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

2015 Archive

Delivered each Thursday, Medigram is the Wisconsin Medical Society’s electronic newsletter with timely news, upcoming events, answers to frequently asked questions and all the information you need to know to make your practice run more efficiently.

Click on the dates below to access articles in that issue.

December 17, 2015

  • Fund board votes to decrease fees 30%
  • Governor signs Interstate Medical Licensure Compact bill
  • Society raises concerns about physical therapists’ expanded scope effort
  • Society brief encourages court to examine medical evidence as physicians do
  • Registration for spring 2016 leadership series now open
  • Free clinic in Middleton seeks physician volunteers
  • Nominations for Society offices, resolutions due soon
  • Reminder: Submit abstracts for Annual Meeting forum by Jan. 11
  • Miller, Evans honored as Health Care Heroes

December 10, 2015

  • Registration now open for Doctor Day 2016
  • Governor signs first HOPE bill for 2015-2016 session
  • Society testifies on health care provider exception to reporting
  • Worker’s Comp bill nears introduction; copy fee limit amended
  • Council on Legislation to discuss ‘Truth in Advertising,’ telemedicine at next meeting
  • Dexter addresses Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Nominations for WISMedPAC Board of Directors due Jan. 8
  • Last call: Nominations for Physician Citizen of the Year due Dec. 15
  • Free opioid CME available in January

December 3, 2015

  • Seventh Circuit finds admitting privileges requirement unconstitutional
  • Council on Health Care Ethics to meet Dec. 11
  • Council to address bariatric surgery access and coverage in Wisconsin
  • Nomination for Society offices due Jan. 4
  • Society accepting abstracts for 2016 Annual Meeting forum; deadline extended
  • Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance goes social
  • Gold elected secretary of new board

November 19, 2015

  • Legislature sends Interstate Compact bill to Governor
  • WMJ study: Wisconsin’s Hmong at increased risk for diabetes
  • AMA adopts new policies aimed at improving health of nation during Interim Meeting
  • Council on Delivery, Access and Finance to talk telemedicine; member participation encouraged
  • Society submits comments to CMS on new payment models
  • Webinar to address important procedure code changes for 2016
  • AMA seeking input to help improve Stage 2 of Meaningful Use summary of care
  • Two Society members elected officers of American Medical Group Association’s Board of Directors

November 12, 2015

  • Society supports VA Opioid Safety Act
  • Press conference seeks to draw attention to heroin/opioid epidemic in Milwaukee County
  • Reminder: Nominations for 2016 Physician Citizen of the Year Award due Dec. 15
  • CMS comment period on Meaningful Use, Stage 3 final rules ends Dec. 15
  • MetaStar to host satellite broadcast of IHI quality improvement forum
  • Abstracts being accepted for AMA-hosted international conference

November 5, 2015

  • Assembly passes first HOPE Agenda bill of 2015-2016 session
  • Senate Health Committee unanimously approves Physician Licensure Compact bill
  • CMS Final Rule includes advance care planning reimbursement
  • Final Rule details new Physician Services’ policies and reimbursement rates for 2016
  • Members sought for House of Delegates committees
  • American Cancer Society’s Wender records webinar at the Society
  • Medical Society of Milwaukee County holds historic past president’s dinner
  • Society member named Habitat for Humanity Southwest Region Volunteer of the Year

October 29, 2015

  • Annual Honoring Choices Wisconsin conference highlights successes in advance care planning
  • Honoring Choices Wisconsin announces new participants
  • Society invites abstracts for new Annual Meeting forum
  • Resolutions for 2016 Annual Meeting due Feb. 1
  • From the AMA: Got something to say about Meaningful Use? Now’s the time!
  • Society offers advance care planning coding webinar Nov. 11
  • Patient tracking and follow up: What you don’t know can hurt you

October 22, 2015

  • HOPE Agenda bills amended, headed to Assembly floor
  • Interstate Medical Licensure Compact takes major step forward
  • Fee schedule pulled from worker’s comp bargaining
  • Society files amicus brief in support of cap on noneconomic damages
  • MEB moves ahead on regulating telemedicine
  • Nominees sought for Society offices; deadline is Jan. 4
  • American Cancer Society releases new breast cancer screening guidelines

October 15, 2015

  • HOPE Agenda bills advance; Society testifies
  • Opioid Task Force meets to plan next steps
  • Society launches worker’s comp on-demand webinar series
  • November summit will explore surgical infection prevention
  • Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance & Financial Services recognized with two awards

October 8, 2015

  • Society approved as MOC Portfolio Sponsor
  • Society members invited to submit abstracts for 2016 Annual Meeting forum
  • Nominate a young physician; deadline Nov. 2
  • Oct. 17 ‘Drug Take Back Day’ aims to safely dispose of unused medicines
  • Opioid management for chronic pain seminar set for Nov. 11
  • Entries sought for annual Monato Rural Health Essay contest

October 1, 2015

  • Society participates in AMA-led payment reform task force
  • No more delays: ICD-10 deadline is here
  • Nominations for 2016 Physician Citizen of the Year Award due Dec. 15
  • Register today for 2015 Sharing the Experience Conference
  • Toussaint is featured speaker for MetaStar symposium
  • Society member’s textbook on chronic pain management published
  • Schwartzstein elected to national leadership position

September 24, 2015

  • Society leaders meet with lawmakers in DC as part of annual AMPAC conference
  • State Assembly passes Interstate Medical Licensure Compact bill 95-1
  • Honoring Choices Wisconsin releases 3-minute video
  • MEB take complaints seriously; physicians should, too
  • MetaStar invites practices to join behavioral health initiative
  • WCMEW team-based summit coming in November
  • Entries sought for annual Monato Rural Health Essay contest

September 17, 2015

  • ‘Dose of Reality’ aims to prevent misuse of prescription pain medicines
  • Medical Examining Board creates controlled substances committee; explores CME changes
  • Interstate Compact bill gets unanimous Assembly committee support
  • Society files briefs with Wisconsin’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
  • UW bioethics professor to address Council on Health Care Ethics
  • Society offers free CME webinar on Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule
  • Registration open for annual WHIO learning forum

September 10, 2015

  • Rep. Nygren announces continued HOPE efforts to battle heroin, opioid addiction
  • Society submits comments on proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule
  • Council to discuss PDMP, new HOPE legislation at next meeting
  • Registration still open for Symposium 2015
  • Former Perdue Farms CMO to speak at Business Health Care Group annual meeting Sept. 30

September 3, 2015

  • Wisconsin DHS will enforce ICD-10 code specificity for Medicaid beginning Oct. 1
  • Council to address suicide prevention efforts
  • Council on Health Care Delivery, Access and Finance to meet Sept. 9
  • Physicians host fundraiser for Rep. Paul Ryan
  • Society members to speak at addiction disorders conference
  • Protect your beneficiaries through estate planning

August 27, 2015

  • Society creates opioid task force to help combat epidemic
  • Nominate a young physician leader; deadline Nov. 2
  • Symposium 2015 early bird savings extended; timely federal updates on the agenda
  • Earn CME through latest WMJ
  • Second annual team-based care summit seeking poster projects

August 20, 2015

  • Society shows strong support for Interstate Compact legislation
  • New medical students receive first white coats
  • WMJ study explores link between students’ proximity to alcohol and consumption
  • Symposium early-bird discounts end tomorrow
  • Former Perdue Farms CMO to speak at Business Health Care Group annual meeting
  • Society members named to list of ‘Top Cancer Doctors 2015’ list by Newsweek
  • Employee lawsuits: Are you covered?

August 13, 2015

  • WMJ: New registry identifies more than 300 savants worldwide
  • CMS updates ICD-10 FAQs
  • Registration closed for fall leadership series; additional series may be added
  • Society launches infant health and wellness CME webinar series
  • Hypertension forum available regionally around Wisconsin

August 6, 2015

  • Foundation’s healthy living program launches in La Crosse
  • Wisconsin Public Radio features Honoring Choices Wisconsin in end-of-life series
  • Society CEO Abrams addresses ‘hot topics’ during Tuesday health care panel
  • Registration for fall leadership series nearing capacity
  • CME, CEUs available at Symposium 2015
  • Wisconsin Psychiatric Association fall conference on addiction approved for CME

July 30, 2015

  • WMJ report explores effort to create mindfulness in medicine
  • Maximum fees providers may charge for copies of health care records increases
  • Yes, you can contribute to presidential candidates via WISMedDIRECT
  • Plan ahead to attend Doctor Day 2016

July 23, 2015

  • Honoring Choices Wisconsin featured on WisconsinEye
  • Students team up to share healthy living tips with youth
  • Symposium 2015 registration now open
  • Nominations for Physician Assistant of the Year being accepted
  • New insurance protections available

July 16, 2015

  • Enrollment now open for fall physician leadership series
  • Medical Examining Board to craft telemedicine rules
  • Society members to present CME sessions at Symposium 2015
  • Depression, alcohol disorder focus of four-year CMS initiative
  • WPA fall conference on addiction to focus on opiate epidemic

July 9, 2015

  • Legislature approves $72 billion state budget
  • Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule includes reimbursement for advance care planning
  • AMA, CMS announce efforts to help physicians prepare for ICD-10
  • Society and others voice opposition to proposed flu vaccine exemption
  • Society selected to participate on AMA’s new Medicare Physician Payment Reform Committee
  • Sen. Johnson speaks at health care forum hosted by Society
  • Attorney General Schimel meets with physicians in Eau Claire

July 2, 2015

  • 2014 Sunshine Act data released; know how to review and discuss with patients
  • New ambassador program engages Milwaukee faith communities
  • Society releases public service announcement on sparkler safety as part of new series
  • Physicians sought to serve as WMJ reviewers

June 25, 2015

  • Supreme Court upholds subsidies for all exchanges
  • Society adopts new vaccine policy limiting exemptions
  • John J. Frey, III, MD, awarded Society’s highest honor
  • Physicians are stepping up their political contributions via WISMedDIRECT
  • Symposium 2015 emphasizes the health care team

June 18, 2015

  • Grant funds advance care planning in southwest Wisconsin
  • 2015 White Coat Campaign is underway; sponsors still needed
  • CME available in latest WMJ
  • Medical student to study physician role in advance care planning
  • June 23 webinar aims to connect patients to food assistance

June 11, 2015

  • Society endorses advance care planning legislation
  • Society board member elected, medical student sworn in at AMA Annual Meeting
  • Bill interfering with the patient-physician relationship advances
  • MEB takes complaints seriously; physicians should too
  • CME available for obesity and nutrition services webinar next week
  • ‘Own specialty’ in a disability policy significant for physicians

June 4, 2015

  • Capitol Roundup: Budget debate continues, Society testifies on 2 bills
  • Letter to CMS from Ways and Means Committee lists steps for smooth ICD-10 transition
  • PI CME activity offers MOC Part IV credit for physicians
  • Wisconsin advance care planning efforts draw national attention
  • Upcoming science festival an opportunity for physicians to interact with youth

May 28, 2015

  • Joint Committee on Finance keeps worker’s comp at DWD
  • Labor and Management exchange worker’s compensation proposals
  • Society asks Joint Committee on Finance to preserve physician workforce and loan assistance funding
  • Lieutenant governor tours UW Health’s trauma center
  • Foundation seeks physicians to speak with youth about healthy living
  • Society offers ICD-10 training sessions for physicians

May 21, 2015

  • House of Delegates actions and Annual Meeting highlights now online
  • WMJ study explores the issue of identifying Wisconsin’s pediatric sex trafficking victims
  • Society president to present June CME webinar
  • Application deadline for Visiting Scholars Program is May 29
  • Reminder: Rural essay contest deadline June 1

May 14, 2015

  • Society asks for removal of reimbursement cuts to federally qualified health centers
  • Foundation launches 2015 White Coat Campaign
  • CME available in latest WMJ
  • MetaStar extends expertise to Medicaid-enrolled providers
  • Society sponsors healthy food and beverages forum

May 7, 2015

  • Joint Finance Committee recommends end to annual physician assessment
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court decision impacts validity of noncompete agreements
  • Council on Health Care Ethics to discuss vaccinations, Society policies
  • Society’s Council on Legislation meets May 8
  • Physician Compass offers PQRS reporting solution
  • Physician education offered at Symposium 2015

April 30, 2015

  • Halverson inaugurated Society president; Hummel elected president-elect
  • Interstate Compact Licensing bill gathering legislative sponsors
  • Physician Citizen of the Year, Presidential Citations awarded during Society’s Annual Meeting
  • Foundation honors physician, students during Annual Meeting
  • MetaStar extends health IT assistance to providers enrolled in Medicaid

April 23, 2015

  • Society’s Annual Meeting this weekend in Madison
  • Physicians affected by tax fraud can help IRS investigation
  • New palliative care network launches
  • Save the date: Doctor Day 2016 is Feb 10
  • Reminder: 2015 open payments review and dispute period open to physicians
  • Protect your beneficiaries through estate planning

April 16, 2015

  • Fraudulent IRS tax scheme affecting Wisconsin physicians
  • Congress repeals SGR; Society applauds Wisconsin delegation for their support
  • NHDD is today; Milford family sits down to ‘have the conversation’
  • Follow the Annual Meeting on Twitter; Virtual Reference Committees close April 20
  • ICD-10-CM specialty-specific education, resources available
  • Physicians who practiced in Pennsylvania may be eligible for refund
  • Is your employee benefit program compliant?

Medigram Alert:

  • US Senate passes historic measure to repeal SGR
    (published April 15, 2015)

April 9, 2015

  • Society encourages everyone to “have the conversation” April 16
  • 2015 open payments review and dispute period open to physicians
  • CME webinar teaches strategies for documentation improvement
  • Foundation seeks physician-led research projects for fellowship database
  • Spots still available on HOD committees

April 2, 2015

  • Society residents and young physicians elected to leadership positions within their section
  • SGR patch expired; bill to repeal SGR on hold for U.S. Senate vote
  • Annual Meeting CME program features Christine Sinsky, MD
  • CME webinar focuses on depression screening for adults and adolescents
  • One day left to register for Foundation event
  • HIPxChange: Sharing to transform health care

March 26, 2015

  • Historic SGR vote in the House; bill now awaits action by the Senate
  • WMJ study explores the effectiveness of social marketing to increasing immunization awareness
  • Registration now open for physician satisfaction CME at Annual Meeting
  • Deadline to register for Foundation event is next week
  • Still time to register for I-PrACTISE annual meeting April 12-14

March 19, 2015

  • Society urges Congress to pass sustainable growth rate bill
  • Medical Examining Board tackling opioid abuse
  • Foundation awards more than $60,000 in grants for 2015
  • WISMedPAC Board commits to raise $100,000 in 2015
  • Annual Meeting 5 weeks away; HOD anchors event-filled weekend
  • Register now for Foundation fundraising event: Deadline April 3

March 12, 2015

  • 250 physicians meet with legislators during Doctor Day 2015
  • Physicians urged to contact Congress now about SGR
  • House of Delegates handbook now available online; caucus meetings begin March 18
  • RFS and YPS leadership applications due March 18
  • Flood insurance – Don’t get soaked
  • Free national provider call to address reporting once across Medicare quality reporting programs

March 5, 2015

  • MD and former Miss Wisconsin to emcee Foundation fundraising event
  • Doctor Day 2015 fast approaching; last chance to register
  • Annual Meeting CME program focuses on physician satisfaction
  • Reardon honored by American College of Psychiatrists
  • Registration opens March 16 for June healthy food and beverage forum

February 26, 2015

  • Society leaders meet with congressional delegation in DC
  • 2015 resolutions now available for review and comment on Society website
  • Nominations open for Young Physician Section leadership roles
  • Medical Society of Milwaukee County to honor 4 during March 7 awards dinner; still time to register
  • Rural health essay contest to award $2,500; deadline is June 1

February 19, 2015

  • All district caucus meetings scheduled; resolutions available Feb. 26
  • Nominees sought for Resident Fellow Section leadership positions
  • CMS announces new Oncology Care Model
  • Cyber liability insurance essential to mitigating emerging risks
  • PQRS registry reporting for 2014 still available
  • Doctor Day 2015 nearing goal; still time to register
  • I-PrACTISE annual meeting April 12-14

February 12, 2015

  • Meet the nominees for Society offices
  • Annual Meeting educational event to address critical issue: Physician satisfaction
  • Society’s Council on Legislation meets Feb. 13
  • Population Health Institute director to speak at Council meeting
  • Medical Society of Milwaukee County announces 2015 award recipients
  • Learn how and what to report for PQRS during a CME-approved webinar
  • Health literacy summit coming to Madison in April; registration now open

February 5, 2015

  • Gov. Walker introduces state budget proposal
  • WISMedPAC Board members appointed for 2015-2016
  • District Caucus meetings being scheduled; details available online
  • Council on Health Care Access to discuss urban health care
  • Free webinar for Society members aims to clarify Medicare Advantage confusion
  • ZDoggMD to speak at Foundation fundraiser April 24; sponsor a table at the event
  • Being Mortal author featured on Frontline Feb. 10
  • Still time to register for Society’s physician leadership program; availability limited

January 29, 2015

  • Last call for resolutions; deadline is Feb. 2
  • Council to revisit two Society policies at next meeting
  • CME available for Feb. 4 radiology webinar
  • Melzer-Lange elected president of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County
  • Medical Society of Milwaukee County launches new brand, website

January 22, 2015

  • Gov. Walker confirmed as speaker for Doctor Day 2015
  • Society accepting applications for spring physician leadership program
  • Health care experts sought to advise on CMS State Innovation Models Award plan
  • Current WMJ CME focuses on prescription medication use
  • Colonoscopy webinar available for CME
  • Members sought for House of Delegates committees

January 15, 2015

  • Get to know the candidates for Society offices
  • Society staff visits with US Reps Ryan, Kind and others in DC
  • Nominations for Champions in Women’s Health due before midnight Jan. 30
  • Reminder to students: Scholarship, fellowship applications due Feb. 2
  • In Business magazine features Meriter-UnityPoint Health
  • Protect your valuable personal property

January 8, 2015

  • Donn Dexter, MD, joins the Society as chief medical officer Jan. 12
  • Temporary Medicaid primary care rate increase ends
  • WMJ study brings to light a significant increase of shoulder surgeries in Wisconsin
  • Submit resolutions for consideration at 2015 Annual Meeting by Feb. 2
  • Doctor Day 2015 registration open; organizers hope to draw 250
  • Jan. 20 is the deadline to show support for MetaStar as a Practice Transformation Network
  • Complimentary CME webinar for Society members focuses on Affordable Care Act