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.
The hearing comes more than 14 months into the MED 10 update process; the Society has been sharing input with the MEB throughout that time prior to the official introduction of the proposed text. That proposal already has been reviewed by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Council Rules Clearinghouse, which issued nearly six pages of proposed corrections and suggestions to the MEB. The Society’s testimony linked those two documents, making recommendations for Clearinghouse-identified decision points as well as suggestions for other areas in the code (such as protecting physicians’ due process rights). The Society also renewed its concerns over the proposed language related to patient abandonment, which would be a new category of unprofessional conduct.
After taking testimony from the Society and the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), the MEB closed the hearing and invited the Society and WHA back to the meeting table for more extensive give-and-take on the various suggestions from the two organizations. The MEB adopted many of the two organizations’ suggestions, but it did not complete its work reviewing the proposed code in its entirety.
The Society believes the MEB will hold a final vote on proposed language at its April meeting, at which point the new code language will be sent to the State Legislature (following more administrative gear grinding that must happen to all administrative rule proposals). Once in the legislative branch, the relevant standing committees will have a review period and could possibly schedule a public hearing on any portions of the code warranting further discussion. The new code language will take effect after the legislature’s review period, assuming there are no objections to the language.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department with any questions or comments.
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