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  • 03/30/2020 1:08 PM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)

    ForwardHealth will allow telehealth services utilizing interactive synchronous (real-time) technology, including audio-only phone communication, for currently covered services that can be delivered with functional equivalency to the face-to-face service. This applies to all service areas and all enrolled professional and paraprofessional providers allowable within current ForwardHealth coverage policy.

    Please refer to the Forward Health Update 2020-15 (link) for a comprehensive explanation of the update.

  • 03/28/2020 1:08 PM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)

    Governor Evers released a 65-page draft piece of legislation and a draft joint resolution on Saturday night aimed at addressing COVID-19. The Governor also released a chart outlining the proposal.  The Legislative Fiscal Bureau also provided a Summary of provisions of Governor Evers’ proposed legislation and Joint Resolution indefinitely extending public health emergency to state legislators.

    The bill includes several healthcare provisions, including language related to out-of-network bills that occur during the public health emergency. The language caps physician payment rates at 250% of the Medicare rate.

    Insurance 

    • Prohibits health plans from charging patients more for out-of-network services related to the diagnosis and treatment of the condition for which a public health emergency has been declared than they do for in-network services (if an in-network physician is not available).
    • The bill requires the plan to reimburse the out-of-network provider at 250% of the Medicare rate. Providers and facilities are prohibited from charging patients more than what they are reimburse by the plan. 
    • Creates a process for out-of-state physicians to have liability coverage in Wisconsin during a public health emergency. They would need to provide OCI with a certificate of insurance for a policy of health care liability insurance issued by an insurer that is authorized in a jurisdiction accredited by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 
    • Requires health plans to cover without cost-sharing any testing, treatment or vaccines related to COVID-19.
    • Requires health plans to cover any services provided via telehealth if they cover that service when it is provided in-person. 
    • Prohibits health plans from canceling policies due to non-payment during the COVID-19 emergency 
    • Prohibits health plans and pharmacy benefit managers from requiring prior authorization for any early refills of prescriptions or restricting the period of time in which a drug may be refilled. 
    • Creates a process for pharmacists to extend prescription orders by up to 30 days during public health emergencies. 

    Emergency Preparedness 

    • Provides $300 million to the Department of Military Affairs to respond to the public health emergency. 
    • Provides $200 million to the Department of Administration to respond to the public health emergency. 

    Health 

    • Creates a public health emergency fund for the Department of Health Services.
    • Provides $100 million for a new health care provider grant program specific to planning, preparing for and responding to COVID-19. 
    • Provides $17.4 million to local health departments. 
    • Creates 64 positions within the Department of Health Services’ Division of Public Health.
    • Allows DHS to suspend any premium or cost-sharing requirements for childless adults on BadgerCare in order to qualify for enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds related to COVID-19.  
    • Exempts the Department of Health Services, during a public health emergency, from the current law legislative review requirements for submitting waiver requests to the federal government, amending the state Medicaid plan or raising Medicaid reimbursement rates.  
    • Expands the definition of public health emergency to include toxins or other threats to health. 

    Health Care Workforce 

    • Allows former health care providers to receive a temporary license to provide services during a public health emergency. This would apply to physicians, nurses, PAs, dentists, pharmacists, phycologists, social workers and other health providers who have practiced within the last 5 years but do not currently have a license. The temporary license would be valid until 90 days following the conclusion of the health emergency. 
    • Allows out-of-state health care providers to receive a temporary license to practice in Wisconsin. The temporary license would be valid until 90 days following the conclusion of the health emergency.
    • Allows the state to waive licensure fees for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, and certain behavioral health providers. 
    • Exempts certain health care provider credentials issued by credentialing boards in DSPS from having to be renewed during the public health emergency. 

    Unemployment Insurance

    • Eliminates the one-week waiting period for Unemployment Insurance

    Voting

    The bill contains several provisions related to voting during public health emergencies. Specifically, for elections held during a declared public health emergency, it would: 

    • Require elections held during public health emergencies to be held by mail. 
    • Waive the state’s Photo ID requirement.
    • Waive the requirement that mail-in absentee ballots need a witness signature.
    • Allow mail-in ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
    • Allow voters to register electronically until 5 days before the election.


  • 03/28/2020 8:42 AM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)

    Governor Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm today exercised their authority under Article V, Section 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution and Sections 323.12(4) and 252.02(6) of the Wisconsin Statutes to simplify healthcare license renewals during the COVID-19 public health emergency and to encourage recently retired professionals with expired licenses to re-enter practice. This full order is available online (link).

    The order includes the following policy changes:

    ·       Interstate Reciprocity: allows any out-of-state health can provider licensed and in good standing to practice in Wisconsin without a Wisconsin credential. The order requires the out-of-state physician to apply for a temporary or permanent Wisconsin license within 10 days of first working at a Wisconsin health care facility; and the health care facility must notify DSPS within 5 days. The order temporarily suspends the visiting physician practice limitations in Med 3.04. 

    ·       Temporary License: Any temporary licensed to an out-of-state provider during the emergency will be valid until 30 days after the conclusion of the emergency. 

    ·       Telemedicine: Allows physicians licensed and in good standing in Wisconsin, another U.S. state or Canada to provide telemedicine services to Wisconsin residents. 

    ·       Physician Assistants: Suspends several current rules regulating the practice of PAs in Wisconsin. This includes: the requirement of PAs to notify the MEB of changes to their supervising physician within 20 days (order changes it to 40 days); the requirement that PAs limit their scope of practice to that of their supervising physician (the order allows them to practice to the extent of their experience, education, training and abilities. It also allows them to delegate tasks to another health provider); the physician to PA ratio of 4:1 (the order allows a physician to oversee up to 8 on-duty PAs at a time, but there is no limit on how many PAs a physician may provide supervision to over time. It also allows a PA to be supervised by multiple physicians while on duty). 

    ·       Nurse Training and Practice: The order suspends many rules related to nursing. This includes suspending a rule that prohibits simulations from being utilized for more than 50% of the time designated for meeting clinical learning requirements. It also suspends the requirement for nurses to submit an official transcript in order to get a temporary license and allows a temporary license to remain valid for up to 6 months. In addition, it suspends the rule requiring license renewal within 5 years. 

    ·       Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers: Temporarily suspends the requirement that Nurse Prescribers must facilitate collaboration with other health care professionals, at least 1 of whom shall be a physician or dentist.

    ·       Recently Expired Credentials: Requires the state to reach out to individuals with recently lapsed credentials about renewal options. The order also suspends many of the late renewal fees and continuing education requirements for most health professions. The order temporarily suspends MED 14.06(2)(a) to allow a physician whose license lapsed less than 5 years ago to renew without fulfilling the continuing education requirements. It also suspends RAD 5.01 (1) and (2) to allow radiographers or LXMO permit holders who have let their license lapse renew without completing continuing education. 

    ·       Fees: The order also gives DHS the ability to suspend fees or assessments related to health care provider credentialing. 

    The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect through the duration of the public health emergency.

    The full version of the Governor’s press release is available online (link).

  • 03/27/2020 8:45 AM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)

    Governor Evers directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to temporarily order the suspension of evictions and foreclosures amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. The full order is available online (link).

    The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for any reason unless failure to proceed with the eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person and mortgagees from commencing civil action to foreclose on real estate for 60 days. Wisconsinites who are able to continue to meet their financial obligations are urged to do so. This order does not in any way relieve a person's obligation to pay their rent or mortgages.

    The full press release is available on the Governor’s website (link).


  • 03/25/2020 8:28 AM | Jamie Michael (Administrator)

    The Wisconsin Neurological Society is now accepting applications for the Bennett Hiner Research Award.  The Award is presenting to a medical student enrolled at one of the state’s medical schools in recognition for extra-ordinary service, leadership and research in the neurosciences and allied-health students.

    This award is in memory of Bennett Hiner, son of long-time Society member Dr. Bradley Hiner. Bennett passed away unexpectedly in November of 2011. He was a leader in his medical school class at the University of Southern California and actively involved in neuroscience research.

    Qualified applicants are medical students enrolled in either the Medical College of Wisconsin or the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; graduate and allied health students who have completed neuroscience research within two years of the application for the award; have demonstrated leadership experience while enrolled in medical school or graduate programs; and have submitted the application and research abstract.

    Applicants should submit their applications and abstracts to the WNS Office by July 31, 2020. A winner will be selected by August 31, and notified in September.  The Society will invite the Award winner to the WNS Annual Conference, during lunch on Saturday, October 17 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

    Find out more details here. 


  • 03/24/2020 11:16 AM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)

    The AAN will host a FREE webinar featuring best practices on implementing telemedicine services and updates on changing US regulations during the novel coronavirus Public Health Emergency.

    Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

    REGISTER NOW!

  • 03/24/2020 11:13 AM | Maggie Gruennert (Administrator)
    In the face of COVID-19, the AAN has developed resources for the neurology community around this rapidly evolving pandemic. The COVID-19 Neurology Resource Center is a great page for the latest resources and guidance from the AAN and other trusted organizations to help you care for neurologic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are updating the website as often as new information comes out, so check back on AAN.com/COVID19 often for resource updates.
  • 01/20/2020 10:03 AM | Jamie Michael (Administrator)

    Fellow neurologists,

    I hope your new year is off to a great start.  Let me start off this message with a thank you to Dr. Dulli for his great job serving as president of the Society for the last 2 years.  I would also like to welcome Drs. Fee, Struck and Young to their roles as President-Elect,  Vice President and Treasurer, respectively.  We're off to a great start and look forward to a very eventful and positive year.

    We will be meeting in medicine for Doctor Day at the Capital on Wednesday, January 29th.  There is still time to sign up for this informative and important event.  It is a great opportunity to network with other physicians and influence our legislators on issues important to our patients, practice and profession.

    Our annual meeting in 2020 will again be at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.  We're looking forward to an excellent educational program.  We will again have guest speakers sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology, along with our local and statewide presenters and experts.  Updates on advocacy and other national issues will be provided by Academy experts.  There will be plenty of opportunity for networking among the attendees.

    I will be meeting with the program director at the University Wisconsin neurology residency and will be giving Grand Rounds on June 8th this year.  I've asked Dr. Fee to make similar in roads at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Our hope is to get more Residents to attend are annual meeting and build our WI future neurologists.  I know that many neurologists would love to have the opportunity to interact with our colleagues in training.  In addition to the research presentations and awards we're asking the residents for ideas that might increase their involvement.

    Your input is always welcome.  Our goal is to make the Wisconsin Neurological Society a great value to our members. I am looking forward to another great year and look forward to seeing you all soon.

    Sincerely,

    Donn Dexter, MD

    President, WNS


  • 11/04/2019 8:32 AM | Anonymous

    The Wisconsin Medical Society continues to lead the conversation on well-being and empowerment for physicians and health care teams with this follow-up to last year’s successful event. Designed to energize collaborative efforts to advance proven solutions for increasing clinician empowerment, retention and satisfaction – come be a part of this critical conversation.

    For more information and to register, click the link below:

    https://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/professional/professional-development/physician-leadership/well-being-empowerment-forum/

  • 10/29/2019 4:39 PM | Jamie Michael (Administrator)

    2019 brought yet another successful annual conference for the Wisconsin Neurological Society!  We had 50 neurological physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, residents and others who practice in neurology in attendance.  We also are proud to have a record breaking 39 exhibitors come to support the organization and display their technological advances in the field of neurology.  Eight speakers presented on a vast array of neurological topics, as well as the traditional Forster Award Competition featuring four residents. 

    Our CME Sessions have had rave reviews with variations and advances in the field of neurology. If you have not had a chance to complete your evaluation, please be sure to do so in order to claim CME credit, also. 

    Our thanks to the following exhibitors for their support: 

    AbbVie Inc, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, American Academy of Neurology, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Bellin Health, Biogen, Boston Scientific DBS, BriovaRx, Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, EMD Serono, Froedtert & The Medical College of WI,  Genentech, Grifols, Gundersen Health, INSIGHTEC, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Lilly USA, LLC,  Lundbeck, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Medtronic, Neurocrine BioSciences,  Neurotech, Novartis, PMT Corporation, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi Genzyme, SI-BONE, Sunovion, Supernus, Teva Pharmaceuticals,  UCB, US Worldmeds.

    Our appreciation to Dr. Sarah Song, Dr. Jessica Baker, Dr. Timothy Young, Kerri Crank, Dr. Susanne Seeger, Dr. Sterling Johnson, Dr. Matt Harmelink, Dr. Natalie Wheeler, Dr. Natasha Frost, Dr. Elizabeth Lake, Dr. Elizabeth Felton, Marianne Crabb, and Dr. Brett Kissela.

    Special congratulations to our Bennett Hiner Award Winner - Jennifer Meylor, and also the WNS Forster Award Competition Winner - Dr. Marek Cierney, and Runners Up - Dr. Pamela Youssef and Dr. Heydi Flores-Podadera. 

    Lastly, special thank you to Dr. Doug Dulli who will finish his term as President at the end of the year! Picture of President Dr. Dulli below & Incoming President Dr.Donn Dexter below.


    We look forward to seeing you in WI Dells at the Kalahari Resort in 2020, October 16-17th!

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