Medigram, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s electronic newsletter for physicians, features timely news, upcoming events, answers to frequently asked questions and the information you need to make your practice run more efficiently. Topics include legislative updates, legal information, practice management information, government regulations, and much more. Medigram is delivered via email on Thursdays.

If you have a Medigram story idea or would like to offer feedback, please email us or call 866.442.3800.

WisMed, AMA file amicus brief in abortion statutes conflict case
The Wisconsin Medical Society joined with the American Medical Association’s Litigation Center and other health care organizations this week on a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief in a pending case that may decide the validity of an 1849 state statute criminalizing the provision of abortion-related care.

Operation: Education back in-person!
Celebrating more than 20 years of Operation Education, the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation was thrilled to be back in person at both University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

State Med Board posts updated opioid prescribing guideline
Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s update late last year to their clinical practice guideline for prescribing opioids for pain, the state Medical Examining Board has similarly updated its opioid prescribing guideline.

Get to know the WisMed Assure Team
WisMed Assure, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s insurance agency, offers members discounts on and exclusive access to insurance products including medical malpractice insurance, business owners’ insurance, WPS Medicare Supplement program, dental, health, disability and life insurance. WisMed Assure’s Team Income Defense helps individual physicians protect their income.

Discounted behavioral health services for WisMed members
Everyone needs help sometimes. The Wisconsin Medical Society is proud to offer behavioral health services options for our members. WisMed has partnered with Marvin to provide confidential counseling and coaching services with flexible hours. Board certified psychiatrists and licensed psychologists are available via teletherapy when you need them.

WisMed, AMA file amicus brief in abortion statutes conflict case

The Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) joined with the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Litigation Center and other health care organizations this week on a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief in a pending case that may decide the validity of an 1849 state statute criminalizing the provision of abortion-related care. State Attorney General Josh Kaul, Governor Tony Evers and Medical Examining Board Chair Sheldon Wasserman, MD, are asking the court to rule that abortion-related statutes passed more than a century after the 1849 law supersede the 19th century law.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine also joined in the brief.

The case, first filed in June 2022, is Kahl v. Urmanski. The plaintiffs’ petition points out that physicians face a caregiving conundrum: assisting a patient with a needed abortion other than when the patient’s life needs to be saved could result in criminal charges and a 15-year prison sentence, but failing to follow the standard of care for a patient needing abortion services could expose the physician to a civil medical liability lawsuit and Medical Examining Board discipline. This untenable situation needs a remedy through judicial declaration, the plaintiffs say.

Like most amici, the WisMed/AMA brief focuses more on collateral aspects of a potential court decision – in this case, leaving the 1849 statute on the books – rather than the technical legal question presented in this case: conflicting statutes in the same area of medical practice. Amici are expected to supplement the issues at hand in a case, not mimic the arguments made by the plaintiffs or respondents.

The case is expected to eventually make its way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but the overall timeline is unclear at this time. Contact WisMed Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

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Operation: Education back in-person!

Celebrating more than 20 years of Operation Education, the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation (Foundation) was thrilled to be back in person at both University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and at the Medical College of Wisconsin. UW-Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association and MCW/Marquette Alumni Association partnered to help students meet with specialty physicians to learn more about the career paths they could pursue. 

Each school had more than 100 students and 25 different specialties represented. Students rotated to the tables featuring their specialties of interest and asked questions such as, “Did you expect to specialize in this?” Physicians answered questions and gave a day in the life overview while inspiring students to pursue their specialty.

The night ended with each table playing a fun game of Operation. The winners took home gift cards, tee shirts, books and more.

A special thank you to our sponsors:

  • UW Health
  • Wisconsin Association of Hematology and Oncology
  • Wisconsin Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Wisconsin Psychiatric Association
  • Wisconsin Society of Plastic Surgeons

If you are interested in volunteering with the Foundation or donating prizes for events like this, please email foundation@wismed.org, or click here to add your financial support.

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State Med Board posts updated opioid prescribing guideline

Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s update late last year to their clinical practice guideline for prescribing opioids for pain, the state Medical Examining Board (MEB) has similarly updated its opioid prescribing guideline. The updated guideline “encourages providers to implement safe practices for responsible prescribing which includes prescribing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration for post-operative care and acutely injured patients.”

Designed to be easily understood, the guideline stresses consideration of non-opioid treatment for acute pain. If opioids are prescribed, thorough patient counseling to describe the risks and benefits of opioids is in order. Other elements of the guideline encourage full review of a patient’s history via the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which also helps prevent prescribing opioids for patients also receiving benzodiazepines or other respiratory suppressants. The guideline lists elements that should be part of a comprehensive patient evaluation and how to ensure a more effective ongoing risk assessment following opioid prescribing.

The guideline clearly states that it does not apply to cancer, palliative, hospice or sickle cell patients. According to the guideline, if a physician feels their patient is benefiting functionally from opioids, they can prescribe – but should do so by following the guideline and documenting as outlined in the guideline. 

Contact Wisconsin Medical Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD with any questions

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Get to know the WisMed Assure Team

WisMed Assure

WisMed Assure, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s insurance agency, offers members discounts on and exclusive access to insurance products including medical malpractice insurance, business owners’ insurance, WPS Medicare Supplement program, dental, health, disability and life insurance. WisMed Assure’s Team Income Defense helps individual physicians protect their income.

The team consists of Tom Strangstalien, Insurance Advisor, Lisa Koerner, Insurance Advisor, and Mary Krueger, Insurance Advisor.

Today we’ll learn more about Tom Strangstalien.

What products and services does Team Income Defense provide?

WisMed Assure provides comprehensive disability coverages, simple to complex life insurance, annuities and estate planning coordination.

Why is it important for physicians to have this coverage in place?

Physicians have a unique profession that exposes them to risks every day – both on and off the job. These programs allow our members and their families to continue to live the lifestyle they are accustomed to if the member suffers a serious illness, injury or loss of life. When it comes to health insurance, we can help make sure you have the needed coverage as you move toward retirement – whether it’s a Medicare Supplement, Advantage Plan or Part D for your prescriptions.

When is the best time to reach out to your team about coverage?

We work with physicians and medical professionals of all ages, from their first white coat to their last. Benefits offered through employers don’t always cover 100% of an individual's needs and typically are not portable. Individual programs stay with you wherever your life takes you and can fill in the gaps in group coverage.

Every stage is different and having a team looking out for the changes you undergo will bring you relief knowing that you have the coverages you need and can afford. There is no risk or commitment when reaching out to one of our agents to explore coverage options.

Tom Strangstalien

Tell us a little about your background and why you do what you do?

I have learned all lines of insurance during my career. I became securities licensed and ultimately became a Financial Advisor. I believe in the holistic approach when it comes to working with our client’s finances and am therefore well versed in all lines of personal insurance as well as working with my clients’ overall financial plan.

My specialties with WisMed Assure include:

  • long-term care planning
  • designing disability plans for physicians and other medical professionals
  • life insurance planning (both simple and complex)
  • advising our members on social security and Medicare planning

What’s your favorite client story?

I developed a life insurance plan for my best friend, since he had just started a family and had two young boys. I eventually brought him into the insurance business and mentored him to become a true professional. One morning he woke up and couldn’t read the newspaper. He consulted with a physician and was informed he had an inoperable brain tumor and probably had six months to live. Six months later my best friend passed away. I still think about him almost every day, but am happy to know that his wife and two sons are doing okay financially as a result of the time that we took together to formulate a life insurance plan.

Reach out to Tom Strangstalien and the WisMed Assure team at insurance@wismedassure.org, complete this quick online form or call 866.442.3810 for help with your insurance needs.

WisMed Assure is the Wisconsin Medical Society’s insurance agency – profits earned support the mission of the Medical Society.

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WisMed Financial - Meet your advisor

Discounted behavioral health services for WisMed members

Marvin pdf

Everyone needs help sometimes. The Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) is proud to offer behavioral health services options for our members. WisMed has partnered with Marvin to provide confidential counseling and coaching services with flexible hours. Board certified psychiatrists and licensed psychologists are available via teletherapy when you need them.

Initial feedback from Marvin users has been positive. One member noted, “Good speaking with the therapist, helpful.” While another said, “Great scheduling and availability of a female therapist.”

WisMed members can register online to get started or call with questions. Members may choose to pay out of pocket at a special WisMed discounted rate or have the services billed to their insurance. Your initial appointment will be within 72 hours of your outreach. 

To reach Marvin, call 424.322.6881, visit meetmarvin.com/wisconsin or scan the QR code on the flier.

LifeBridge Physician Wellness Program

Additionally, members of Dane County and La Crosse County Medical Societies can access LifeBridge Physician Wellness Program. This completely confidential offering provides up to six free coaching/counselling sessions per year with a psychologist. Appointments are available via telemedicine and are scheduled within 72 hours.

Members of LCMS and DCMS can learn more and access this member benefit here. For information on how to launch Lifebridge Physician Wellness Program in your county, please contact Jim Lorence.

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