Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

Medigram: February 14, 2013

Top Story

Society introduces virtual reference committees for 2013 HOD
The Wisconsin Medical Society has launched its first online forum to allow members to comment on the resolutions that will be discussed at the Society’s in April. The Society’s new Virtual Reference Committees allow members to view and submit comments on resolutions in advance of the Annual Meeting. The Virtual Reference Committees stem from a commitment by Speaker Charles Rainey, MD, JD, to facilitate increased participation in the Society’s policy-making process and allow members who cannot attend the Annual Meeting to submit their views on resolutions. Read more.

News Briefs

State budget proposals address Medicaid, physician workforce
In preparation for his February 20 budget address, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced two proposals affecting physicians and patients this week. On Monday, he announced several workforce development initiatives, including funds to increase the number of physicians in Wisconsin. Two days later, he said he would seek a limited expansion of Medicaid rather than full expansion through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Read more.

Society leaders meet with lawmakers in DC
Several Wisconsin Medical Society leaders met with the state’s congressional delegation in Washington, DC, this week as part of the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) annual National Advocacy Conference. The group met with U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson and U.S. Representatives Sean Duffy, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Tom Petri, Mark Pocan, Reid Ribble, Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner. Read more.

Employer group pushes for worker’s comp fee schedule
A group of Wisconsin businesses and insurance companies is calling for a mandatory fee schedule for physicians and others providing care to worker’s compensation (WC) patients – a proposal the Society has opposed multiple times the last several years due to potentially devastating effects on patients’ access to timely and high quality care. Wisconsin physicians currently are subject to a statistical limitation on charges (within 1.2 standard deviations from the mean charged for a service), but not onerous price control. Read more.

Reminder: Wisconsin Supreme Court
primary election is next Tuesday

Three candidates vying for a seat on the seven-member Wisconsin Supreme Court face off in Tuesday’s primary election. The top two vote-getters will move on to an April 2 general election for a 10-year term on the court. Read more.

Members invited to join Council’s mental health policy discussion
The Wisconsin Medical Society’s Council on Health Care Access will begin development of new policy related to mental health at 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 20. Society members are invited to participate in the meeting at the Society’s headquarters in Madison. Read more.

Council to brainstorm obesity prevention, intervention Feb. 21
The Society’s Council on Health Care Quality and Population Health will continue its comprehensive efforts to address obesity in Wisconsin at 1 p.m. Thursday, February 21. Council members, who passed a new obesity policy in November, will learn about current efforts to prevent and treat obesity and what the Society’s role can be. Society members are invited to participate in the Council meeting at the Society’s headquarters in Madison. Read more.

‘The Wisconsin Story’ now online
Keynote addresses and other presentations from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) 24th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, including “The Wisconsin Story,” now are available online. Sharing “The Wisconsin Story” of high-quality health care were CEOs George Kerwin of Bellin Health; Randy Linton, MD, Mayo Clinic Health System; Dean Gruner, MD, ThedaCare; and Jeffrey Thompson, MD, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. Read more.