Latest News

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  • October 07, 2020 4:57 PM | Anonymous

    WISAM has joined the Vote Safe Wisconsin 2020 Coalition! We are committed to sharing with our community partners about encouraging safe voting. We encourage you to vote absentee, early, or with a mask and social distance at the polls! Join us and learn more: https://www.wpha.org/mpage/VoteSafeWisconsin2020


  • October 06, 2020 11:50 AM | Anonymous

    WISAM is pleased to share these updates from our partners at the WI Medical Society

    As Governor extends statewide mask order, the Society urges proactive public behaviors

    As Governor Tony Evers declared a new public health emergency and issued a new face covering mandate on September 22 due to increases in the state’s COVID-19 case rate, the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) took the opportunity to remind the public how they can take proactive measures to help reduce the spread of the virus, regardless of any government action related to the pandemic.

    In a media statement sent statewide the afternoon of the Governor’s announcement, Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, emphasized how mask wearing, physical distancing and regular hand washing are proven effective strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “If we all agree to take simple steps, we can reduce the spread of the pandemic and protect our state’s physical and economic health,” Dr. Chumbley said in the statement. “We strongly urge everyone to wear masks, maintain social distancing and continue to wash hands often and thoroughly,” Dr. Chumbley said. The statement also emphasized that with seasonal influenza season looming, getting a flu vaccination is another action individuals can take that helps protect themselves and the public.

    The statement is the latest in a series of actions the Society has taken to help remind the public of their important role in helping stem community spread, including three public service announcements that have been aired on statewide television and on the Society’s various social media channels.

    Contact Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

    Medical Examining Board concerned over possible proposal to change nursing collaboration requirement

    Many physician members of the state’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) raised concerns at its monthly meeting on September 16 over a potential Board of Nursing (BON) proposal that would repeal a requirement that Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers (APNP) work in collaboration with at least one physician or dentist. While the MEB does not have jurisdiction over how nurses are regulated, numerous MEB members were concerned that such a proposal would have negative impacts on Wisconsin’s high-quality health care system.

    The MEB’s concerns rose from a BON meeting on Sept. 10, which included initialization of the process used to change the administrative code: preparing a proposed “Scope Statement” laying out the desired change. The specific scope statement proposal, which requires approval from the Governor before it can be developed further, was included in yesterday’s MEB agenda for discussion.

    State MEB administrative staff indicated that the BON may be withdrawing or further modify the scope statement and said a BON subcommittee will be discussing the issue Sept. 18. The Society will attend that subcommittee meeting and has already been in contact with other physician-centric advocacy organizations to ensure all are aware of the possible attempt to alter the collaboration requirement.

    In other action, the MEB unanimously approved its own scope statement for a regulatory update that would extend the current requirement for physicians holding a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration number to complete controlled substance education as part of the 30 hour biennial license requirement.

    That statement will now be sent to the Governor for review; the Board will further develop the rule following the Governor’s likely approval.

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

    Society's COVID-19 Task Force asks physicians to review DHS alert on antigen testing

    The Wisconsin Medical Society’s (Society) COVID-19 Task Force recommends that Wisconsin physicians review a COVID-19 Health Alert on antigen testing issued today, September 24, by the state’s Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Bureau of Communicable Diseases.

    Calling this testing an “important and evolving topic,” DHS Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, provides important information regarding various aspects of this type of testing, including considerations for using antigen tests in symptomatic vs. asymptomatic patients, the characteristics of the antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 currently available and a list of antigen tests currently authorized for use in the U.S.

    The Society’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet biweekly as Wisconsin battles the pandemic, and regularly updates relevant information on the Society’s COVID-19 Resources webpage.

    Contact Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA with any questions for the COVID-19 Task Force.

    Virtual Trivia – October 8

    Join your fellow Wisconsin Medical Society members for a virtual WisMed Meet Up! Trivia nights provide an opportunity to connect with your peers across the state from the comfort of your home.

    The Society will create trivia teams, or you are welcome to invite colleagues to create a team of your own by emailing Jess. (Maximum of 4 people per team).

    Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
    Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
    Register here! 

    Gift cards will be awarded to the winning team! Please contact our Membership Specialist at jessica.schreiter@wismed.org with any questions.

    Thanks to Exact Sciences for sponsoring this member exclusive event!

  • October 05, 2020 11:48 AM | Anonymous

    The Wisconsin Elections Commission encourages every eligible citizen to vote and to become involved in the election process. One way to get involved is to become an Election Day poll worker, also known as an election inspector).  

    Citizen involvement is essential to conduct open, accurate and fair elections in Wisconsin. And, Addiction Medicine Physicians as well as other healthcare providers are uniquely positioned given the comfort level with PPE.

    There are several different jobs at polling places in Wisconsin, all of which are appointed by municipal clerks. Learn more at elections.wi.gov.

  • October 02, 2020 11:58 AM | Anonymous

    In response to the increasing COVID-19 cases, Governor Evers announced a new Emergency Order—EO-2.  Included in this new order are new provisions applicable to health care providers including interstate reciprocity, credentialing, and Telemedicine.  

    In addition, the provisions from previously released EO-16 related to physician assistants and nurses are included by reference.  The new order is effective immediately and unless suspended by the legislature or the courts, will remain in effect for the duration of the federal declared public health emergency.  

    View the Governor's press release

  • October 01, 2020 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | HHS.gov

    Today, under the leadership of President Trump, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is announcing $20 billion in new funding for providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. Previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020 will also be invited to apply, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic will also be eligible for relief payments.

    Providers can begin applying for funds on Monday, October 5, 2020.

    “HHS has worked to ensure that all American healthcare providers receive support from the Provider Relief Fund in a fast and fair way, and this new round helps ensure that we are reaching America’s essential behavioral health providers and takes into account losses and expenses relating to coronavirus,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We’ve worked with all of the resources we have across HHS to ensure that America’s heroic healthcare providers know they can apply for support.”

    HHS has already issued over $100 billion in relief funding to providers through prior distributions. Still, HHS recognizes that many providers continue to struggle financially from COVID-19’s impact. For eligible providers, the new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2 percent of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.

    Further, HHS recognizes constraints such as the stay-at-home orders and social isolation have been particularly difficult for many Americans. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report found the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety disorder in the second quarter of 2020 was approximately three times those that reported in the second quarter of 2019 (25.5% versus 8.1%); and the prevalence of depressive disorder was approximately four times that reported in the second quarter of 2019 (24.3% versus 6.5%). Our behavioral health providers have shouldered the burden of responding and confronting this expanded challenge triggered by the pandemic. When traditional face-to-face counseling was restricted and new telehealth flexibilities were put in place in response to the pandemic, many behavioral health providers invested in and adopted - PDF telehealth technologies to continue providing patient care. While some Medicare or Medicaid behavioral health providers have already received prior General Distribution payments, others have not. Working with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HRSA developed a list of the nation’s behavioral health providers now eligible for funding, which includes, for example, addiction counseling centers, mental health counselors, and psychiatrists.

    Read more.

  • September 16, 2020 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    National Addiction Treatment Week is an initiative which promotes that addiction is a disease, evidence-based treatments are available, and recovery is possible. The week also highlights the need for clinicians to enter the field of addiction medicine. Join us October 19 - 25, 2020!

    The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) launched National Addiction Treatment Week in 2017 along with partner organizations in order to generate awareness of the disease of addiction and push for more medical professionals to enter the field of addiction medicine.

    Find more information on the website and stay tuned as WISAM shares information, resources and more leading up to and during this designated week!

  • August 19, 2020 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    On July 15, 2020, a final rule revising the federal regulations governing the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records, 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2), was released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule will go into effect on August 14, 2020. A SAMHSA fact sheet outlining the changes is here and the final rule here.  

    Between the time the Part 2 proposed rule was released and the final rule was promulgated, Congress included legislation to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA for the purpose of treatment, payment and operations in section 3221 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  The legislation was originally introduced in the Senate by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act, and in the House by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) in the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act.

    The CARES Act became law on March 27, 2020. SAMHSA will need to release new regulations to implement the law, which are required no earlier than March 27, 2021. The SAMHSA regulations going into effect on August 14, 2020 do not include provisions from the CARES Act. 

  • August 14, 2020 1:14 PM | Anonymous

    Open Record: Telehealth Trends | By Amanda St. Hilaire  | Fox 6 Milwaukee 

    "We all know the coronavirus has changed so much in our day-to-day lives and that includes our health care. Many people have shifted to seeing doctors and various specialists virtually. Telemedicine numbers have never been higher and experts say how we're treated by medical professionals could potentially be changed forever. In this episode of Open Record, FOX6 Investigator Amanda St. Hilaire shares a recent conversation she had with the medical director of Addiction Services at Ascension Wisconsin All Saints.

    David Galbis-Reig is also the president of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine. Amanda and David dive into an issue affecting everyone: How your health care has evolved in the era of COVID-19. One of the main topics of their conversation revolves around addiction -- from opioids to methadone."

    Listen to the full story here.

  • August 07, 2020 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) hosted all-inclusive webinars last week to engage providers, provider associations, members, and member advocates in telehealth expansion. These webinars provided an overview of the telehealth expansion project and gathered input on permanent telehealth policy.

    Recordings of the webinars are now available on the telehealth webpage. You can also view and download the presentation slides on that page.
  • August 06, 2020 2:20 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    A $2 million federal grant will help support the state’s behavioral health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health Services said Wednesday. 

    DHS is partnering with seven counties identified as having the greatest need for behavioral health services relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. The counties are:

    • Brown County - $140,930
    • Dane County - $292,498
    • Kenosha County - $270,000
    • Milwaukee County - $320,000
    • Racine County - $122,512
    • Rock County - $212,702
    • Waukesha County - $168,833

    They’ll use it to develop programs to help those facing the greatest challenges during the pandemic. That could include addressing barriers to care, expanding services for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness and enhancing supports for foster care families.

    Other efforts include providing telehealth, substance-free housing, safe spaces for residential use treatment and peer specialists.

    Mental Health America of Wisconsin is getting $48,016 to provide treatment services to healthcare workers through telehealth. And Behavioral Consulting Services is getting $58,203 to provide treatment and recovery support to staff at long-term care facilities. 

    The remainder of the money is going to data collection and monitoring of the outcomes and efficacy of the projects. Grant funding is available through August 2021. 
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