Latest News

  • March 23, 2020 3:05 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    March 23, 2020

    Governor Evers announced today that he be issuing a “Safer at Home” order effective Tuesday, March 24.  Organizations and individuals providing essential care and services will be allowed to continue travelling to and from work.  This includes healthcare professionals, grocers and family caregivers.  The full details of the order to be announced by the Governor’s office.  Everyone else is asked to not take any unnecessary trips, and to limit travel to essential needs such as getting medications and groceries.

    This order is based on the advice and counsel of public health experts, healthcare providers and first responders on the front line of our state’s response to the pandemic.  These unprecedented measures are necessary to reduce rate of spread in COVID-19 cases.  We must do everything we can to keep our healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed and protect both the public and essential healthcare workers who are taking care of the critically ill.

  • March 23, 2020 1:15 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    At the direction of Gov. Tony Evers, Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist the state in obtaining protective medical supplies that can be used by law enforcement officers and firefighters who are at risk of direct exposure to COVID-19 while performing their jobs.

    “We are asking FEMA to help us purchase valuable medical supplies that will be used to protect our first responders as they do the important work of keeping Wisconsin safe,” said Gov. Evers. “It is our hope that the federal government can identify a source for these supplies as quickly as possible.”

    FEMA is being asked to help Wisconsin obtain 50,000 non-surgical masks, 10,000 face shields, 11,000 coveralls, 3,000 N95 face masks, and 35,000 pairs of protective gloves through its procurement process.

    “We recognize that this equipment is in high demand, and we thank our first responders for their patience as we work to identify additional sources of personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Darrell L. Williams, WEM administrator. “This initial request is intended to help meet the immediate needs of agencies across the state that continue to perform their daily duties, knowing they are at risk of being exposed to the virus.”

    The request comes in addition to the state’s ongoing efforts to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). So far, the state has received about 52,000 N95 face masks, 130,000 surgical masks, 25,000 face shields, 20,000 surgical gowns, 100 coveralls, and 36,000 pairs of gloves from the SNS. Those materials are being distributed to direct healthcare providers in areas with known community spread. The governor is calling on federal officials to help identify additional resources.

    The Department of Health Services is working with local and tribal health officers, health care providers, and other partners to adjust the response to COVID-19 as needed. As always, the public should follow simple steps to avoid getting sick, including:

    • Frequent and thorough handwashing.
    • Covering coughs and sneezes.
    • Avoiding touching your face.
    • Staying home as much as possible, but especially when sick.
    • Avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people.
    • Practicing social distancing.
  • March 18, 2020 5:28 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    It is the position of the Wisconsin Department Safety and Professional Services that under the Emergency Management powers of Wisconsin’s governor under Wis. Stat. Ch. 323.81, and as a member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, if there is a shortage of physicians in Wisconsin during a declared emergency, the Governor may request support from other states and license requirements for physicians in good standing from such states would be waived during the emergency.   

    Wis. Stat. Ch. 323.81  (5) Article V — Licenses, Certificates, and Permits.  Whenever a person holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any participating jurisdiction evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, and when such assistance is requested by the receiving participating jurisdiction, such person is deemed to be licensed, certified, or permitted by the jurisdiction requesting assistance to render aid involving such skill to meet an emergency or disaster, subject to such limitations and conditions as the requesting jurisdiction prescribes by executive order or otherwise.

    Interstate Medical Licensure Compact map and statutory authority by state:
    https://imlcc.org

  • March 18, 2020 11:15 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    AJ Wilson, Greg Hubbard, Ramie Zelenkova
    Hubbard Wilson Zelenkova, Lobbyinig & Legislative Services Firm for WACEP

    WPA in partnership with its lobbying firm, Hubbard Wilson Zelenkova, has been tracking Wisconsin DHS efforts to expand Telehealth services in response to COVID 19.   In line with efforts at the federal level, Wisconsin DHS is currently reviewing what can be done under existing policies and authority and what flexibilities could be put in place moving forward, particularly as more federal guidance is provided.  As of this post:

    • For currently covered telehealth services, DHS will expand 'originating site’ to allow services to be provided regardless of the member location. 
    • DHS will not make changes to originating site fee policy at this time. 
    • DHS will allow coverage of e-visits, certain phone visits, and certain Medicare-allowable telehealth services. While there is variation in electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) capabilities and use, the majority of Wisconsin Medicaid hospitals, providers, and pharmacies have the technology to support e-prescribing.  

    DHS will provide policy details and guidance in a forthcoming ForwardHealth provider updates.  For your reference, view existing Telehealth guidelines in Wisconsin. 

  • March 18, 2020 8:17 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    CMS Administrator Seema Verma and agency leaders will discuss 1135 waivers, the agency’s latest telehealth guidance, & other updates. There will be audience Q&A and the call will be recorded if you are unable to join on Wednesday, March 18 from 7:00–8:00 PM EST.
    Dial-In: 888-603-8935
    Access Code:321077

  • March 17, 2020 10:57 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    WACEP President’s Message, March 2020
    Ryan Thompson, MD, FACEP

    “I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”

    When I read Albert Camus’s novel The Plague in high school, I imagined that plagues and epidemics were a thing of the past. Surely I would never see one in our modern world! Twenty years later, there is no doubt that we are living with a pandemic, and it is now here in Wisconsin. I see this not as a reason to panic, but an opportunity to use our training and expertise to help as many people as we can get through this with as little damage done as possible, much as Dr. Rieux did in Camus’s story. 

    Each of us has taken an oath to treat the sick, and it’s important that we arm ourselves as best as possible to prepare for the flood that may be coming our way. For up-to-date information and recommendations, including practical clinical guidance, I recommend the national ACEP COVID website. For more local information, the best resource is the WI Department of Health Services, which has up-to-date State guidelines and a county-by-county case tracker.

    As you work with your hospital to prepare your department, Jeff Pothof, former WACEP president and Chief Quality Officer for UWHealth, offers these questions as guidance for discussion with administrators:

    1. What are our criteria to test someone for COVID19? (These are changing almost daily)
    2. What PPE should I be wearing if I’m going to take care of a COVID19 patient? Do PPE requirements differ for aerosolizing procedures such as NIPPV or intubation?
    3. Where will a COVID19 patient be admitted in my hospital because other hospitals may not have capacity?
    4. How are we securing our PPE so it doesn’t get stolen?
    5. Can I travel right now, either professionally or personally?
    6. If I care for a patient with COVID19 will you furlough me?  If so, in what situations, for how long, and what will employee health be doing? If I am quarantined, will I be paid?
    7. Are we looking at off-site testing centers so worried patients don’t flood our EDs and Urgent Cares?
    8. Is our incident command open and meeting daily to ensure we can meet the needs of our community when we get cases?
    9. Is our hospital communicating our PPE and equipment needs to the State so we can ensure a steady supply?

    It is imperative that we are given the resources we need to protect our patients and ourselves. Contact your federal representatives and encourage them to pass legislation to boost the availability of PPE and support the front-line healthcare workers facing this growing crisis here

    Finally, remember to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Keep up the good work in caring for our patients – what you do matters!

  • March 17, 2020 10:51 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    View ACEP's redesigned COVID-19 Clinical Alert page: www.acep.org/COVID-19The robust site makes it easy for ACEP members to quickly find resources and updates.  

     


  • March 16, 2020 10:38 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The WACEP 2020 Spring Symposium, scheduled for April 15-16 in Madison,  has been CANCELLED due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Guests who made hotel reservations at the Madison Marriott West are requested to cancel their reservations individually via the hotel's central call line at 888-745-2032. Your patience is appreciated as wait times may be longer than usual. 

    WACEP is exploring the option of offering sessions from the Symposium as online, on-demand courses. Details and registration information will be shared as available. 

  • March 06, 2020 3:26 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    The ACEP committee application process is now open to any member interested in joining a committee. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2020.

    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 Dallas, TX, October 26-29, 2020.  

    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. Mark S. Rosenberg, DO, MBA, FACEP, ACEP's President-Elect, will finalize committee appointments 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. 

  • March 04, 2020 3:03 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

    March 4, Wisconsin Health  News

    Gov. Tony Evers signed into law four bills on Tuesday that target substance use disorder and opioid use in Wisconsin.

    Evers said more needs to be done to expand access to healthcare across the state and bolster treatment and recovery services.

    “Folks have seen firsthand how substance use disorder—especially opioid use—has torn apart families and communities across our state, and we need to get serious about tackling this issue in Wisconsin," Evers said in a statement. "I am proud to sign these bipartisan bills into law today that are a step in the right direction, but we know that there is more work we have yet to do."

    The bills are part of Marinette Republican Rep. John Nygren's Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Agenda. The four bills bring the total number of HOPE Agenda laws to 34.

    “While there is always more work to be done, more lives to save, and more avenues to recovery that need opening, today’s actions are another arrow in the state’s quiver to combat substance abuse," Nygren said in a statement.

    Nygren also called on the Senate to act on two more bills that passed the state Assembly.

    One bill would repeal a sunset for a law that provides some legal immunity for aiders who help a person experiencing an overdose as well as overdose victims. 

    The other would create a Medicaid benefit for acupuncture and increase rates for chiropractors and physical therapists.

    The bills signed by Evers will:

    • Allow county jails to enter into agreements to obtain naloxone and training and require the Department of Health Services to study the availability of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in county jails and prisons.
    • Prevent state employees from being disciplined for using or possessing a controlled substance if they're using it as part of their treatment, require DHS to maintain a registry of recovery residencies and mandate that the residencies allow residents to participate in medication-assisted treatment.
    • Extend a sunset date on a mandate that prescribers check the prescription drug monitoring program before issuing a prescription order through April 1, 2025.
    • Create a Medicaid benefit for peer recovery coach services and mandate that DHS establish a program to coordinate and continue care following an overdose. 

    Evers also signed into law additional healthcare-related bills that will:

    • Allow medication or treatment records administered at a recreational camp to be maintained electronically.
    • Allow for changes in the supervision of physical therapy and physical therapy assistant students.
    • Increase the amount of funding for an award grant program for retired volunteer firefighters, first responders and emergency medical technicians.
    • Allow physician assistants, registered nurses and nurse anesthetists to perform official duties of the armed services or federal health services in Wisconsin without being licensed by the state.
    • Clarify that reimbursement of patient-incurred expenses in cancer clinical trials aren't considered undue inducement to participate.
    • Require the DHS to implement a diabetes care and prevention plan.
    • Update state law for respiratory therapists.
    • Create a Lyme disease awareness campaign.
    • Allow municipalities to increase levy limits to pay for charges assessed by a joint emergency medical services district.