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  • November 12, 2019 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    November 12, Wisconsin Health News

    Wisconsin collected more than 30 tons of prescription drugs during a drug take back day last month, according to final numbers released by the Department of Justice last week.

    Wisconsin collected a total of 60,472 pounds of drugs on Oct. 26. Across the state, 280 law enforcement agencies held drug take back events and collected medications from 476 drug disposal boxes.

    The collected medications were transported to Indianapolis where they were incinerated.

    Wisconsin had the second largest collection of any state in the nation, according to a report of preliminary numbers from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

  • November 12, 2019 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    November 12, Wisconsin Health News

    Legislators are asking their colleagues to sponsor seven more bills that are part of a years-long effort to fight the opioid epidemic.

    The bills began circulating for co-sponsorship last week.

    They’re part of the Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Agenda, a series of 30 bipartisan bills that have passed the Legislature.

    Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, noted that recent data show overdose deaths declining in Wisconsin. He said that they've worked with healthcare professionals, the recovery community and law enforcement on addressing the issue.

    “The HOPE Agenda is not a silver bullet solution to our statewide drug epidemic, but I am proud that we are continuing to take steps in the right direction,” Nygren said in a statement.

    The bills would:

    • Increase a supplemental appropriation for the Joint Finance Committee by $1 million over the biennium to up Medicaid rates for physical health services, like chiropractic care and physical therapy. The Department of Health Services would have to request the release of the funds from the Joint Finance Committee. The bill also directs DHS to submit a plan to the federal government to create a Medicaid benefit for acupuncture. 
    • Repeal a sunset for current law that grants immunity from prosecution for certain controlled substance crimes and from having probation, parole or extended supervision revoked for possessing a controlled substance to those calling for help for another person suffering an overdose. It also ends a sunset for a law granting immunity from prosecution or having probation, parole or extended supervision revoked for a controlled substance to overdose victims, if they complete a drug treatment program.
    • Extend a sunset for a law requiring prescribers to check a patient's records in the state’s prescription drug monitoring program before issuing a prescription order. Under the bill, the requirement would end on April 1, 2025, rather than April 1, 2020. The bill would also require the Controlled Substances Board to conduct a quarterly review of the program through Oct. 30, 2025, rather than through Oct. 30, 2020.
    • Require the Medical Examining Board to issue guidelines on the best practices for treating neonatal abstinence syndrome.
    • Require DHS to create a Medicaid benefit for peer recovery coach services. Also mandate that the department establish and maintain a program to coordinate and continue care following a substance use overdose.
    • Require DHS to create a registry of approved recovery residences. DHS couldn’t include any recovery residency that excludes those participating in medication-assisted treatment programs. The legislation also bars disciplining state employees who are using controlled substances as a recommended part of their medication-assisted treatment.
    • Require DHS to study the availability of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in prisons and jails. The agency will then have to propose a pilot project to the Joint Finance Committee to make all approved mediations for substance use disorder treatment available in at least one prison or county jail. The plan allows county jails to enter into an agreement with an ambulance service provider or doctor to obtain a supply of the anti-overdose drug naloxone and allows jailers to receive the training to administer the medication. The bill also grants legal immunity for administering naloxone.
  • November 06, 2019 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    November 6, Wisconsin Health News

    A new Medicaid benefit for residential substance use disorder treatment could go into effect Feb. 1, pending approval of a final plan submitted to the Joint Finance Committee. 

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed off on the plan last month. The committee will take a passive review process to the plan, meaning it'll go into effect unless members decide to meet.

    DHS has begun pre-implementation outreach and communication activities about the program.

    The benefit would cover short-term residential services in facilities that have been excluded from federal reimbursement because they're institutions for mental disease. 
  • October 28, 2019 12:44 PM | Anonymous

    October 28, Wisconsin Health News

    More than 5,000 people contacted a state helpline connecting those seeking help with addiction to community resources during its first year.

    The Addiction Recovery Helpline, a 24/7 hotline managed by 211 Wisconsin under a contract with the Department of Health Services, offers help to individuals with challenges related to drug use.

    “Too often people delay seeking treatment for a substance use challenge simply because they don’t know where to begin,” DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said in a Friday statement. “The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is a good first step."

    The helpline began taking calls on Oct. 22. In its first year, 5,594 contacted it.

    Operators facilitated 11,940 referrals as people can call the line more than once and can be referred to more than one service.

    Assessment, detoxification and residential treatment services were the most referred services. 
  • October 22, 2019 5:21 PM | Anonymous

    2019, WISAM Announcement

    Michael Miller, MD, DFASAM, founding member of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine and past president of ASAM, receives the McGovern Award at the ASAM 51st Annual Conference. View video here.

    This video is being shared from the ASAM 50th Annual Conference. You're invited to view more of The ASAM 50th Annual Conference on ASAM’s e-Learning Center here:

  • October 08, 2019 2:53 PM | Anonymous

    Charles Franklin, PhD, nationally recognized government scholar and pollster, will headline Doctor Day 2020.

    Doctor Franklin has served as director of the Marquette Law School Poll since its inception in 2012.  During that year’s highly scrutinized election cycle, he established Marquette as the definitive source for information concerning public opinion in Wisconsin.

    Under Doctor Franklin’s direction as a visiting professor at Marquette, the poll became the largest independent polling project in state history. It accurately captured voter attitudes before every major election in 2012, including the gubernatorial recall, U.S. Senate and presidential races.

    Since joining Marquette as a professor of law and public policy in August 2013, Doctor Franklin has used the poll to continue tracking political races of interest to voters and explore additional public policy issues.

    At Doctor Day on January 29, 2020, Franklin will share his insight and polling data relevant healthcare policy and the 2020 elections.

    Click here for more information!

  • September 04, 2019 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    September 4, Wisconsin Health News

    Around $5.2 million in new federal funding is heading to Wisconsin to help fight the opioid epidemic, Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said Tuesday.

    The money, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will help the Department of Health Services' opioid surveillance and prevention efforts.

    Baldwin pushed for the money.

    "Washington needs to do more to address the opioid epidemic," she said in a statement. "A strong partnership with state and local officials is essential to an effective response."

  • August 28, 2019 11:55 AM | Anonymous

    August 28, Wisconsin Health News

    Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan plans to open a facility in Waukesha offering addiction treatment next year, according to a Wednesday statement.

    The 22-bed LSS Aspen Center will serve about 125 individuals from southeastern Wisconsin annually. It will fill a need in Waukesha county by offering affordable, medically monitored treatment for women seeking care.

    “Being able to serve women inside of Waukesha County rather than sending them to surrounding areas for treatment is a win,” Paul Farrow, Waukesha County executive, said in a statement.

    Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan hopes to raise $1.7 million by the end of the year for the facility.

    It's already secured a $300,000 grant from Waukesha County. It needs about $500,000 to open treatment services at the start of next year. 

  • August 15, 2019 3:10 PM | Anonymous

    August 15, Wisconsin Health News

    The number of opioid deaths in the state is at its lowest level since 2015, the Department of Health Services reported Wednesday.

    There were 838 deaths in 2018, a 10 percent reduction from the previous year.

    “The most recent data on Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic is encouraging,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk. “It shows that our collective ongoing efforts to support individuals and communities affected by this public health crisis are working to save lives, but we still have a lot of work to do to end this epidemic.”

    The department on Wednesday released a federally funded online tool containing up-to-date information on opioid usage, hospitalizations and deaths. 

  • August 12, 2019 11:56 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    August 12, Wisconsin Health News

    Around $2.5 million is heading to 15 Wisconsin community health centers and two La Crosse academic institutions to help combat the opioid epidemic.

    The funding is part of $400 million awarded nationally by the Department of Health and Human Services. The community health centers are set to get $2.4 million.

    “While progress has been made increasing access to these services, community health centers are still working to ensure that the recovery programs are sustainable and they can hire qualified staff members to best meet significant community needs," said Stephanie Harrison, CEO of the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association.

    Viterbo University in La Crosse is getting about $741,000 to enhance training for students preparing to become behavioral health professionals.

    Western Technical College in La Crosse is getting around $103,000 to enhance training for students preparing to become behavioral health paraprofessionals. 
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