Latest News 


  • November 07, 2016 2:05 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    November 3, Wisconsin Health News - A federal grant will help Ministry Health Care expand its telemedicine program to clinics across seven northcentral Wisconsin counties. 

    The United States Department of Agriculture announced the $432,258 grant last week. It'll expand a project allowing advanced practice nurse practitioners to consult with physicians and provide care in facilities serving Clark, Forest, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Vilas and Waupaca counties. 

    "These investments will help provide better healthcare and educational opportunities for rural residents," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. 

    Ministry, which is part of Ascension, plans to add therapeutic services to the program, including dietary and diabetic counseling, tele-psychiatry and post-hospitalization, post-surgical follow-up, according to the USDA.

    The project will connect 13 rural clinics and two hospitals to Ministry Saint Claire's Hospital in Weston, according to Ministry spokesman Tom Weaver.  

    It will allow Ministry to care for more complex patients within their home communities and has the potential to provide more than 100,000 telemedicine visits during the next three years, Weaver said.  

    Ministry's project was one of only seven healthcare projects and the only Wisconsin project funded in the grant cycle. Eighteen projects in 16 states received $4.7 million.

  • November 07, 2016 2:02 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    November 2, Wisconsin Health News - The state collected 58,729 pounds of unwanted medications and prescription painkillers during a national prescription drug take back day on Oct. 22, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

    The state's also increased the number of registered permanent medication return boxes in the state to 295. That's nearly double the 152 in September 2015. 

    "The fight against this epidemic isn't over, but with continued effort from citizens, we will save lives," Attorney General Brad Schimel wrote in a blog post. 

    In late April, the state collected 62,618 pounds of prescription drug. The amount of collected drugs at that point was third in the nation, behind California and Texas.

  • November 07, 2016 1:52 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    November 1, WISHIN - WISHIN Connections is the monthly e-Newsletter from the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN).  We will keep you up to date with WISHIN activities, news on health information exchange (HIE) and new product developments.

    In the October 2015 edition of WISHIN Connections, we outlined the benefits of regional and statewide health information exchanges (HIEs) like WISHIN in enabling collaboration among groups striving for healthcare interoperability. A year has passed and the content of that article is still relevant. But as HIE evolves, questions remain about how all of the options compare and contrast with each other.

  • November 03, 2016 7:12 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Interested in sharing your emergency medicine expertise? Wisconsin ACEP is now accepting abstracts from members and others interested in hosting a roundtable session at the WACEP 2017 Spring Symposium, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison.

    The symposium will offer, "Hot Topics in Emergency Medicine" an afternoon session that will include a variety of roundtable discussions. Table hosts will facilitate five 15-minute discussions on their topic of expertise, as attendees rotate tables during the 75-minute session.

    Abstract Submissions:

    • Brief abstracts must be submitted via email to WACEP@badgerbay.co.
    • Content described in the abstract must be appropriate for facilitating 15-minute discussions on the topic. 
    • Abstracts must include at least one learning objectives for your roundtable topic.
    • The Symposium planning committee will review all abstracts to make a final determination of roundtable topics by December 1st. 
  • October 26, 2016 1:31 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    President's Message, October 2016
    Bobby Redwood, M.D., M.P.H.


    From October 26 to November 1, Pokémon Go is having a special Halloween event where players are heavily incentivized to get outside and catch Pokémon. Translation: there will be a lot of absent-minded kids (AND adults—40% of players are over age 25) wandering around the side of the road and maybe even your hospital for the next few days.

    We're having a little fun at WACEP this Halloween, so here's our take on Niantic's smash-hit smart phone game Pokémon Go and how it affects emergency medicine in Wisconsin.

    • Pokémon Go was released on July 6, 2016, and on the eve of its five-month birthday, the app has already achieved legend status with 600 million downloads, 25 million active daily users, and more than $500 million in net revenue thus far.
    • The app is essentially an augmented reality game that is played on a smart phone and encourages users to go out and hunt mythical "pocket monsters" (Pokémon) in the real world.
    • Augmented reality means that players see the Pokémon on their smart phone screen as though the monsters were floating in the real world (see photo of a "Ghastly" Pokémon floating around my emergency department). 
    • Players are rewarded for physical activity and also for visiting Poké-Gyms where they can have their Pokémon battle in order to advance in the game. Poke-Gyms tend to be located in parks, shopping centers and other community gathering places...including hospitals. There is a Poké-Gym outside of my ED and I frequently spot Pokémon players clustered around the site.

    So why does this matter? From an injury prevention stand-point, Pokémon Go is certainly problematic. The game seems to throw players into a trance-like state where their level of situational awareness is similar to that of intoxicated person. This would be fine if the players were sitting at home, but they are typically wandering the streets, biking, or (gulp) driving while trying to catch a rare Charmander or Dratini.

    News reports have highlighted multiple cases where pedestrians have walked into traffic and—in one case—off of a cliff. Even scarier, there was a report in New York of a mugger using Pokémon lures (an item in the game that is publicly view-able to all players and lures Pokémon to a certain spot) to bring victims into his vicinity. Luckily, that appears to have been an isolated incident.

    Having acknowledged the downside of the game, here's the case for why emergency physicians should be happy that Pokémon Go is out there.

    • First of all, this game really does encourage physical activity and Americans across the country are getting off the couch and reducing their risk for chronic health conditions through good clean fun. In fact, Business Insider magazine reported in September that Pokémon Go players have walked a cumulative total of 4.6 Billion kilometers since the game's release. What is the Pokémon Go number needed to treat to prevent one myocardial infarction? 
    • Second, the game encourages real-life socialization (as opposed to online chatting) in that Pokémon Go players often meet in person to play and even host events to bond over the game. Within households, countless family-focused organizations and parenting blogs have celebrated how the game gives parents and their children an opportunity to spend quality time together. This is good for our communities in terms of building social support networks, strengthening family ties, and getting isolated individuals to engage in a productive way with their peers. Pokémon Go schizophrenia support groups? 
    • Third, the Pokémon platform has been repeatedly praised on college and high school campuses as a weekend social activity that doesn't center around alcohol consumption. One-less drunk teenager trying to keep the party going in your ED at three in the morning?

    So what do you think? Emergency providers are generally a fun-loving, active bunch...is Pokémon Go the monkey bars of 2016, or is it a welcome alternative to drinking on the couch? Share your comments and have fun this Halloween--with or without Pokémon Go.

    Bobby Redwood, M.D., M.P.H.
    President: Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians
    WACEP@badgerbay.co

  • October 24, 2016 10:16 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    October 24, Wisconsin Health News - The Medical Examining Board has approved emergency rules that require doctors who prescribe narcotics to complete biennial training relating to the board's opioid guidelines. 

    Under the rule approved last week, doctors who renew their licenses in 2017 or 2018 will have to complete an educational course or program relating to the guidelines for at least two of their 30 hours of required continuing medical education. Those who renew in 2019 or 2020 will also have to complete at least two hours. 

    The rule doesn't apply to physicians who lack a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration number to prescribe controlled substances. The rules could go into effect as early as next month, according to the board's newsletter. The board plans to hold a public hearing next month regarding telemedicine rules.

  • October 20, 2016 9:00 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    October 20, Wisconsin Health  News - Jennifer Malcore will serve as the next assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Health Services, according to a Wednesday statement.

    Bill Hanna, who's held the position since August 2015, has accepted a job outside of state government, according to DHS.

    Malcore is currently chief of staff for Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, and has worked on his Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Agenda.

    Hanna will leave DHS Oct. 26. Malcore starts Nov. 14. 

  • October 19, 2016 7:32 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Plan to participate in the Ultrasound Workshop for Emergency Physicians on November 5, 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Learn the life-saving ultrasound skills of finding free fluid in abdomen and chest, pneumothorax, pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade; and assess left ventricular function and IVC size to guide therapy on critically ill patients. 

    Why is this better than other ultrasound workshops you’ve been to? 

    • Focus is on the ultrasounds that matter when seconds count
    • Live patient models for scanning practice and state of the art ultrasound simulators for pathology 
    • No more than 3 participants per instructor to allow for focused, tailored teaching and feedback
    • 4 hours of CME for $300
  • October 11, 2016 11:18 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    September 29, WMS Medigram

    The Wisconsin Medical Society is now accepting nominations for its 2017 Physician Citizen of the Year Award. First established by the Society in 1982, the award recognizes and encourages Wisconsin physicians who volunteer their time and talents through civic and cultural activities—helping to improve the health and well-being of their communities.

    Consider nominating a friend, colleague or personal physician for this award. Details and a nomination form are available on the Society’s website. The nomination deadline is Dec. 15, 2016.

    Michael Ostrov, MD, MS, received 2016 Physician Citizen of the Year for his extraordinary efforts to further the conversation regarding advance care planning and end-of-life care in Wisconsin. A family medicine physician, Dr. Ostrov is chief medical officer for WPS Health Insurance and Arise Health Plan. He was recognized during the Society’s Annual meeting last April, and also was featured in the June issue of​ WMJ. 

  • October 11, 2016 11:01 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    September 2016, WISHIN Connections

    Medicaid prescription-fill data for Wisconsin Medicaid members is now included in WISHIN Pulse, the statewide community health record. Medicaid prescription-fill history dating back to May 1, 2015, has been loaded into WISHIN Pulse and the data is being refreshed twice daily from the Medicaid pharmacy claims system, thus providing near-real-time prescription information to support better informed patient care and safety for Medicaid patients.

    "We are constantly adding new participants and data sources to WISHIN Pulse to provide value to our participants and the patients they serve," says Joe Kachelski, CEO of WISHIN. The addition of Medicaid prescription-fill data substantially enhances the clinical data available through WISHIN Pulse.

    "With hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites covered by Medicaid, the addition of up-to-date prescription information is going to add substantially to the value of WISHIN Pulse."

    Providers using the WISHIN Pulse system will be able to view Medicaid prescriptions in a tab under the "medications" section. WISHIN Pulse also includes information such as diagnoses, immunizations, lab results, care plans, and visit summaries.  In addition, WISHIN Pulse has integrated with the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to allow clinicians to see a patient's history of controlled-substance prescriptions without having to log on to the state's system and separately search for a patient.

    WISHIN Pulse users should be aware that the data displayed represents the vast majority of drugs paid for by Medicaid. However, it possible that in the transmission process a small number of records may fail to immediately load.  It is also possible that prescription-drug claims may be reversed after appearing in WISHIN Pulse.