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.

Nursing independence bill passes State Senate in split vote
The Wisconsin State Senate on January 25 approved Senate Bill 394, which allows advanced practice registered nurses to practice independently. The vote was 19-14, with 18 Republican and 1 Democratic "aye" votes, and 11 Democratic and 3 Republican "nay" votes.

Register for Society virtual Annual Meeting
Registration is now open for the Wisconsin Medical Society’s 2022 Annual Meeting to be held virtually on Saturday April 9, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

2022 WISMedPAC Board Members
The Wisconsin Medical Society’s Board of Directors approved the nominations of the following to the WISMedPAC Board for 2022: Dan Bennett, MD, Bradley Burmeister, MD, Andrew Campbell, MD, Clarence Chou, MD, Donn Dexter, MD, John Hartman, MD, Don Lee, MD, Ken Pechman, MD, and Paul Wertsch, MD.

Virtual Doctor Day is February 8
There’s still time to register for Doctor Day 2022! Register here and view the agenda for the day. This three-hour advocacy day will include a legal update and a policy and politics panel discussion.

Key terms in a disability policy
Finding the right income protection policy can seem overwhelming. Understanding the following terms can make the process a little easier.

Nursing independence bill passes State Senate in split vote

The Wisconsin State Senate on January 25 approved Senate Bill 394, which allows advanced practice registered nurses to practice independently. The vote was 19-14, with 18 Republican and 1 Democratic "aye" votes, and 11 Democratic and 3 Republican "nay" votes. The roll call is here

What this means
When the bill was scheduled for a full Senate vote, it was extremely likely that the bill would pass, so the question was how the bill would pass – by voice vote or by roll call vote; and if by the latter, what the margin would be. Physician groups made sure there would be a roll call vote, as margins are important to verify for contentious bills like SB 394.  

Similar to what happened when the Assembly Committee on Health voted on the companion bill earlier this month, the Senate vote revealed fracturing in the GOP caucus. While we'd rather the senate bill had not received a vote, the split GOP tally and near-unanimous Democratic opposition cast significant doubt on the bills’ ultimate passage in current form.

What's next
The physician coalition continues to have talks with bipartisan members of the Assembly, with those legislators assisting in crafting amendments that would create needed guardrails – as suggested in physicians’ communications with the legislature. Assembly GOP leadership affirmed after the Senate vote that further changes to the bill are necessary.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to reach out to your state senator. More effort may be necessary upon further developments in the Assembly. Physician members received a notification via WisMed Mobile this week alerting them of the status of this bill. Download the app today to make sure you're getting advocacy alerts. As the most recent votes have shown, physicians reaching out to their elected officials remains extremely important.

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

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Rogers Behavioral Health

Register for Society virtual Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting - Virtual - April 9, 2022 - 9 a.m. to noon

Registration is now open for the Wisconsin Medical Society’s 2022 Annual Meeting to be held virtually on Saturday April 9, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Although a virtual meeting is not ideal, we are committed to a format centered around conversations between Society officers and members in a way that will be engaging, inclusive and provide insights into what is most relevant and needed by members. To register, click here* and watch future issues of Medigram for a more detailed agenda in the coming weeks.

Contact membership@wismed.org for questions, or help registering.

*Please note that Zoom may require you to sign up for a free Zoom account before registering for the event. You will receive a confirmation email once your event registration is complete.

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2022 WISMedPAC Board Members

WisMedPAC - Click Here

The Wisconsin Medical Society’s Board of Directors approved the nominations of the following to the WISMedPAC Board for 2022:  Dan Bennett, MD, Bradley Burmeister, MD, Andrew Campbell, MD, Clarence Chou, MD, Donn Dexter, MD, John Hartman, MD, Don Lee, MD, Ken Pechman, MD, and Paul Wertsch, MD. Congratulations and thank you to them for stepping up!

Thank you to Ms. Sherry Clarke for her years of service on the WISMedPAC board. She will be missed!

WISMedPAC board members serve on the board for one-year terms and meet quarterly. The board focuses 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).

This is going to be another very important election year at both the federal and state levels. You can contribute to campaigns through our political programs and you should contribute because legislation being passed could very well affect how you practice medicine.

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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Virtual Doctor Day is February 8

Doctor Day 2022 - Virtual - February 8

There’s still time to register for Doctor Day 2022!  Register here and view the agenda for the day. This three-hour advocacy day will include a legal update and a policy and politics panel discussion. There’s no cost to register thanks to our incredible sponsors. 

Please contact Heidi Green with any questions.

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Key terms in a disability policy

WisMed Assure is the Wisconsin Medical Society's insurance agency. Profits earned directly support the mission and vision of the Society. Www.wismedassure.org

Finding the right income protection policy can seem overwhelming. Understanding the following terms can make the process a little easier.

Non-cancelable vs. guaranteed renewable – With a non-cancelable policy, the insurance company cannot change the contract, the contract language or the premiums. For a guaranteed renewable contract, the company agrees to renew the contract without making changes. However, they can increase premiums.

Definition of disability – For many physicians, especially surgeons and sub-specialty physicians, “own specialty” is very important. If a physician cannot perform surgery but can still do consults, they are not considered totally disabled per the “own occupation” definition (because they are still working in their occupation). Check the policy language to see how “own specialty” or “own occupation” is defined. Also, make sure that the “own specialty” definition is for the lifetime of the contract, not just two or five years.

Residual disability – This is a very important rider for physicians. If the policyholder can do some but not all of their duties as result of a disability (and have a reduction in income), the residual benefit will pay a partial benefit equal to the percentage of income lost. Some companies require that the policyholder is totally disabled first. Look for a company that does not require total disability before this benefit can be used. This rider will also pay if a physician can perform all of their duties but only on a part-time basis, due to a disability.

Business overhead expenses – This policy will pay the expenses of running your practice while you are totally (or residually) disabled. Expenses it will pay for include leases, employee salaries, telephone costs, accounting fees and insurance. This does not pay your lost income.

Retirement disability – If unable to work do to a disability, you will be unable to contribute to your retirement plan because of your reduced income. With this rider, the insurance company will deposit the amount of money you would have contributed into a non-qualified retirement account.

Future increase options – This rider can be a great future benefit for students, residents, fellows or physicians new in practice. It allows the policyholder to increase their monthly benefit as their income grows, without having to qualify medically for it. They just need to show income increases to justify the increase.

Loan repayment – For physicians who have medical school debt, there are a few companies that will pay their medical school payments while they are collecting disability benefits. An additional rider would be added to the disability policy for this.

As with all insurance coverage, please read the policy carefully as language differs between companies. Disability insurance can protect you against financial loss. Work with your insurance advisor to help you ensure the best coverage for you.

For additional information regarding disability insurance, contact WisMed Assure at insurance@wismedassure.org, complete this online form or call 866.442.3810.

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