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House Speaker Paul Ryan awarded Society’s Presidential Citation

Release Date: April 7, 2016
Contact: Jennifer Wieman - 608.442.3765 jennifer.wieman@wismed.org

MADISON (April 7, 2016)—U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R, Janesville) was recognized by the Wisconsin Medical Society as a Presidential Citation recipient during the organization’s Annual Meeting April 2-3 in Madison. Outgoing Society President Jerry L. Halverson, MD, DFAPA, called Speaker Ryan “a true champion for medicine and for our patients.”

Doctor Halverson said that Speaker Ryan, now serving his ninth term in Congress, is supportive of many issues important to the medical profession and was being honored for his leadership over the past year in several important areas, including:

  • Sponsoring and leading the charge for passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which repealed Medicare’s flawed sustainable growth rate formula.
  • Authoring a letter that helped secure the appointment of Society Board member Jeff Bailet, MD, on MACRA’s physician technical advisory committee, giving Wisconsin a voice on this critically important issue.
  • Supporting the Society’s efforts to fix the Geographic Practice Cost Indexes (GPCI), which has resulted in Wisconsin physicians being paid less for higher quality work than physicians in other parts of the country.
  • Insisting on—and seeing enacted into law—a provision that allows physicians to have the right to use Medicare data for cost effectiveness and quality improvement efforts.

“The reforms we made to Medicare were crucial to strengthening the program,” said Speaker Ryan, who was unable to accept the award in person but recorded remarks in advance. “What we said is, ‘Don’t reward volume. Reward value.’ Reward doctors based on the quality of the care that they provide, not on the number of patients that they treat. That will put patients in charge of their health care, and I’m very glad that we made that change.”

“Speaker Ryan clearly values the issues that are important to physicians and our patients and has been there for the Society and our members when we needed him,” Dr. Halverson said.

The Presidential Citation was established in 1959 to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to medicine or public health. Clarence Chou, MD, a psychiatrist with the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division and a past president of the Society, was also awarded a 2016 Presidential Citation.

With nearly 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.