Latest News 


  • 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. 
  • October 11, 2016 10:59 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Join WHN on October 18 when insurance leaders will discuss exchanges, narrow networks and more during a roundtable discussion moderated by Wisconsin Health News Editor Tim Stumm. Panelists include: 

    • Julie Brussow, CEO, Security Health Plan 
    • Dustin Hinton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Wisconsin
    • Sherry Husa, CEO, MHS Health Wisconsin
    • Paul Nobile, President, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin 


    Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016
    11:30 am to 1 pm - discussion begins at noon
    Madison Club; 5 E Wilson St.; Madison, WI 53703
    Register now

  • October 11, 2016 10:57 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The Wisconsin Council on Medical Education & Workforce (WCMEW) and the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System invite you to register for Interprofessional Collaborations: Advancing Wisconsin’s Healthcare and Education, an interprofessional conference.

    This Thursday-Friday conference is designed to bring together educational institutions and health care facilities from across Wisconsin. The event is being presented through a partnership of AHEC and WCMEW. The conference will take place on Thursday, Nov. 10 and Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at the Marriott West in Madison.

    Register here for the conference and access more information including the agenda, event details and learning objectives. The conference room rate of $139 has been negotiated for a block of hotel rooms at the Marriott. The room block will be held until October 12.

  • October 10, 2016 4:02 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    September 2016, WISHIN Connections

    In many cases, Medicaid health plans and other payers are not aware of their members' Emergency Department (ED) or other hospital admits or discharges unless they make arrangements individually with each hospital to get notifications or until the claim resulting from the visit is received, which may take up to 30 days. 

    The Patient Activity Report for Payers (PAR-P) provides daily notifications of patient hospital or ED visits to payers. The report, which includes admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) information, was created to help payers follow up proactively and timely with members who have visited a hospital or ED. The PAR-P can help to assure compliance with care plans, avoid preventable re-admissions, prevent duplicative testing and procedures and connect targeted Medicaid ED visitors with medical homes or appropriate follow-up care.

    Working in Partnership for Improved Care Coordination

    The PAR-P project was developed by the WISHIN team with input from payers and completed in partnership with and supported by funding from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The first sites, Medicaid health plans serving certain members in Milwaukee, went live in April 2015. Many of the health plans chose to include members beyond those in the pilot population.

    In September 2015 a survey was distributed to the pilot sites to gather feedback on the organizations' experiences with PAR-P and what they would like to see in Phase 2.

    More than 80% of respondents indicated that they found the PAR report useful and timely. When asked how the patient care coordination process changed with information from the report one respondent commented that the follow-up process has been made easier by having the most recent demographic information on a patient. The respondent continued,

    "It also allows us better access to patients that have been floundering in the system without access to a [primary care physician (PCP)] due to their own lack of knowledge. The hospital inpatient notification has allowed us to share this information with their PCP and obtain referrals to our care coordination team for temporary or permanent placement into a care coordination or disease management program. These patients in the past were typically lost until they presented to an office and at that point their disease may have progressed needlessly."

    Phase 2 Improvements

    By the request of the pilot sites, the PAR is now delivered to an sFTP folder rather than via secure email. The sFTP folder process can simplify health plans' workflows so that their systems can automatically retrieve the file from the folder rather than taking multiple steps to open secure emails and download the files.

    Additional Phase 2 improvements were made to provide more details to payers receiving the report to clearly indicate what event triggered the PAR. For example, event identifiers were added to encounters including whether the notification is being sent because of an admission, discharge or change in demographics, or change in diagnoses. Furthermore, five new data elements have been added to PAR-P: event type, discharge date & time, discharge disposition, internal visit/account numbers and the primary-care physician. With the addition of these details, case managers can quickly move through their workflow rather than spending time identifying why the report was generated or tracking down contact and other information critical to a swift follow-up.

    WISHIN is pleased about the potential of the PAR-P report to connect health plans and their members to accelerate and improve care. The addition of the PAR-P to WISHIN's services builds on its mission to promote and improve the health of all communities and patients in Wisconsin. 

    If you have questions about the PAR-P's capabilities and uses or would like to find out if your organization could use the report, contact WISHIN at wishin@wishin.org or (608)274-1820.