Medigram, the Society’s electronic newsletter for physicians, features timely news, upcoming events, answers to frequently asked questions and all the information you need to know to make your practice run more efficiently. Topics include legislative updates, legal information, practice management information, government regulations, and much more. Published weekly, 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.

Wine, cheese and community impact with A Taste of the Foundation
Without giving up hope that someday soon in-person will be safe, the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation is launching a series of virtual events this year to connect with our community and raise money for our mission.

State Assembly delays effort to nix Governor’s public health emergency; mask requirement
The Wisconsin State Assembly has delayed a vote on a measure that would cancel Governor Tony Evers’s latest public health emergency order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The action would also nullify the statewide mask mandate that is in effect until March 20.

2021 WISMedPAC Board Members
The Wisconsin Medical Society’s (Society) Board of Directions approved the nominations of the following to the WISMedPAC board: Dan Bennett, MD, Bradley Burmeister, MD (new nominee!), Andrew Campbell, MD, Clarence Chou, MD, Sherry Clarke, Donn Dexter, MD, John Hartman, MD, Don Lee, MD, Ken Pechman, MD, and Paul Wertsch, MD.

You’re a member! Now what? Become an active advocate
Join the Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) for a dive into political advocacy. Tune in on Wednesday, February 10 at noon and learn how WisMed represents you at the capitol and the tools we provide for you to be an advocate!

UW’s virtual Operation Education a success!
On the evening of Thursday, January 21 the Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) Foundation and the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association (WMAA) sponsored the first (and possibly not the last) virtual Operation Education for first year medical students (M1) at UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

WCMEW launches Clinical Training Hub webpage
The Clinical Training Hub is a Wisconsin resource that provides information about available health care education and training programs and sites where students can fulfill their clinical training experiences.

What to know about long-term care
When figuring out how much money to save for retirement – and how to save enough money – most Americans don’t even think about the cost of long-term care.

Wine, cheese and community impact with A Taste of the Foundation

Without giving up hope that someday soon in-person will be safe, the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation is launching a series of virtual events this year to connect with our community and raise money for our mission. Knowing Zoom fatigue is real, these events will use a platform that is a little different and hopefully will allow some fun and comradery. Please come prepared to snap a selfie and share your thoughts!

A Taste of the Foundation will be held March 25, June 24 and September 23 from 7-8 p.m. Attendees will enjoy wine from the Chehelem family of vineyards and paired cheese from Fromagination in Madison. The events will highlight some of the community impact Foundation grants have had around the state and look to expanding that impact. There will be silent auction items and a chance to ask questions about the wine.  

One ticket is $125 and will include two bottles of wine with paired cheese and nibbles. A quarantine pair could attend on one ticket, but feel free to order more! Purchase all three events at once to receive a $25 discount. There is also an option to purchase a ticket for a medical student who will be chosen randomly from a list of interested students. The student will get the wine and cheese kit and event registration along with a note to let them know who was thinking about them.

Click here to purchase your ticket. Please reach out to Foundation Executive Director Marje Murray with any questions!

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State Assembly delays effort to nix Governor’s public health emergency; mask requirement

The Wisconsin State Assembly has delayed a vote on a measure that would cancel Governor Tony Evers’s latest public health emergency order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The action would also nullify the statewide mask mandate that is in effect until March 20. The Assembly was originally scheduled to take up the proposal this morning (January 28).

Senate Joint Resolution 3 (SJR 3) challenges the governor’s January 19 public health emergency declaration and his ability to declare multiple public health emergencies for the same event – in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Evers issued the facial coverings requirement via Emergency Order #1 under the most recent declaration. While the State Senate passed SJR 3 on January 26 over bipartisan opposition in an 18-13 vote, widespread health care opposition to ending the mask mandate during a pandemic coupled with jeopardizing federal funding for low-income food assistance prompted the Assembly to delay the vote.

The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) led health care’s efforts opposing SJR 3, with its Board of Directors voting January 23 to support the mask requirement as a useful pandemic-fighting tool. A Society press release issued January 25 about support for masking and opposition to SJR 3 resulted in statewide and national media coverage. Soon after the Society officially registered its opposition, dozens of additional health care-related advocacy groups followed suit, resulting in an impressive show of opposition to the proposal.

“We need to do all we can to prevent more deaths and help our economy return to normal,” Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, said in the press release. “We ask all of our government leaders to support physicians and other front-line health care workers by promoting mask-wearing as an effective tool against COVID-19.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) announced the postponed vote in a press conference immediately before the start of floor session, citing a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that the state could lose as much as $49 million per month in federal funds that are available for low-income food benefits as long as an emergency order is in place. The Assembly could reconvene as soon as next week on SJR 3 and may try to amend the proposal to prevent losing those funds; it is unclear if any amendments would also attempt to preserve the masking mandate.

Also still pending is a Wisconsin State Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Governor’s public health emergency declarations. The Court heard oral arguments in mid-November on a case challenging the Governor’s actions; it is not known when the court will issue a decision.

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

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2021 WISMedPAC Board Members

The Wisconsin Medical Society’s (Society) Board of Directions approved the nominations of the following to the WISMedPAC board: Dan Bennett, MD, Bradley Burmeister, MD (new nominee!), Andrew Campbell, MD, Clarence Chou, MD, Sherry Clarke, Donn Dexter, MD, John Hartman, MD, Don Lee, MD, Ken Pechman, MD, and Paul Wertsch, MD.

Thank you to Tom Luetzow, MD, and William Raduege, MD, for their many years of service on the WISMedPAC board. Their commitment and value to this board was immeasurable. Thank you, also, to Nicole Hemkes, MD, for her year of service. 

The WISMedPAC board members serve on the board for one-year terms and meet quarterly. They focus on ways to engage more physicians in the political process and encourage colleagues to contribute to campaigns via the WISMedPAC (political action committee) or WISMedDIRECT (conduit).

To learn more about the Society’s political programs or to get involved, click here or contact Heidi Green at 608.358.6116.

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You’re a member! Now what? Become an active advocate

Join the Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) for a dive into political advocacy. Tune in on Wednesday, February 10 at noon and learn how WisMed represents you at the capitol and the tools we provide for you to be an advocate! Register today!

Designed for the busy schedules of physicians, these 15-minute webinars will occur on the second Wednesday of the month from 12 - 12:15 p.m. Whether you're a brand-new member or have been involved for years, you’ll learn more about the latest member benefits designed specifically for you!

You’re a member! Now what? 
February 10 – Become an active advocate
March 10 – Take hold of your financial future
April 14 – Member benefits 101

Register once to be signed up for the series. Click here to watch the first episode with WisMed Assure.

Contact Jess Bourin-Schreiter with any questions.

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UW’s virtual Operation Education a success!

On the evening of Thursday, January 21 the Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) Foundation and the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association (WMAA) sponsored the first (and possibly not the last) virtual Operation Education for first year medical students (M1) at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Physicians representing all different specialties met with M1s to answer questions related to their chosen field – some may have even given a pitch or two along the way!

With about 100 M1s registered to talk with more than 70 physicians it was a rousing success – even without the traditional playing of the game Operation. Along with WisMed members from around the state, the WMAA was able to get representation from alumni across the country who were thrilled to participate.

Virtual Operation Education at the Medical College of Wisconsin is scheduled for April and is sure to be just as educational.

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WCMEW launches Clinical Training Hub webpage

The Clinical Training Hub is a Wisconsin resource that provides information about available health care education and training programs and sites where students can fulfill their clinical training experiences.

Medical, nursing, physician assistant and pharmacy schools offer the classroom curricula that provide the foundation for student learning; and health care organizations – hospitals, clinics and health systems – provide the facilities and teachers that give the opportunities for students to have their patient care training experiences (clinical sites).

The Hub can be used by:
Schools looking for a more systematic way to identify potential sites and create partnerships with those organizations.

Clinical Sites wanting to share the programs they provide, their curricular requirements and their student capacities.

Preceptors who can obtain information on the curricula and compliance requirements of the schools that they hope to partner with.

Others, including policymakers and the general public, who can gain information about how the health care training system works.

The page was created by the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education & Workforce (WCMEW) Clinical Sites work group, a collaboration of schools, programs and health systems that is addressing clinical site training challenges. For more information, please contact George Quinn at gquinn@wcmew.org or 608.333.4335.

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What to know about long-term care

When figuring out how much money to save for retirement – and how to save enough money – most Americans don’t even think about the cost of long-term care. Even though 70% of people 65 and older will need some form of long-term care in their lifetime, fewer than 15% of adults age 50 and over have a long-term care policy in place. 

Today’s cost of an assisted living facility average about $45,000 per year… and it’s double that for nursing home care! 

Why is there such a coverage gap? Mostly, it comes down to a genuine lack of awareness and understanding of what long-term care insurance is, how it works and what it costs. Many people think Medicare pays for long-term care, but unfortunately it doesn’t. While a few wealthy people can pay for long-term care out of pocket, most will not be able to do so.  

What is the solution? It’s long-term care planning. And, one of the key components of a sound plan is a long-term care policy to cover some of the costs. There’s good news, today’s long-term care insurance looks quite different than it did 20 years ago. Many of today’s modern contracts pay out a life insurance benefit to the policyholder’s beneficiaries if they die without using all of their long-term care benefits. 

The bottom line is that to be most effective, retirement and financial planning has to include long-term care. WisMed Assure can help you discover if and how long-term care fits in your future. For more information, click here or contact Kathy Mueller.

Kathy Mueller, CLU, ChFC, FIC, LUTCF
WisMed Assure Insurance Agent
kathy.mueller@wismedassure.org

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