Latest News

  • March 31, 2021 3:07 PM | Deleted user

    Colleagues - 

    WACEP needs your help!  As you know, we have been working for decades to obtain an increase in Medicaid reimbursement to help support our work as the state's healthcare safety net.  We are honored to take care of anyone who comes to the ED 24/7/365, but currently, Medicaid reimbursement only pays for 40% of the cost of taking care of a Medicaid enrollee patient. 

    For years, WACEP has continued to communicate our concerns about being able to attract and retain emergency physicians to our state, given that our Medicaid reimbursement is lower than any other state in the nation. Now more than ever after the COVID roller coaster of ED volumes, and after federal support has come and gone, it remains questionable whether our ED safety net is sustainable. 

    Governor Evers heard us, and his budget bill contains funding to increase Medicaid reimbursement specifically for emergency physicians!  We need your help to push this across the finish line as our legislators now consider priorities for their version of a budget bill. 

    We need you to do three things:

    1. Register for the April 8th WACEP Spring Symposium (if you're not already).  Governor Evers is confirmed to provide remarks at our conference, and we need to show him that emergency physicians are engaged. It's just a few short months before he'll be signing a final budget bill. 
    2. Donate to the WI Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee and plan to attend the VIP Coffee Hour Reception during the Symposium that is exclusively offered as an opportunity for WEMPAC donors.  The reception will feature Rep. Mark Born, co-chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee that is instrumental in the budget process. Please join us to inform Rep. Born why increased Medicaid reimbursement for emergency physicians is desperately needed. 
    3. Watch for a call to action via grassroots advocacy in the next couple of weeks where we will prompt you to send messages to your legislators regarding our specific budget ask for increased Medicaid reimbursement for emergency physicians.

    Thank you so much for keeping emergency medicine in Wisconsin strong!

    Lisa Maurer, MD, FACEP
    WACEP Legislative Committee Chair

    Brad Burmeister, MD, FACEP
    WACEP President

  • March 24, 2021 4:03 PM | Deleted user

    Join your colleagues (virtually) for Doctor Day on May 5, 2021 to fight for your patients, profession and sound health care policy. Doctor Day 2021 will include morning breakout sessions on health equity, public health and the latest legal issues facing physicians so you can customize the day to your interests. Organizers are once again lining up presentations from premier experts and policymakers. The schedule features three breakout sessions:

    Health Equity
    What are we doing to achieve long-lasting and equitable health outcomes for ALL Wisconsinites? The State of Wisconsin has an overall health disparities grade of “D” according to a recent University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute Health of Wisconsin Report Card. The Report Card notes that while Wisconsin's grade for overall health has remained the same since 2007, the health disparities grade has worsened since 2010. What are we doing to change this?

    Public Health
    Join us for an outbreak session on local public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson will provide an overview of the challenges and successes Wisconsin's local public health departments faced throughout the last 12 months. As fellow frontline workers, local public health officers have experienced this crisis through the lens of both health care and governmental response to public health crises. 

    Legal Update
    The always popular and pertinent legal update will explore the latest “hot topics” physicians need to know about. Axley attorneys Guy DuBeau and Aneet Kaur will walk us through the landscape of litigation trends, scope of practice developments and more.

    To learn more about this virtual day of advocacy, go to widoctorday.org to register (it’s free) and see the day’s agenda.

  • March 24, 2021 3:59 PM | Deleted user

    March 18, Wisconsin Medical Society

    The State of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) at its most recent monthly meeting advanced a proposed administrative rule that will extend for another biennium the requirement that most physicians obtain two credits of continuing education related to opioid prescribing. The requirement applies to physicians who hold a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number, with the two credits being part of the 30 credits required each biennium. Courses must be approved by the MEB in order to satisfy the subject matter requirement.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) spoke in favor of the rule at the MEB public hearing March 17, noting how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated opioid abuse across the county. The Society also expressed appreciation that the rule widens the scope of qualifying coursework beyond opioid prescribing to include “other controlled substances.” This will allow physicians who hold a DEA number but may not prescribe opioids to access coursework more relevant to their practice.

    The MEB also began to discuss whether to add a provision to the “unprofessional conduct” section of the MEB’s administrative code (MED 10) that could require physicians to offer patients a chaperone for certain sensitive physical exams. The idea comes from a January 2020 ACOG Community Opinion paper recommending that a chaperone be present for all breast, genital and rectal examinations. While the MEB discussed the issue only generally during its meeting March 17, it will review potential language at its April meeting.

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

  • March 13, 2021 9:01 AM | Deleted user

    Bradley Burmeister, MD FACEP
    WACEP President

    Hello WACEP Members!

    I’m hoping this isn’t going to be an “in like a lamb, out like a lion" March! We’ve been pretty lucky, and I’ll be honest, I’m slightly bummed at the quickly deteriorating skiing conditions across the ski resorts in our state!

    WACEP continues to be very busy. We continue to follow multiple pieces of legislation moving through at the state level including: the proposed Medicaid reimbursement budget increase; proposed balanced billing legislation; the PA bill; many bills impacting EMS and more. I’m anticipating many updates over the next few months so will save you from information overload now, but obviously if you have questions, please reach out to us!

    Our most important update in the coming month is that our virtual annual meeting / Spring Symposium is April 8th! We have a great day planned full of education and networking, and I encourage everyone to join us if available! Sign up here.

    Another exciting transition is that the WACEP Board is planning an in-person meeting the morning of June 8th at Lambeau Field! If you are in the region or want to join us for the conversation or just the phenomenal view, Board meetings are open to all members. Just let us know if you plan to come and we’ll get you details!

    Thank you for your membership.

    ~Brad

  • March 12, 2021 9:35 AM | Deleted user

    Barack Obama signed the CURES Act into law in 2016.  This 996 bill has many provisions that can be found online through ACEP, and also through HHS. This Act impacts Emergency Physicians in a number of ways and a brief review of the bill may be worth your time. 

    Throughout the past year, our institution has changed the default setting to share all emergency physician notes with certain exceptions.  This action has resulted in a handful of patient complaints or requests to change the medical record. 

    Here are some helpful hints that I have found through review of patient concerns. 

    Common Documentation or Pitfalls

    Considered Revision

    Patient is obese

    Patient’s BMI >30 or meets the medical criteria for obesity.

    Patient refused admission to the hospital

    After discussion of the risks and benefits of hospital admission the patient elected to continue treatment as an outpatient.  Patient is decision and understands they are at increased risk of myocardial infarction….  The patient is concerned if they are admitted there will be nobody to watch their children and they will get fired from their job.

    Patient appears SOB

    Patient is short of breath

    Patient refuses to take their medication

    Patient has difficulty affording medication, or has had difficulty tolerating pills…..

    Patient is paranoid and refuses to acknowledge

    Consider revising using direct quotes.  “The transmitters in my brain tells me the medication is the devil.” 

    Beware of just loading the macro

    Patients will likely notice when they come for an ankle sprain and you preload the heart, lung and full neuro exam.


    While this is not an exhaustive list, I think the take home message is that direct quotes and non-judgmental language will decrease concerns from patients and strengthen the quality of the medical record.  Knowing why the patient elected to be discharged, couldn’t take their medications, or providing direct quotes may even help other members of the care team give better care for the patient.  Medical records reflecting the compassionate and thoughtful care will build trust with the patient and result in more efficient care and better physician-patient relationships. 

    There may be a few instances in which the physician may not want a note visible to the patient.  Examples include forensic nurse evaluations or instances in which a mother’s spouse may not be the father of an infant.  Check with your institution on how to opt out of sharing notes. While guided by the CURES Act each institution has its own workflow. 

    Familiarizing ourselves with the CURES act in our daily practice our health system’s implementation will ensure the physician’s note reflects our commitment to safe and compassionate care.

  • March 02, 2021 5:27 PM | Deleted user

    The ACEP committee application process is now open to any member interested in joining a committee. The deadline to apply is May 1st.

    ACEP has more than 35 committees and task forces working on issues such as ethics, emergency medicine practice, pediatric emergency care, disaster medicine and more. Please consider volunteering—ACEP and emergency medicine need your experience and expertise. Committees provide important leadership to ACEP members, its Board and Council.

    EMRA members who are interested in serving as that organization's representative on an ACEP committee should also apply. The process is the same for resident and active members and you can expedite the process by using the online application. Residents and candidate applicants may provide a letter from their program directors and/or mentors as well.

    The majority of committee work is accomplished through e-mail and conference calls. Committee members are expected to attend the organizational meetings at the annual meeting in Boston, October 23-24, 2021. 

    Those not currently serving on a national ACEP committee will be required to submit a current CV to volunteer for a committee. Please attach your CV to the online form or mail it to ACEP headquarters. You may also want to submit a letter of support from the Wisconsin Chapter, ACEP.  

    Review the online application for details and to begin the process.  After completion of the form, you should receive an acknowledgement that your committee interest form has been submitted. Committee appointments will be finalized in late June. If appointed to an ACEP national committee, your appointment will not be considered final unless a completed Conflict of Interest form is submitted by the deadline. 

    Each Committee is appointed by the President to assist with activities for the year. Committee members serve for a specific period of time and are accountable to the President for achievement of assigned objectives. Task forces operate much like committees, but once their work is complete they are deactivated. 

    Questions may be directed to Mary Ellen Fletcher, CPC, CEDC, at 800-798-1822, ext. 3145, or mfletcher@acep.org. 

  • February 23, 2021 2:58 PM | Deleted user

    WACEP Members,

    We have great news to report! Governor Evers included a proposed budget increase of over $5.2 million annually in his executive budget to improve Medicaid emergency services reimbursement rates in Wisconsin. WACEP has been advocating for this increase for over 20 years since our last consideration of an increase.

    As you probably know, the Wisconsin Medicaid program reimburses the worst in the country for our most commonly used E/M codes, and we have a lot of work to do to make this increase a reality. The budget proposal must go through the Joint Finance Committee and be approved by the full legislature over the next four months. 

    At this point, the budget provides an increase, however exactly how that increase would be operationalized (should it make it through the Legislature) would be determined by the Department of Health Services (DHS). We continue to work with the Administration to understand exactly what $5.2 million might look like to specific reimbursement coding. Obviously WACEP will continue to work with the state should this budget item make it through the earmark.  

    It’s important to know that while the Governor included this funding in his budget, it has a long way to go before it becomes reality. With certainty, we will need YOUR help over the coming months to contact your legislators to help ensure that this item remains in the budget. 

    As we learn more and work out details of the specific ask to your individual legislators, there are two things you can consider doing now. First would be to send a “thank you” to the Governor: 

    E-mail: EversInfo@wisconsin.gov
    Phone: 608-266-1212
    Mail:  The Honorable Tony Evers, Governor of Wisconsin
    115 East, State Capitol
    Madison WI 53702

    Second, please consider attending Doctor Day on May 5th, which will be virtual. While Doctor Day addresses issues pertinent to all physicians, this could be a great opportunity for you to meet with your legislators during what is anticipated to be a key time in the budget process. Notably, attending Doctor Day should not supplant other grassroot efforts (calls, meetings, letter writing) during the budget process, but the additional exposure and participation could be very helpful.

    Finally, thank you for your membership in Wisconsin ACEP. You give a voice to Emergency Medicine in Wisconsin. Should you find yourself interested in helping our organization continue to build relationships please consider giving to our PAC or recruiting a colleague to ACEP/WACEP membership.

    Please know that our physician legislative committee members and advocacy team are monitoring developments daily. Stay tuned for additional updates. 

    Thanks!

    Brad Burmeister, MD, FACEP, WACEP President
    Lisa Maurer, MD, FACEP, WACEP Legislative Committee Chair

  • February 10, 2021 1:34 PM | Deleted user

    This morning, Governor Evers announced important proposals he will include in his Executive Budget, scheduled to be introduced next week. Included are several proposals specifically aimed at reforming crisis intervention and emergency detention—all of which are a direct result of ongoing work of the WPA/WACEP Emergency Psych Task Force as part of a collaborative workgroup with the Badger State Sheriffs, Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, and the Wisconsin Counties Association.   

    While these proposals are only the first steps in the biennial budget process and must go through both the Joint Finance Committee and the full Legislature, WACEP is thankful both for the Governor’s leadership and recognition of these shared challenges, and the work of the Emergency Psych Task Force for bringing these proposals and important issues to the forefront.  

    Read Gov. Evers' Budget Proposal Press Release

  • February 09, 2021 2:31 PM | Deleted user

    Bradley Burmeister, MD FACEP
    WACEP President

    February is always my favorite month. This February seems extra special: we have vaccines for COVID, COVID numbers are down, and the days are getting longer and longer.

    I think, though, we have another glimmer of hope in our ongoing push for fair reimbursement from the Medicaid program. The state is projected to have a more than $600 million Medicaid surplus (partly due to increased federal funding related to COVID). WACEP has been making the case to the Governor and Legislature for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates. Having essentially the lowest reimbursement rates in the country for Emergency services and having not seen an increase in decades, WACEP continues to advocate for fair increase. This is hopefully the prime opportunity for us to move forward. We may need your help, so stay tuned—we’ll let you know if there becomes a time where we need your grassroots help!

    In the meantime, save the date for these two important advocacy opportunities:

    May 5: Wisconsin Doctor Day (virtual)  Visit https://www.widoctorday.org to sign up. Meet with your state legislator and/or their staff at the state level. Building relationship is incredibly important. Although the exact legislative priorities we will advocate are still to be determined it would be nice to have a good representation of Emergency physicians. 

    July 25-27: ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference (LAC) Visit https://www.acep.org/lac/ to learn more. Meet with your federal legislators and/or their staff. This might be virtual, it might be in person, it might be a hybrid! For now, save the date!

    Also, don’t forget about our own WACEP 2021 Spring Symposium on April 8. It’ll be virtual this year and is always a great opportunity to learn and network with your peers. Register today!

    And finally, how can Wisconsin ACEP help you? If you have any questions, concerns or needs, please do not hesitate to reach out! My email is BradleyBurmeister@gmail.com.

  • February 09, 2021 1:05 PM | Deleted user

    The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) sponsors an annual educational conference on leadership.  Because of the pandemic, this year's conference will be split into a half-day of online talks on March 12, and then two half-days of in-person talks and discussion on September 14 and 15, 2021.  

    WHA welcomes physicians in leadership positions, and especially those physicians with a developing interest in leadership, to participate in the conference. 

    Learn more and register. Be sure to click on the featured presenter tab near the top pf the web page to see the outstanding group of speakers for this conference.