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  • June 18, 2020 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    Yesterday, the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund (Fund) approved waiving the upcoming fiscal year’s premiums for physicians, CRNAs and hospitals enrolled in the fund.

    The Society has been working hard to find ways to assist its membership during these unprecedented times and approached the Fund with the idea of a premium holiday to provide some financial relief. "COVID-19 has posed unprecedented health and economic challenges to our state, and the health care industry is no exception," said  Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, a Fund Board member and the CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society. "The premium holiday approved yesterday by the board will provide some financial relief to many of the Wisconsin medical professionals and providers who have been affected by the pandemic and who face ongoing challenges."

    Full-time physicians will save between $382 and $2,521, depending on their specialty, with Residents saving $229 and part-time or retired physicians saving $95. The premium holiday will be in effect from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Additional details can be found in the Society's update or the Fund’s press release.  

  • June 10, 2020 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 who are hospitalized continues to fall, a positive sign for the state’s fight against the pandemic, according to Medical College of Wisconsin CEO Dr. John Raymond. 

    As of Tuesday, the number of total hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the state was 2,904, an increase of 44 from Tuesday. The number of total positive tests was 21,308, an increase of 270 from Tuesday. 

    That put the total percentage of patients testing positive for the disease that were or are hospitalized at 13.6 percent, unchanged from Monday. 

    That’s an improvement from the beginning of the pandemic when the percentage was around 30 percent, Raymond said during a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce webinar.

    “I think that’s good news, probably emblematic that as our testing has grown, we’ve been able to diagnose people earlier in their illnesses and maybe even some asymptomatic individuals,” Raymond said. “I also believe that we know a whole lot more about how to give high quality supportive care to patients with COVID-19 and to triage them appropriately into the hospital, to home or into intensive care settings.” 

    Raymond said there’s adequate capacity at Wisconsin hospitals, and the number of those in inpatient settings or intensive care units is stable. He said most hospitals have been able to resume “some semblance of normal activity” with stable personal protective equipment supplies. 

    The most critical needs are goggles and gowns. N95 masks may also become a problem in southeast Wisconsin, he said. 

    There were 347,210 total negative test results reported on Tuesday, an increase of 13,957 from Monday. Total deaths were 661, an increase of 15 from Monday, according to the Department of Health Services. 


  • June 08, 2020 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    ASAM offers a Clinical Practice Guideline on Alcohol Withdrawal Management

    Intended to aid clinicians in their clinical decision making and management of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndrome. 

    Visit the ASAM website for more information here!

  • June 05, 2020 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society | Medigram

    "I can’t breathe.” These were the harrowing last words of an American, George Floyd, spoken as a system deprived him of life. The systemic racist structure failed the promise of life to this American. Racism is a constant threat to health, medical care and longevity in America. The Wisconsin Medical Society, driven by our mission of health to Wisconsinites, declares racism to be a Public Health Crisis and calls for equity in health.

    Racism threatens health. Racism worsens the social determinants of health, including housing, employment, education, community and neighborhood, food and medical care. Poor housing, including homelessness, results in illnesses such as diabetes and asthma. Unemployment increases heart disease risks and overall mortality; poor education increases death from diabetes; physical space loss for exercise increases childhood obesity; and food deserts significantly increase African-American obesity. The greatest health threat faced today in COVID 19 has further revealed these profound disparities demonstrated by the disproportionate mortality in communities of color.

    The human toll is destructive and untenable. To move forward, we must take a stand against racism. In doing so, we stand in solidarity with organizations across the state and our country condemning racism, injustice, and health disparities.

    With the AMA, we know racism is detrimental to health in all its forms.

    With ACOG, we acknowledge that people of color face threats to their health and well-being daily across Wisconsin and the United States.

    With AAMC, we have seen that over the past three months, “the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the racial health inequities harming our black communities, exposing the structures, systems, and policies that create social and economic conditions that lead to health disparities, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancy.”

    With APA, we stand “with the Black community and all those opposed to racism to protect and improve the lives of those who have experienced discrimination and the associated trauma.”

    With the ANA, the AAFP, and other health care organizations, we consider racism a Public Health Crisis.

    Black lives matter. To remain silent is to be complicit.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society refuses to be complicit or indifferent on this issue. Daily, physicians see the tragedy of lost health from systemic racism in our community. We proclaim the “thoughts and prayers” approach to racism to be complicit with systemic racism. The Rabbi Abraham Joshua Hershel clarified the act of complicity well when he said, “The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference.”

    Change requires action. As such, we are in solidarity with AAMC, and join them in the key actions outlined below:

    • We must acknowledge and speak out against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias in our environments in our institutions, communities, and society.
    • We must stand in solidarity with the black community and speak out against unjust and inhumane incidents of violence.
    • We must demonstrate empathy and compassion and acknowledge the pain and grief that the families and the communities of these victims are experiencing.
    • We must take the lead in educating ourselves and others to address these issues head on.
    • We must be deliberate and partner with local communities, public health agencies, and municipal governments to dismantle structural racism and end police brutality.
    • We must employ anti-racist and unconscious bias training and engage in interracial dialogues that will dispel the misrepresentations that dehumanize our black community members and other marginalized groups.
    • We must move from rhetoric to action to eliminate the inequities in our care, research, and education of tomorrow’s doctors.

    As the voice of physicians in the state of Wisconsin, we resolve to make health equity a priority. The Wisconsin Medical Society stands with all Wisconsinites for healing and for the elimination of racism in all its forms.

    For a full PDF of this statement, click here.

  • June 03, 2020 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    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 report includes additional data on the number of people served by the programs, their improvement in quality of life and demographics.  
  • May 16, 2020 4:03 PM | Anonymous

    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/ 

  • May 15, 2020 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    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. 

  • May 05, 2020 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    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!

  • April 20, 2020 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    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.

  • April 16, 2020 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    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).

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