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

Society task forces focus on legislative initiatives

Establishing health savings accounts for Medicaid and addressing Wisconsin’s psychiatric shortage topped the agendas during two recent Wisconsin Medical Society Task Force meetings: the Innovations in Health Care (IHC) Task Force and the Mental and Behavioral (MBH) Health Task Force.

2017 Wisconsin Act 271 requires the Department of Health Services (DHS) to create a health savings account (HSA) program for Medicaid. During its May 3 meeting, the IHC discussed what a HSA program for Medicaid could look like and potential recommendations the Society can make to DHS to minimize physician and patient burden, improve access and lower costs. The task force will be developing a framework and policy recommendations to share with DHS as it creates its HSA program. These recommendations will be informed by the Society’s policies and Health System Reform Objectives.

The MBH Task Force met May 7 to discuss strategies to remedy the psychiatric shortage in Wisconsin, which is estimated between 215 and 262 psychiatrists statewide. Late last year, the Society commissioned a study with the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs to evaluate opportunities to increase the number of psychiatrists in Wisconsin. The report’s authors presented a summary of their findings, and the final report will be released this summer.

If you have any questions about the work of either task force, contact H.J. Waukau.

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