October Updates from the Wisconsin Medical Society

October 06, 2020 9:39 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

WACEP is pleased to share these updates from our partners at the WI Medical Society

As Governor extends statewide mask order, the Society urges proactive public behaviors

As Governor Tony Evers declared a new public health emergency and issued a new face covering mandate on September 22 due to increases in the state’s COVID-19 case rate, the Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) took the opportunity to remind the public how they can take proactive measures to help reduce the spread of the virus, regardless of any government action related to the pandemic.

In a media statement sent statewide the afternoon of the Governor’s announcement, Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, emphasized how mask wearing, physical distancing and regular hand washing are proven effective strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “If we all agree to take simple steps, we can reduce the spread of the pandemic and protect our state’s physical and economic health,” Dr. Chumbley said in the statement. “We strongly urge everyone to wear masks, maintain social distancing and continue to wash hands often and thoroughly,” Dr. Chumbley said. The statement also emphasized that with seasonal influenza season looming, getting a flu vaccination is another action individuals can take that helps protect themselves and the public.

The statement is the latest in a series of actions the Society has taken to help remind the public of their important role in helping stem community spread, including three public service announcements that have been aired on statewide television and on the Society’s various social media channels.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

Medical Examining Board concerned over possible proposal to change nursing collaboration requirement

Many physician members of the state’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) raised concerns at its monthly meeting on September 16 over a potential Board of Nursing (BON) proposal that would repeal a requirement that Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers (APNP) work in collaboration with at least one physician or dentist. While the MEB does not have jurisdiction over how nurses are regulated, numerous MEB members were concerned that such a proposal would have negative impacts on Wisconsin’s high-quality health care system.

The MEB’s concerns rose from a BON meeting on Sept. 10, which included initialization of the process used to change the administrative code: preparing a proposed “Scope Statement” laying out the desired change. The specific scope statement proposal, which requires approval from the Governor before it can be developed further, was included in yesterday’s MEB agenda for discussion.

State MEB administrative staff indicated that the BON may be withdrawing or further modify the scope statement and said a BON subcommittee will be discussing the issue Sept. 18. The Society will attend that subcommittee meeting and has already been in contact with other physician-centric advocacy organizations to ensure all are aware of the possible attempt to alter the collaboration requirement.

In other action, the MEB unanimously approved its own scope statement for a regulatory update that would extend the current requirement for physicians holding a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration number to complete controlled substance education as part of the 30 hour biennial license requirement.

That statement will now be sent to the Governor for review; the Board will further develop the rule following the Governor’s likely approval.

Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

Society's COVID-19 Task Force asks physicians to review DHS alert on antigen testing

The Wisconsin Medical Society’s (Society) COVID-19 Task Force recommends that Wisconsin physicians review a COVID-19 Health Alert on antigen testing issued today, September 24, by the state’s Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Bureau of Communicable Diseases.

Calling this testing an “important and evolving topic,” DHS Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, provides important information regarding various aspects of this type of testing, including considerations for using antigen tests in symptomatic vs. asymptomatic patients, the characteristics of the antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 currently available and a list of antigen tests currently authorized for use in the U.S.

The Society’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet biweekly as Wisconsin battles the pandemic, and regularly updates relevant information on the Society’s COVID-19 Resources webpage.

Contact Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA with any questions for the COVID-19 Task Force.

Virtual trivia – October 8

Join your fellow Wisconsin Medical Society members for a virtual WisMed Meet Up! Trivia nights provide an opportunity to connect with your peers across the state from the comfort of your home.

The Society will create trivia teams, or you are welcome to invite colleagues to create a team of your own by emailing Jess. (Maximum of 4 people per team).

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Register here!

Gift cards will be awarded to the winning team! Please contact our Membership Specialist at jessica.schreiter@wismed.org with any questions.

Thanks to Exact Sciences for sponsoring this member exclusive event!