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Wisconsin Health News
Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order on Thursday mandating that Wisconsinites wear masks when indoors starting Saturday.
Evers issued the order by declaring a public health emergency. It’s the second public health emergency he’s declared during the pandemic.
Under the order, which expires Sept. 28, Wisconsinites over the age of 5 will have to wear a face covering when indoors or in an enclosed space if they’re around people who aren’t members of their household or living unit. The order doesn’t apply to private residences.
Face coverings will be recommended when outdoors.
Evers said that local health departments “have been doing a heck of a job” responding to the pandemic, but there needs to be a statewide approach to fighting the virus.
“While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, my job as governor is to put people first and to do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I am going to do,” Evers said.
View the full article here.
As states reopen, many small and medium-sized healthcare and other businesses are struggling to sift through all the evolving guidance to create comprehensive, user-friendly return-to-work plans. Yet, having a thoughtful plan in place is critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19 as you increase activity in your workplace and mitigating liability should employee complaints arise.
Badger Bay is pleased to announce that we have partnered with premier law firm Husch Blackwell LLP to offer members a special discount on an easy, quick, and affordable tool that your members can use to create customized Return-to-Work policies. Husch Blackwell’s new Return-to-Work Policy Generator enables businesses of all sizes to quickly create return-to-work plans, customized to their operations, without starting from scratch. Built-in are Husch Blackwell’s knowledge of health, safety and employment issues, and extensive experience helping clients navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
The tool involves a 15-minute secure online questionnaire to learn about each company’s operations and policy needs. It generates a customized policy, which an attorney works to finalize directly with the company through an included consultation. Most policies are ready within a few business days.
Through the tool, Husch Blackwell offers each policy for a flat-fee price quoted up-front based on the complexity of each company’s operations and needs. Members of your associations can enter a referral code (“BadgerBay”) while completing the questionnaire to obtain an additional 10% discount.
To learn more, see a demo, and try the tool, visit the Return-to-Work Policy Generator here.
What does it involve?
This is great for lots of companies…
What’s special here?
The Department of Health Services said Wednesday that suspected opioid overdoses are up 117 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same time in 2019.
Preliminary data show 325 suspected opioid overdoses from March to July 13, compared to 150 suspected overdoses during the same time in 2019.
Paul Krupski, DHS director of opioid initiatives, said the pandemic has increased stress and anxiety.
“For individuals who have struggled with substance abuse and may currently be in treatment for that, this adds an extra layer to the challenges,” Krupski told reporters. “What we’re really trying to stress is to make sure that they know that there are healthy ways to cope with it. There are ways to make sure they continue down their path of recovery.”
According to a DHS statement, calls to 211 Wisconsin that include request for information on behavioral health have also increased. Under additional funding from DHS, specialists with the Addiction Recovery Helpline are now able to follow up with people asking for help.
The department has launched its Resilient Wisconsin campaign during the pandemic, which promotes healthy ways of dealing with stress and trauma. Program Manager Robin Matthies, said the pandemic has increased anxiety.
“It’s just really important that folks are paying attention to how they feel and to how people they care about might be doing,” Matthies said.
Wearing a face mask, maintaining physical distancing and regular handwashing are the most effective ways to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your fellow Wisconsinites from becoming infected with COVID-19.1,2 It could still be more than a year before an effective vaccine is developed and new therapies are still being studied for their safety and effectiveness.3 The spread of COVID-19 and the duration of the pandemic did not end with the lockdowns. The reopening of our economy should not be confused as a return to normalcy—the pandemic is not behind us.
Read the full letter here.
As some of you may already be aware, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have introduced complimentary Bipartisan Legislation that would create a new and permanent audio-visual telehealth exception to the Ryan Haight Act's in-person exam requirement and clarify Medicare'a continued ability, beyond the COVID-19 emergency, to reimburse for audio-only SUD services after an in-person or Telehealth evaluation. The proposed legislation is know as the TREATS Act.
In response, the American Society of Addiction Medicine has built out the action alert (linked below) which I encourage you to use if you want to voice support for this legislation on the Hill.
Feel free to share with others.
David Galbis-Reig, M.D., DFASAM
ASAM has hired Historical Research Associates to write a history of our organization. HRA’s team is building on the many wonderful materials gathered and historical narratives drafted by a number of our past and present members. We’re asking our members to look into their personal collections to see if they possess pre-1990: photographs (with dates and captions) , personal papers (notes, minutes, communiques, awards, letters, etc.), and any other materials related to the society and its chapters. If you have items you’d like to share, please email it to email@example.com.
Please share these details with anyone you know who may be able to assist in the collection of these historical items. Thank you!
Rockville, MD – In a new public policy statement on treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in correctional settings, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) calls on policymakers to support measures that would expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment for Americans who are incarcerated. Individuals who are incarcerated are a vulnerable population and withholding evidence-based OUD treatment increases risk for death during detainment and upon release. The new policy statement describes the standard of care that ASAM believes all individuals with OUD who are detained and incarcerated should receive and outlines systemic changes to ensure universal access to such care within correctional institutions.
Please read this important letter from AAAP and complete the anonymous survey for providers treating OUD during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information received will help formulate future policy and educational resources. Thank you!
The Department of Health Services is asking organizations to apply to pilot a new addiction treatment model of care for Medicaid members, according to a Monday statement.
The organizations will pilot a hub-and-spoke model of care.
Under the model, the organization will serve as a “hub,” offering more intensive substance use disorder treatment. They’ll then work with a network of “spokes,” which will provide less intensive care and other services.
“Piloting the hub-and-spoke model is the next step in integrating quality healthcare for individuals with a substance use disorder,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.
The state’s current budget directs the agency to pursue the model, which was recommended by former Gov. Scott Walker’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse.
The task force was co-chaired by Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, and former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
50% OFF MEMBERSHIP
2020 is half over, but you are still able to take advantage of an ASAM membership today! Membership is half price of the normal dues rate of each category. All members that join will still receive full member benefits.
Current ASAM members are not eligible for the 50% offer, only new or re-instated members.
As you are talking to your colleagues, let them know of the great benefits WISAM is able to offer, and the stellar work we are doing in treating addiction during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the ASAM Resources page at www.asam.org/Quality-Science/covid-19-coronavirus.
Join by going to www.asam.org/join and using code 2020MIDYR at check-out or contact us with any questions WISAM@Badgerbay.co.
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