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Medigram: March 21, 2013

Top Story

Apology Bill co-sponsors sought
State Rep. Erik Severson, MD, is seeking co-sponsors for “Apology Bill” legislation aimed at fostering more communication between physicians and patients/family members at the most difficult times of a health care encounter – when an outcome isn’t what was hoped for. The proposed legislation would help foster more discussions by keeping these all-too-human and sympathetic interactions out of the courtroom. Read more.

News Briefs

Society testifies at MEB hearing
on unprofessional conduct definitions

The long road to a revamp of the State Medical Examining Board’s (MEB’s) definition of “unprofessional conduct” passed another milestone Wednesday as the Wisconsin Medical Society testified at the MEB’s public hearing for the proposed changes to MED 10 of the state’s administrative code. The public hearing was part of this month’s MEB monthly meeting agenda. Read more.

Lazarus outlines AMA initiatives
during Society Health Policy Forum

American Medical Association (AMA) President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, discussed the importance of physician leadership in health system reform with about 50 Wisconsin Medical Society and health care leaders at the Society in Madison on Friday, March 15. During the Health Policy Forum, he also outlined the AMA’s strategic initiatives and answered questions from audience members. Read more.

Webinar focuses on learning organizations
Physicians and members of their teams are invited to participate in the webinar Leading Learning Organizations: Being a Strategic, Transformational Leader from noon to 1:15 p.m. Thursday, March 28. Roger A. Gerard, PhD, executive business partner and former chief learning officer for ThedaCare, will explore what it means to be a learning organization. Read more.

Revised place of service guidelines effective April 1
Effective April 1, physicians and other health care professionals must comply with revised place of service (POS) coding instructions from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), physicians and other health care professionals are required to report the setting, by selecting the most appropriate POS code, in which medically necessary services are furnished to beneficiaries. Read more.

Ozaukee tops County Health Rankings
Ozaukee, Kewaunee, St. Croix, Pierce and Door counties are the healthiest in Wisconsin, according to the 2013 County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Read more.

New Medicare contractor for Part B claims begins Sept. 7
National Government Service (NGS) will begin implementation of the Jurisdiction 6 (J6) Medicare contract for Part B claims on September 7. Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS), which has been a contracted payer of Medicare services in Wisconsin since 1966, will continue to administer Part B claims for covered services in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota until this date. Read more.

State has 13 of the top critical access hospitals
Thirteen facilities in Wisconsin were named to the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) list by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Rural Health Association this week. The top hospitals were determined by iVantage’s Hospital Strength Index™, which evaluates market conditions, clinical and operational performance, and financial and qualitative outcomes. Read more.

Foundation Focus

Still time to register for April 12 event
exploring the science of emotions

Wisconsin Medical Society member Zorba Paster, MD, has signed on to emcee the Foundation’s Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction on Friday, April 12 in Madison. A family medicine physician with Dean Clinic-Oregon, Dr. Paster is host of Zorba Paster On Your Health, a weekly program on National Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio. Richard J. Davidson, PhD, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, is the guest speaker. Read more.

FYI: For Your Insurance

Take a new look at permanent life insurance
People purchase life insurance for many reasons. Most of the time, life insurance is meant to replace income or pay off debt after a person’s death. However, with the passing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, it may be a good time to look at permanent life insurance. Read more.