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Medigram: January 24, 2013

Top Story

Resolution-writing video online; deadline is Feb. 1
Society staff members John Maycroft and Chris Rasch have created a brief online webinar to assist Society members with writing resolutions for consideration during the Wisconsin Medical Society’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Madison April 13-14. The deadline to submit resolutions, which help shape Society policy on important medical issues, is February 1. Read more.

News Briefs

Final rule brings major changes to HIPAA
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week released its long-awaited final rule implementing the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The 563-page document makes significant changes to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement and Breach Notification Rules. According to Leon Rodriguez, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, which is in charge of enforcing the HIPAA administrative rules, “this final omnibus rule marks the most sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules since they were first implemented.” Read more.

Medicare contract protests denied
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week denied protests of the Jurisdiction 6 (J6) Medicare contract awarded to National Government Services (NGS). Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS), which has been a contracted payer of Medicare Part B claims in Wisconsin since 1966, will continue to administer Part B claims for covered services in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota until the new contract is implemented. The transition is expected to take five to seven months. Read more.

District Caucus schedule, details online
Caucus meetings for the Wisconsin Medical Society’s eight districts begin March 11. At each meeting, district members debate the various resolutions submitted for consideration by the House of Delegates at the Annual Meeting. The caucuses offer delegates and other Society members the opportunity to discuss resolutions before the full House meets in April. Read more.

Society councils addressing major issues in February
February is a busy month for the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Strategic Councils, with discussion focusing on obesity, mental health, neonatal care, legislative and other major policies. The Councils draft, research and review resolutions that become Society policy, inform Society staff on direction in the State Capitol and advocate for physicians in government, hospitals, clinics and communities. Read more.

Wisconsin chosen for practice satisfaction initiative
As Wisconsin Medical Society CEO Rick Abrams mentioned during a physician workforce panel discussion in December, Wisconsin is one of six states selected by the American Medical Association (AMA) to participate in a practice satisfaction initiative. Jay Crosson, MD, the AMA’s new vice president of professional satisfaction in care delivery and payment, told Wisconsin Health News that Wisconsin was chosen because of the state’s “very sophisticated physician-led organizations” and its innovative efforts to improve health care. Read more.

Foundation Focus

IRA charitable rollover provision retroactive for 2012
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 signed into law earlier this month includes a retroactive extension that allows individuals to donate Individual Retirement Account (IRA) distributions directly to eligible charities before February 1 and have them treated as qualified charitable distributions for 2012. In addition, individuals who received an IRA distribution in December 2012 can count that distribution as a 2012 IRA charitable rollover if they transfer the amount in cash before February 1 to an eligible charity such as the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation. Read more.