation, Nerve Agents, & Biologic Terrorism
    • Dangers in Your House
    • Tricyclic Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, SSRIs and Lithium
    • Ethanol Intoxication & Withdrawal
    • Plants, Mushrooms & Nutritional Supplements
    • Toxic Alcohols
    • Antimicrobials & Antivirals
    • Drug Screen Pitfalls
    • Asphyxiants
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Malignant Hyperthermia
    • Local Anesthetic Toxicity
    • Dysrhythmias
    • Beta and Calcium Channel Blockers
    • Toxicity of Endocrine Agents

    Course organizer Christina Hantsch, MD, FACEP, FAACT, FACMT explains, “The possibility of a hazmat event is a daily reality; drug overdose has surpassed trauma to become a leading cause of death from injury in the US and is increasing with the COVID-19 pandemic-related stress; exposure to disinfectants, sanitizers and both prescribed and homeopathic COVID-19 treatments are also increasing. With facts such as these in mind, it’s clear that healthcare providers need to stay up-to-date in toxicology.”

    This activity is eligible for CME (Continue Medical Education) and CPE (Continuing Pharmacy Education). Registration for the course is open now! Register here.

    This course has been recommended by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP), American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), Central State Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association (CSOEMA), Society of Forensic Toxicology (SOFT), and the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM).

    About ACMT
    The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) is a professional, nonprofit association of physicians with recognized expertise and board certification in medical toxicology. Our members specialize in the prevention, evaluation, treatment, and monitoring of injury and illness from exposures to drugs and chemicals, as well as biological and radiological agents. We care for people in clinical, academic, governmental, and public health settings, and provide poison control center leadership.

  • December 28, 2020 11:58 AM | Anonymous

    The CEPO and DoD Opioid Prescriber Safety Training Work Group has been working diligently to provide an update to the current DoD Opioid Prescriber Safety Training Program on the CE Management System (CMS).

    The DoD Opioid Prescriber Safety Training Program stems from the presidential memo, "Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Use," from October 2015 that mandated training for all providers, residents, and clinical trainees in federal health care facilities who prescribe controlled substances. The memo is accessible at It was created by tri-service experts and equips providers to improve patient outcomes for substance use disorders and pain management. This program will replace the previous version that closes on 31 December 2020.

    The new DoD Opioid Prescriber Safety Training Program will go live in the CMS on 1 January 2021 and will offer participants 2.0 Continuing Education/Continuing Medical Education credits (CEs/CMEs). The training features a video developed by the DoD/VA Joint Pain Education Project (JPEP) to summarize the DoD and VHA approach to pain management, as well as, a video developed by the JPEP that provides clinicians and patients with an explanation and understanding of the New Pain Paradigm driven by emerging evidence regarding the risks of opioid therapy.

    Target Audience:
    This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Physician Assistants, Dentists, and other health care professionals.

    To access the DoD Opioid Prescriber Safety Training Program event flyer, please click here.

    2021 Clinical Communities Speaker Series

    The Defense Health Agency's Continuing Education Program Office has scheduled the dates for the FY21 Clinical Communities Speaker Series (CCSS). The CE/CME educational activities enhance quality of care, patient outcomes and population health by improving the practice skills and clinical knowledge of health care providers across the military health care system. Participants will have the opportunity to earn up to 7.0 CE/CME credits per series!

    Save the Date for the FY21 DHA CCSS Activities:

    • 25 February 2021: Emerging Priorities in Women’s Health
    • 22 April 2021: Youth in Transition
    • 24 June 2021: Exploring Evidence-Based Practices in Modern Medicine Primary Care
    • 26 August 2021: Exploration of Innovations in Health Care
    • 28 October 2021: Promising Practices in Military Health Care

    *Please note, event details are subject to change*

    Target Audience:
    CEs/CMEs are available for the following health care professionals: Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Physician Assistants, Optometrists, Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Lab Technicians, Social Workers, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Certified Counselors, Case Managers, Kinesiotherapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists, Healthcare Executives, Registered Dieticians, Dietetic Technicians, and other health care professionals.

    To access the 2021 CCSS Save the Date Flyer, please click here.

    Continuing Education:
    The DHA, J-7, CEPO awards the credits, which are limited in scope to health care providers who actively provide care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and their families.

    Please visit the CE Management System to participate in the 2020 DHA CCSS Home Study activities and additional CE/CME offerings:

  • December 08, 2020 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    The first COVID-19 vaccinations are expected in Wisconsin soon.

    Wisconsin is set to receive 49,725 first doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine after it receives emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, Stephanie Schauer, Department of Health Services Division of Public Health Immunization Program manager, told reporters Monday.

    And DHS also expects Wisconsin to receive a first allocation of 16,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this month once it's approved, a spokeswoman said. Further allocations of vaccines doses would arrive in the following weeks, she said.

    DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the vaccine has not arrived in Wisconsin yet, but they’ll start giving doses sometime this month. 

    “Distributing COVID-19 vaccine is the most significant public health undertaking of our lifetimes,” Willems Van Dijk told reporters. “It will require both preparedness and adaptability and patience.”

    Wisconsin will use a “hub-and-spoke” model to disseminate the Pfizer vaccines, which will arrive in batches to hubs like health systems in each of the state’s healthcare emergency response coalition regions, Willems Van Dijk said. 

    Those hubs will be equipped with the ultra-cold storage needed to store the vaccine. Once at the hubs, vaccines will head to smaller clinics around the area. 

    The Moderna vaccine, when approved and available, will be sent directly to vaccinators since it doesn’t require ultra-cold storage, Willems Van Dijk said. 

    DHS plans to prioritize front-line healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents, followed by high-risk groups. Then the general public will be eligible. 

    Willems Van Dijk said it’ll take months to vaccinate everyone in Wisconsin, meaning people will have to continue using preventive measures for some time.

    She predicted summer or fall would be a “really realistic goal” for moving beyond COVID-19 precautions, like mask wearing and social distancing. 

    “I know everybody’s excited and we’d love to take our masks off by Valentine’s Day, but that’s not just going to happen,” she said. 

    She also said they’re working on a contract for additional vaccinators, given that healthcare providers and public health workers are “deeply embroiled” in responding to the pandemic. 

    Willems Van Dijk said they’re assessing who has capacity and where additional workforce might be needed. 

    The UW System recently offered tuition credit to nursing students who help vaccinate. Willems Van Dijk said that Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Wisconsin National Guard could help bolster efforts. 

    Walgreens and CVS will provide vaccinators in long-term care facilities, she added.
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