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: March 14, 2013


Top Story

Worker’s Compensation puts health care costs in the crosshairs
Both labor and management representatives on the state’s Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) have proposed changes to the state’s Worker’s Compensation (WC) system that would affect physicians and other health care professionals providing WC care to injured workers. The proposals were unveiled Tuesday at the WCAC’s monthly meeting as the two sides exchanged their desires for the 2013-2014 biennium. Read more.

News Briefs

Raw milk bill expected again
State Sen. Glenn Grothman once again will introduce legislation that legalizes the sale of unpasteurized (raw) milk, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday. The bill is expected to be similar to Sen. Grothman’s unsuccessful proposal in 2011, which the Wisconsin Medical Society opposed. Read more.

DHS sending fee assessments to physicians next week
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) plans to mail fee assessment notices next week to Wisconsin-licensed physicians as required by state law. Physicians whose assessments are paid by the health care organizations with which they are affiliated will not receive notices. The assessment for fiscal year 2013 is $70. Read more.

Medicare payment cuts begin April 1
All Medicare Fee-for-Service claims with dates of service or dates of discharge on or after April 1 will incur a 2 percent reduction in Medicare payment as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011’s budget sequestration, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The payment adjustment will be applied to all Part A and Part B claims after determining coinsurance, any applicable deductible and any Medicare Secondary Payment adjustments, CMS announced late last week. Read more.

Annual Meeting CME focuses on
advance care planning, Million Hearts™

All Wisconsin Medical Society members are invited to participate in a continuing medical education (CME) opportunity at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Madison on Saturday, April 13. The learning opportunity begins at 3 p.m. with a presentation about advance care planning by Ken Kephart, MD, of Fairview Senior Services and the University of Minnesota Medical School. A second presentation from 4 to 5 p.m. will focus on the national Million Hearts™ initiative. Read more.

IPFCF Audit Shows Renewed Stability
The net asset balance (assets less potential liabilities) for the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund has increased to $361.3 million as of June 30, 2012, according to a recent report from the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB). Just three years earlier, the Fund had a $109 million deficit, in large part due to the state government’s $200 million raid on the Fund in 2007. Restoration of the positive balance was greatly assisted by the Wisconsin Medical Society’s successful lawsuit against the state, which resulted in more than $233 million re-deposited into the Fund – the raid amount plus lost earnings. Read more.

WMJ report shows difference in ADHD diagnosis rates for children
The overall prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis was significantly lower for a group of Dane County children than rates reported for eastern Wisconsin and Milwaukee County, according to a report in the current issue of WMJ (vol. 112, no. 1). The researchers also noted that diagnosis rates among black youths were similar for the two counties; however, rates for white youths were three times lower in Dane County than Milwaukee County. Read more.

Quality measures for physician groups in
WCHQ show improvement, study shows

Physician groups in the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) that publicly reported quality measures from 2004 to 2009 improved their performance on many measures, according to a report in the March 2013 edition of “Health Affairs.” A team of researchers analyzed 14 quality of care measures for the physician groups representing 582 affiliated clinics. Read more.

Health literacy summit April 9 and 10 in Madison
Registrations are being accepted for the 2013 Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit: Changing Systems, Changing Lives on April 9 and 10 in Madison. This event will address system-level barriers to improving health literacy, with the goal of addressing health care system goals, such as improving quality and patient satisfaction outcomes. Read more.

Journal article links QIO efforts to reduced hospitalizations
A study reported recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that communities supported by a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) are seeing reductions in hospital admissions and readmissions. In Wisconsin, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracts with MetaStar, a Madison-based nonprofit organization, to serve as the state’s QIO. Read more.