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Wisconsin Health News
Northern Wisconsin opioid and methamphetamine treatment programs funded by the state served 939 people last year, according to an annual report recently submitted to the Legislature.
Last year was the fifth year of operation for programs located at HSHS St. Vincent’s Hospital and Libertas Treatment Center, Family Health Center of Marshfield and NorthLakes Community Clinic. They were in their second year for methamphetamine treatment.
Family Health Center of Marshfield also runs a program in Ladysmith and NorthLakes Community Clinic has partnered on a program with Lake Superior Community Health Center. Both of those programs were in their second year of operation.
The total grant funding was $2.3 million for the initiative.
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:
Visit their website here: https://www.wisconsinacep.org/
ForwardHealth has published Alert 019, titled "Opioid Treatment Programs Submitting Claims for Phone Calls Under the Five-Minute Threshold," to the COVID-19: ForwardHealth Provider News and Resources Portal page.
ForwardHealth Alerts are short, targeted publications designed to disseminate the latest COVID-19 information to providers quickly. They may contain news, policy, or resources deemed critical or helpful for providers. Providers will receive messaging letting them know when Alerts have been published that may impact them, and all Alerts relating to COVID-19 will be linked from this page. Register today on their website to receive the alerts.
Wisconsin’s latest Emergency Order #35 includes updated information pertaining to Community Support Programs (Section IX) and Community Substance Abuse Services (Section X), both of which are relevant to the field of addiction medicine.
Among the changes outlined in this Emergency Order include the extension of time-frames for compliance, relaxed “face-to-face” and in-person requirements, and loosened staffing and documentation requirements. These changes are temporary and scheduled to stay in place through the state’s “safer at home” order.
Read Emergency Order #35 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).
Call for Cases - Perinatal Substance Use Disorders
The Periscope Project
We are excited to partner with the Addiction and Co-morbid Conditions: Enhancing Prevention and Therapeutics (ACCEPT) program through the UW School of Medicine and Public Health to offer an educational session on substance use disorders in the perinatal population. The session will be streamed live through ACCEPT’s Project ECHO series. We are looking for a few clinical cases to present during the session. Cases should be focused on pregnant or postpartum patients with substance use disorders including, but not limited to, opioid, alcohol, benzodiazepine, marijuana, or stimulant use. During the session, experts will review and discuss the case in an interactive session followed by a brief didactic. If you’d like your clinical case presented, please email Shelby Kuehn (email@example.com).
Learn more about ACCEPT and the UW Addiction Consultation Provider Hotline.
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.
Governor Evers announced that the state is seeking volunteers to support Wisconsin's healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Active and retired healthcare professionals and those who wish to help in non-clinical support positions are encouraged to sign up to volunteer through the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR).
The number of patients in Wisconsin who need to be treated for COVID-19 is expected to surge in the coming weeks. Building a network of available volunteers now will greatly reduce the hardships on hospitals and clinics that would not normally have the capacity to care for the increase in patients.
Both active and retired healthcare professionals can volunteer for critical clinical roles by entering their information into the WEAVR, a secure, password-protected, web-based volunteer registration system for healthcare and behavioral health professionals. Individuals who are not licensed professionals are also encouraged to sign up to volunteer for non-clinical support positions.
Volunteers will be assigned to locations across Wisconsin to support ongoing efforts related to the COVID-19 national emergency. Those who are willing to travel should note that when they sign up. All volunteers should also be aware that they will be required to complete a background check.
Governor Evers announced that Wisconsin has been granted a major disaster declaration for the entire state of Wisconsin, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration provides access to Public Assistance programs for all 72 Wisconsin counties and the state’s federally recognized tribes.
Gov. Evers earlier this week requested that the federal government provide the following programs to support the state’s response: Public Assistance, Direct Assistance, Hazard Mitigation (statewide), and certain Individual Assistance programs; Crisis Counseling, Community Disaster Loans and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified the state today that it is granting the request for Public Assistance to help provide reimbursement for emergency protective measures taken by state and local governments in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The declaration also authorizes direct Federal Assistance which means when the State and local governments lack the capability to perform or to contract for eligible emergency work and/or debris removal, the State may request that the work be accomplished by a federal agency. The governor’s additional requests for assistance remain under review.
The major disaster declaration covers assistance to public entities, and will cover eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships, tribes, and certain private, not-for-profit organizations. Local governments in the declared counties are now eligible for federal assistance and should contact county emergency management directors for further information. Under the program, FEMA provides 75 percent of eligible costs, while the remaining 25 percent is the responsibility of state and local agencies.
The Governor’s full press release is available online (link).