President's Message July 2019

July 23, 2019 12:53 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

Jeffrey Pothof, MD, FACEP

It’s the middle of summer and I’m sure many of you are busy both in the ED and outside of the ED.  I wanted to take a moment to provide a concise update on a few of the things WACEP is working on as we move the agenda of emergency physicians forward in Wisconsin.

We have been watching the news out of Washington D.C. closely as it pertains to recent legislation moving through the Senate and House on out of network balanced billing.  The Senate bill which was passed out of the HELP Committee is seen as less favorable than the current House version.  Secondary to action from stakeholders like ACEP the House version contains provisions for independent dispute resolution (IDR) which is important.  We still have work to do as the IDR provision will not apply to most emergency care, and we are working to advocate for better legislation like HR 3502, first introduced by emergency medicine physician Paul Ruiz.  Please consider taking a moment to contact your Senators and Representatives as they need to hear from us to make an informed decision.  It doesn’t take long: 

Click here to send editable messages to your U.S. Senators and Representatives

Like many of you we were disappointed by Governor Evers' veto of the $24 million for medical assistance funding that had been in the original budget.  To add insult to injury, recent rankings continue to show Wisconsin’s emergency physicians as dead last in Medicaid reimbursement.  With that said we are encouraged that opportunities may exist within DHS to secure funding via an alternative route.  The WACEP board will continue to work hard to ensure you receive fair compensation for the services you provide.

There has been recent discussion with WACEP and the Sheriff’s Association on whether there is a better process that might be considered around Chapter 51 commitments.  I don’t need to remind any of you how challenging and consuming of time and resources these cases can be, and we will continue to work with stakeholders to optimize the mental health process for our members and patients.

One of the things that I’m really looking forward to is our rural outreach event being planned for September 6th in Richland Center.  We have an exciting day planned with a hands-on ultrasound workshop, a visit from UW Med Flight and CHETA, and an update from Dr.Wheeler a stroke neurologist on recent updates to acute stroke care focusing on neuro-endovascular interventions and when you should be thinking about these treatment options.  After these events, the WACEP board is planning to spend some time relaxing while enjoying some good food and company.  We are really interested to hear from emergency medicine providers practicing all over the state no matter your background or journey into the specialty. All the details and registration can be found online.  There is no cost to register so please consider attending and getting to know us. I’d really enjoy meeting some of you.

Enjoy summer!