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Medigram: July 9, 2015

Top Story

Legislature approves $72 billion state budget
The Wisconsin State Legislature acted this week to approve the state’s spending plan for the next two years. In late-night votes Tuesday and Wednesday, the State Senate and State Assembly each approved the $72 billion spending package, which covers state government operations from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017. Read more

News Briefs

Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule includes reimbursement for advance care planning
The Wisconsin Medical Society today praised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its inclusion of advance care planning for reimbursement in its 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. The provision should significantly improve patient access to advance care planning across Wisconsin. Read more

AMA, CMS announce efforts to help physicians prepare for ICD-10
The American Medical Association (AMA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier this week an agreement on key elements of a “grace period” for the Oct. 1, 2015, implementation date of the ICD-10 diagnosis code set. Read more

Society and others voice opposition to proposed flu vaccine exemption
State legislators Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) are seeking co-sponsors for a proposal (LRB 0428/4) that would bar businesses in Wisconsin from disciplining employees who refuse to be vaccinated against influenza, even if receiving that vaccination is a condition of employment.Read more

Society selected to participate on AMA’s new Medicare Physician Payment Reform Committee
On April 16, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 into law (Pub. L. 114-10). This law not only repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate Medicare Part B payment methodology, but also kicked off a four-year transition of moving the Medicare Part B payment system from a volume-driven system to a value-driven one. For many physicians across Wisconsin, this transition provides opportunity, but also some uncertainty regarding the manner in which they deliver and are paid for the care they provide. Read more

Sen. Johnson speaks at health care forum hosted by Society
The Wisconsin Medical Society hosted a health care forum with U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) and a number of the state’s health care leaders at Society headquarters on Monday. Read more

Attorney General Schimel meets with physicians in Eau Claire
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel met with a group of physicians Wednesday night in Eau Claire to discuss the growing problem of heroin and opioid misuse in Wisconsin. The event was hosted by the Eau Claire-Pepin-Dunn Tri-County Medical Society. Read more