Latest News 


  • December 20, 2017 11:14 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The following policy statements and PREPs were approved by the ACEP Board of Directors at their October 2017 meeting. 

    Policy Statements 
    Medical Transport Advertising, Marketing, and Brokering – revised
    Clinical Emergency Data Registry Quality Measures – new
    Mechanical Ventilation – new
    Hospital Disaster Physician Privileging – revised
    Unsolicited Medical Personnel Volunteering at Disaster Scenes – revised
    Sub-dissociative Dose Ketamine for Analgesia – new
    Writing Admission and Transition Orders – revised
    The Clinical Practice of Emergency Medical Services Medicine – new
    The Role of the Physician Medical Director in EMS Leadership – new
    State Medical Board Peer Review – new
    Pediatric Medication Safety in the Emergency Department – new
    Distracted and Impaired Driving – revised
     
    PREPs 
    Sub-dissociative Dose Ketamine - new
    Writing Admission and Transition Orders – new
  • December 20, 2017 11:12 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    As we wind down 2017, we kick off a year-long celebration of ACEP’s 50th anniversary starting January 2018. Plan to participate in social media campaigns that highlight the highs, lows and life-changing moments in EM. Get hyped for a historical timeline following the history of our specialty as well as anniversary-themed podcasts. Watch for anniversary editions of ACEP Now and Medicine’s Frontline in addition to proclamations from members of Congress and sister medical societies. Don't forget to order copy of our commemorative coffee table book featuring the breath-taking photographs that capture a day in the life of emergency physicians collected by famed photographer Eugene Richards. Book tickets now to ACEP18 and our blow-out anniversary celebration in San Diego featuring an interactive history museum showcasing the journey of emergency medicine from battlefield to inner city to rural America to every spot in between.

    As we enter 2018, we begin the celebration of 50 years of life saving and boundary pushing. Are you on call for 50 more? 

  • December 20, 2017 11:10 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    by Harry J. Monroe, Jr.
    ACEP Director, Chapter and State Relations

    Two years after the nearly miraculous successful retreat by the British army from Dunkirk, Prime Minister Winston Churchill remarked on the first actual British victory of the war by declaring, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” 

    We may be at a similar point in our legislative battles over balance billing and out of network reimbursement. In many states, policymakers that have been considering the issue for multiple sessions will look to address the issue once and for all. Thus, it will be important that we stand ready to engage an issue that continues to pose a threat to our specialty and most importantly, access to care for our patients. Certainly, we want to be paid fairly, but we also want to focus on making sure that insurer practices are not causing patients to delay receiving emergency care out of uncertainty as to what the insurer will pay.

    ACEP has developed, and is continuing to refine, resources to help states engaging this issue. On our website you will find numerous documents that will be of help in working on this issue, including talking points, copies of written testimony produced in a number of states, information on why Medicare is not a sound benchmark for determining reimbursement, and many other materials. I would encourage you to take a look.

    Additionally, we have worked hard over the last two years to build relationships with other specialty societies and the AMA, based on shared consensus principles and solutions documents that are included on the website, that have helped us collaborate on these issues. In most states that we have engaged, the national collaboration has helped with building alliances at the state level, with the result that the house of medicine has been largely united in our response to legislation. In addition to fighting off bad legislation, we have looked for opportunities to promote positive legislation on the issue, and model legislation has been developed to that end. In addition, to our collaboration with other specialties, another outside organization, Physicians for Fair Coverage, has been formed and has helped to provide and coordinate resources in this fight.

    At the time of this writing, we are also working on developing regional teams of experts that can help provide assistance in terms of legislative interpretation, understanding financial impacts, and advocacy. These should be in place by the time 2018 sessions begin.

    We believe that as many as 25 states will see significant efforts by legislatures to address balance billing and out of network legislation this year. If you are facing it in your state, reach out to me via email or at 972-550-0911, ext. 3204. 

    In addition to balance billing and out of network issues, there will be many other important issues to address in the coming year. The prudent layperson standard remains under attack in many places by both Medicaid and commercial payers. The opioid epidemic continues to be a critical public policy concern. Of course, what the federal government does about health care, and how that filters down to the state level, promises to require our attention. This will be a busy year at the state house!
  • December 13, 2017 5:08 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Bobby Redwood, MD, MPH, FACEP
    President, Wisconsin Chapter, ACEP


    A Roller Coaster of a Year for Wisconsin Emergency Medicine

    December is a natural time for reflection and there is certainly plenty to contemplate in the Wisconsin Emergency Medicine landscape of 2017. Let’s take a moment to revisit the major events of 2017 that affected our specialty at the state and national level and also look towards the future at what 2018 holds in store for WACEP and Wisconsin Emergency Medicine. Fair warning, this newsletter is a little longer than our usual format—its worth it though—2017 has been a wild ride.

    A Political Neophyte in the White House and an Assault on Health Care Access

    As I write this, Donald Trump’s national approval rating sits at 32%*, the lowest fourth-quarter approval rating of any president since polling began. The president blew his trust with many of us early by lying about historic attendance at his inauguration and stacking his cabinet with less than credible individuals (Flynn, Bannon, Scaramucci, etc, etc, etc) and then went on to shock and isolate large numbers of emergency physicians with his self-proclaimed Muslim travel ban** and apparent inability to condemn white supremacy after a violent KKK rally in Charlottesville. ACEP responded to the intolerance by redoubling its commitment to diversity in our specialty and initiating the viral twitter hashtag #ilooklikeanerdoc.

    By July, the mismanagement had shifted towards health care as congress tried to force through the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a half-baked attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act that would have eliminated insurance coverage for more than 20 million people over the next decade, including 394,100 Wisconsinites. WACEP launched a successful action alert against the BCRA as well as the subsequent “Skinny Repeal,” and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains the law of the land. Unfortunately, the president and congress remain determined to limit access to care and have taken some reckless actions that include withholding the ACA cost-sharing subsidies, failing to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, approving the sale of “junk” insurance plans, and shortening the annual ACA enrollment period to an abysmally short six weeks. We at WACEP considered asking Trump’s health and human services secretary, Tom Price, to help ensure that access to care is preserved in Wisconsin, but he resigned in September after racking up $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights on a taxpayer-funded Gulfstream 4.

    Great Strides for Wisconsin ACEP

    If you find the national political scene a bit depressing, rest assured that WACEP has been working overtime to provide a rewarding practice experience for emergency physicians in our state.

    This year we hosted our first ever Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Spring Symposium that included over 75 attendees, 14 exhibitors, 13 faculty presenters, 2 hands-on workshops, and one physician-led jazz band! We felt especially flattered that national ACEP immediate past president Becky Parker and president-elect John Rogers made the trip to Wisconsin to attend our Spring Symposium. The event started with education and moved forward into advocacy as our specialty recorded its highest ever attendance (really) for the subsequent Wisconsin Doctor Day at the capitol. At that event, the house of medicine honored our specialty by highlighting Emergency Medicine medicaid reimbursement as one of the four priority issues to be presented to our legislators in 2017.

    If you missed the Spring Symposium and Doctor Day, we hope you had a chance to attend another one of WACEP’s events in 2017. The list is long and includes gems like our posh Wisconsin EM reception at Del Campo in Washington DC; our listening tour stops in Janesville, Eau Claire, Merrill, and Appleton; or one of our four open board meetings, held quarterly in either Madison or Milwaukee. Still looking for a chance to connect with the WACEP board? The pizza party is on us…starting in 2018, just drop us an email and we’ll schedule a listening tour at your convenience, in your ED or hospital!

    Three-Pronged Mission 2017/2018

    While the events above highlight progress for WACEP as an organization, our central focus continues to be our three-pronged mission to serve our profession, our physician workforce, and our patients. In April of 2017, we renewed this three-pronged commitment by voting on our organization’s priorities for the 2017/2018 year. We voted to support our profession by advocating for increased Medicaid reimbursement in Wisconsin, to support our physician workforce by expanding the size and scope of the Spring Symposium, and to support our patients by working with the Wisconsin Medical Society to decrease the length of stay for psychiatric patients in the emergency department.

    As a demonstration of their commitment to WACEP’s three-pronged mission, I am extremely proud to report that 100% of the WACEP board of directors donated to the WI Emergency Medicine PAC. Likewise, general WACEP members came out in force, raising over $8000 for the PAC in 2017, thus surpassing all previous years’ contributions and facilitating first-rate access to our state legislators and their staff.

    David and Goliath

    One major development for Wisconsin Emergency Medicine in 2017 is the arrival of a national contract management group to our physician staffing landscape. In June of this year, Envision bought Infinity HealthCare, a democratically run (via a board of directors) multi-specialty physician group practice based out of Milwaukee that includes more than 340 providers in Wisconsin and Illinois and staffs 25 emergency departments. 

    Envision is a publicly traded physician staffing corporation (NYSE: EVHC) and the parent company of EmCare. Nationwide, Envision manages physician staffing/contracts for more than 1,600 clinical departments in 45 states and the District of Columbia. A large proportion of their physician employees are emergency physicians. Envision has a larger market share than Team Health and the physician services "unit" of Envision makes about $6 billion of Envision's total annual revenue.

    Wherever you stand on the issue, a titan of physician staffing has arrived in Wisconsin. What will the job landscape look like for our 2020 Wisconsin EM graduates? Madison Emergency Physicians brought to you by Team Health. Emergency Medicine Specialists brought to you by USACS? Perhaps Wisconsin will buck the nationwide trend and physician operated practices will persevere in the Badger State? Or better yet, perhaps we’ll find that perfect mix?

    Ghosts of Christmas Past

    If that last section got you riled up, settle down and pour yourself a mug of mulled wine, because this one’s a doozy. The advocacy nerds and policy wonks among us know that certain issues, like Scrooge’s three ghosts, tend to come back and haunt emergency physicians and in 2017, the chains are really rattling.

    First, the prudent layperson standard of 1997, which requires that insurance coverage is based on a patient's symptoms, not their final diagnosis, has come under attack in multiple states. We have to make sure Wisconsin does not become the next Missouri, where Anthem BCBS has created a list of over 2,000 diagnoses that it considers to be “non-urgent”.

    Second, the specter of out-of-network billing has finally arrived in Wisconsin. What does out-of-network billing look like in practice? To put it simply, a patient’s emergency physician does the work and the insurance company does not pay. The insurer is able to do this by offering in-network rates that are far below fair market value, thus forcing physicians “out-of-network” and sticking the patient with the bill for physician services. We have to ensure that Wisconsin emergency medicine protects its climate of fair coverage and resists the scourge of out-of-network billing.

    Third, medical malpractice caps in Wisconsin could soon be non-existent. Wisconsin lawmakers have put a $750,000 per-occurrence cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, but that limit was deemed “unconstitutional on its face” by a Wisconsin appeals court in July 2017. The matter is on its way to the state supreme court as of November 1st and WACEP has organized a multi-specialty coalition to help protect the cap. Malpractice caps are proven to prevent lawsuits, if they are lifted, let the malpractice free-for-all begin.

    On top of all that, the ghost of Christmas present is currently at work in the U.S. Congress, as our legislators are trying to eliminate the individual mandate as part of their year-end tax bill. The move would increase the number of uninsured patients in Wisconsin and increase the proportion of uncompensated emergency care. Enough with the chain rattling Jacob Marley…give us a break!

    Hope for the Future and a Milestone for Emergency Medicine

    Looking forward to 2018, the WACEP team is working hard to make sure that your new year is as bright and shiny as a healthy glottis beneath the warm light of a Mac-3. For starters, Wisconsin Doctor Day is just around the corner on January 30th. We are committed to getting out-of-network-billing on the agenda, thus cementing the leadership of emergency medicine on this key issue. Just two months later, emergency physicians from around the state will descend upon the gorgeous Edgewater Hotel in Madison for the second annual WACEP Spring Symposium! In response to all the divisiveness at the national level, our theme this year is “Building Connections.” The two-day event will be held on March 14th-15th and will—for the first time ever—be combined with the UW/MCW Emergency Medicine Research Forum. The festival of emergency medicine will continue in the summer with a joint Illinois-Wisconsin career fair at Northwestern University and culminate in San Diego as WACEP celebrates 50 years of Emergency Medicine at our annual Wisconsin event at the ACEP Scientific Assembly.

    On a personal note, I will be greeting the New Year with a wistful tear in my eye, as I pass the baton to the incoming WACEP president. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve each and every one of you. You are the tireless emergency physicians who work 24/7/365 to help keep the great state of Wisconsin safe. You are the professionals entrusted with the stewardship of our loved ones’ health when they are most vulnerable. 2017 may have been a bit of a rollercoaster, but with emergency physicians like you sustaining our professional society, I knew this ride would never fly off the rails.

    *Pew Research Center
    **http://time.com/4703614/travel-ban-judges-donald-trump-words/

  • December 12, 2017 5:21 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Doctor Day 2018 is fast approaching and it’s important that physicians like YOU participate in our annual advocacy event in Madison on Tuesday, Jan. 30. 

    It’s a full day of speakers, issue briefings and a visit to the Capitol to advocate on behalf of your profession. The day will conclude with a reception at DLUX.  The tentative schedule and online registration can be found at widoctorday.org. The event is free to all physicians and medical students thanks to very generous support from sponsorship organizations. 

    Each year, Doctor Day attendees hear from some of the leading voices in Wisconsin politics and health care policy. We’re awaiting final confirmation from speakers, but physicians attending Doctor Day 2018 will enjoy the same high-level experience. Also, our speakers will update physicians on health care issues still under debate in the State Capitol. The January 30 meeting date coincides nicely with the final days of the state legislature’s activity, and therefore puts physicians in policymakers’ offices at the best time to maximize impact on the issues physicians care about. 

    Physicians also will hear the latest regarding Wisconsin's cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases—currently being heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. One of the state’s top medical liability attorneys, Guy J. DuBeau, will explain how a lone case—tried in Milwaukee County—left Wisconsin with no limit on noneconomic damages and what physician organizations are doing to fix that problem. 

    Staff and committee members will take care of every detail—from breakfast, briefings, speakers, lunch and scheduling your visits with legislators to the reception at the end of the day! 

    Please consider joining us for a great day of advocacy on behalf of your profession and your patients!  Register now on the Doctor Day website.

  • December 11, 2017 5:15 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    December 6, Wisconsin Health News

    The Department of Health Services has accepted the resignation of Medicaid Director Michael Heifetz, who is leaving for the private sector, according to a statement.

    Heifetz, who also serves as administrator of the Division of Medicaid Services, will leave the department Dec. 13. Deputy Administrator Casey Himebauch will serve as the division's interim leader.

    “Michael has been invaluable in his role as Medicaid director, representing Wisconsin’s vision for the future in the national spotlight,” DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer said in a statement. “We will greatly miss his leadership and insight, as well as his candor and energy.”

    A DHS spokeswoman said that Heifetz is "pursuing career opportunities" in the private sector. She did not respond to a question asking for more specifics.

    Heifetz joined the department as Medicaid director in September of last year. He previously served as state budget director. Before that, he was vice president of governmental affairs at Dean Clinic and SSM Health of Wisconsin.

    Heifetz has also left his position on the Group Insurance Board and was replaced by State Budget Director Waylon Hurlburt in October.

  • December 08, 2017 11:00 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    WACEP President to be featured on Wisconsin’s 57 Television

    As the 2017/2018 Flu Season Ramps Up, Wisconsin Emergency Providers Take Charge on Vaccine and Antibiotic Education. Wisconsin ACEP President Bobby Redwood, MD, MPH, FACEP and Brian Kayon, PA-C will be featured on Wisconsin Doctors, episode #183, to promote the flu shot and clarify basic antibiotic stewardship principles. You are encouraged to watch this 30-minute program and to spread the word to others to become informed.

    Where to watch:

    • Charter: 6
    • Charter HDTV: 613
    • AT&T Uverse: 57
    • AT&T HDTV: 1057
    • Direct TV: 57
    • Dish: 58

    When to watch:

    • 12/11: 11:30a, 9:00p
    • 12/12: 6:30a
    • 12/13: 5:00p
    • 12/14: 5:30a
    • 12/17: 9:30p
    • 12/18: 11:30a, 9:00p
    • 12/19: 6:30a
    • 12/20: 5:00p
    • 12/21: 5:30a
    • 12/24: 9:30p

    The show will be posted to the Wisconsin Doctors YouTube page as it becomes available. 

  • November 27, 2017 2:49 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The legislature is considering legislation based on proposals from the Workers Compensation Advisory Council.  The proposals were developed Labor and Management representatives on the Council.  But not all of the proposals share the support of the Council’s health care representatives, including a recommended fee schedule.  Health care organizations will need to be even more active this session than last to again defeat the fee schedule proposal.

    It is important to note that works compensation premiums have dropped – without a government mandated fee schedule.  This year alone, employers received an 8.46 percent reduction in their worker’s compensation insurance premiums, saving employers an estimated $170 million.  At the same time, Wisconsin’s health care system continues to lead the nation in outcomes with injured employees returning to work a full three weeks earlier than the national average.  And health care costs per worker’s comp claim lower than the national average.

    Your calls are needed to both the State Assembly and State Senate to explain why the proposed health care fee schedule could harm Wisconsin’s model worker’s compensation system. Entering your address under "Who Are My Legislators" on the State Legislature’s website to locate their contact information.

    Let your State Representative and State Senator know you are a physician in their district, serving patients who are also constituents and that you are opposed to an artificial fee schedule for a worker’s compensation system that provides the nation’s best care at a below-average worker’s compensation cost.  Thank you for your time and action on this important issue.

  • November 20, 2017 1:47 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    Deputy Insurance Commissioner J.P. Wieske will outline what a Wisconsin version of the Affordable Care Act could look like at the Dec. 13 Wisconsin Health News Newsmaker Event.

    Wieske announced this fall the state is considering applying for a 1332 waiver from the law, which allows states to develop unique solutions for providing affordable healthcare coverage. Wieske will discuss the state’s next steps, as well as provide an update on open enrollment and the current insurance market.

    Wieske has served as the state's deputy insurance commissioner since 2016. Before that he was the department's legislative liaison and public information officer for five years. He previously served as the executive director of the Council of Affordable Health Insurance.

     Register here.

  • November 20, 2017 1:45 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    November 3, WMS Medigram

    The Wisconsin Medical Society Board of Directors has named Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA, chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Medical Society.

    “I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve as the next CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society; I consider it a tremendous honor,” said Dr. Chumbley, who will begin on November 27. “Having been a Society member for 37 years, I’m a firm believer in its mission to advance the health of the people of Wisconsin by ensuring access to high-quality, cost-efficient care. And I look forward to drawing on my experience to further strengthen the Society so we can continue to make a difference for our patients and our profession.”

    In addition to caring for patients as a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist throughout his 36-year medical career, Dr. Chumbley has held numerous leadership and management positions, including serving nearly 20 years as president and CEO of a large, independent multi-specialty medical group practice. He currently serves as chief medical adviser for Wisconsin Medical Society Holdings and as chief medical officer for the Wisconsin Medical Society Holdings Association Health Plan.

    Past leadership roles in Wisconsin include serving as chief medical officer/chief clinical integration officer for Aspirus Health and president of Aspirus Clinics, and as president and CEO of ProHealth Care Medical Associates. He also has served on the board of directors and as past chair and treasurer for the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. In Texas, he served as chief medical officer for Scott & White Healthcare in the Austin region.  

    Doctor Chumbley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds medical licenses in Wisconsin and Texas.

    “We were fortunate to have a number of highly qualified candidates interested in this position,” said Jerry Halverson, MD, chair of the Society’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the search committee. “Doctor Chumbley is an excellent advocate for physicians and the patients we serve, and with his extensive administrative experience and medical expertise, we believe he is an outstanding choice to lead the Society. We look forward to all we can accomplish under his leadership.”

    Doctor Chumbley is the eighth Society CEO in its 176-year history. Susan L. Turney, MD, MS, FACMPE, FACP, was the first physician to hold the position from 2004 to 2011.