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.

Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, new AMA president-elect
Earlier this week, Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, senior associate dean at Medical College of Wisconsin, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and WisMed member, was voted president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Ehrenfeld will begin his term as AMA president in June 2023.

WisMed policy supports legislative action if Roe, Casey overturned
Although the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hasn’t released its final opinion in a case determining whether a right to abortion services exists in the U.S. Constitution, that decision is expected in the next few weeks. If the final decision determines that the U.S. Constitution does not trump state law, Wisconsin may default to abortion law passed in 1849 that levies criminal penalties on those providing abortion services.

Foundation awards $200,000 in scholarships
The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation has awarded $200,000 in scholarships to 67 students for the 2022-2023 school year! These awards are made possible by physicians, County Medical Societies and families generously giving back to support and encourage the next generation of medical professionals.

Med Board exploring opioid/controlled substances CME changes
The State of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) may alter its approach to current CME subject-matter requirements related to opioid/controlled substances prescribing. Currently, the MEB requires physicians each biennium to complete two credits in opioids/etc. coursework approved by the MEB. Historically, the MEB has affirmatively renewed this requirement every two years.

June 17 deadline for feedback on WisMed Board decisions on policy proposals
Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) members can weigh in on the recent action of the WisMed Board of Directors (Board) on three policy proposals through Friday, June 17. WisMed members can register their support, opposition and/or comments on those Board actions via PolicyLink.

What is Inflation Guard?
In 2021, we’re seeing a unique economic environment. Supply chains have been affected by the pandemic and a few industries experienced weather-related setbacks. This, along with the new challenge of a labor shortage, is not allowing supply to keep up with demand, which leads to inflation. - By Society Insurance Team in 2021, reposted with permission from Society Insurance

July 7 July 8 MCW Green Bay White Coat Ceremony
July 24

Aug 12-14
Aug 19 MCW Milwaukee White Coat Ceremony
Aug 26 UW SMPH White Coat Ceremony

Visit the Society's for details and to view more events.

Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, new AMA president-elect

Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH

Earlier this week, Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, senior associate dean at Medical College of Wisconsin, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and WisMed member, was voted president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Ehrenfeld will begin his term as AMA president in June 2023. Dr. Ehrenfeld is the first openly gay person to be AMA president-elect and will be the first as AMA president.

Dr. Ehrenfeld has been active in organized medicine since medical school and was elected to the AMA board of trustees in 2014 and is a member of the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Nominating Committee. He also served on the governing councils of both the AMA Young Physicians Section and the AMA Resident and Fellow Section, as well as the governing boards of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Resident Component and the Illinois State Medical Society. Dr. Ehrenfeld was also a speaker for the Massachusetts Medical Society and the youngest officer in the organization’s history.

He is a strong advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals and has earned national recognition for his outstanding research, which focuses on how digital technology can improve surgical safety, patient outcomes and health equity.

Learn more about Dr. Ehrenfeld’s impressive accomplishments here and congratulate him via WisMed Mobile or on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Back to top

WisMed policy supports legislative action if Roe, Casey overturned

Although the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hasn’t released its final opinion in a case determining whether a right to abortion services exists in the U.S. Constitution, that decision is expected in the next few weeks. If the final decision determines that the U.S. Constitution does not trump state law, Wisconsin may default to abortion law passed in 1849 that levies criminal penalties on those providing abortion services (for a good explainer, read this Associated Press story).

Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) policy supports state legislation acknowledging the right for physicians to provide these services, or refuse to perform them:


ABO-004
Abortion as a Medical Procedure and Providing Abortion-Related Information: The Wisconsin Medical Society: (1) supports enactment of appropriate legislation that would acknowledge the right of a physician to perform and to practice this medical procedure as he/she might any other medical procedure or to refuse to perform an abortion according to the dictates of his/her training, experience and conscience; (2) supports the development of guidelines that ensure that abortions be performed only under proper medical circumstances with adequate provision for safeguarding the health of the patient; and (3) although abortion is a contentious issue, it is a legal medical procedure and physicians should be expected to advise their patients of all available options. (HOD, 0420)

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers recently issued an Executive Order calling the state legislature into special session on June 22 to debate the deletion of the 1849 statute (WIS. STAT. § 940.04) – a call that was quickly rebuffed by State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg). In the meantime, WisMed advocacy staff have been sharing our policy with elected officials and the media – and will continue to emphasize how the criminalization of health care dramatically interferes with the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship.

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involves a Mississippi state law barring abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with very limited exceptions. The new law was quickly challenged, and a federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th circuit both found the law unconstitutional due to previous SCOTUS decisions like Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). Mississippi appealed to SCOTUS, asking the court to both overturn the lower courts’ decision and declare that both Roe and Casey were wrongly decided (you can read a good summary of Dobbs and its progress through the courts on SCOTUSblog.com).

Contact WisMed Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information. To access the WisMed Policy Compendium click here.

Back to top

Doctor Day - June 15, 2023 - save the date

Foundation awards $200,000 in scholarships

The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation has awarded $200,000 in scholarships to 67 students for the 2022-2023 school year! These awards are made possible by physicians, County Medical Societies and families generously giving back to support and encourage the next generation of medical professionals.

All applications are reviewed by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, which carefully weighs each applicant’s financial need, community involvement and personal story to find the best match between deserving students and the qualities that each scholarship fund seeks to encourage and reward.

Each recipient of a scholarship receives a “legacy page” telling the story of the donor who made their award possible.

MCW student Jacqueline Tran, an Edmund J. and Estelle D. Walker Scholarship recipient
Jacqueline Tran, an Edmund J. and Estelle D. Walker Scholarship recipient

After receiving notice of being awarded an Edmund J. and Estelle D. Walker Scholarship, Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student Jacqueline Tran wrote to the trustees of the Walker Trust saying, “The foundational reason for this scholarship resonates with me so very personally. Both my parents left everything behind in Vietnam to settle in the states so that my sister and I could have a better education and more opportunities to thrive. I know that their major sacrifice is one that I must capitalize on and make the most of! I strive to leave as much of an impact that Dr. Walker has through his support of many medical students throughout all these years with this very meaningful scholarship.”

Named scholarship funds currently administered by the Foundation include:

  • Wisconsin Medical Society Presidential Scholar Award, established and funded by Current and Past Presidents and Leadership of the Wisconsin Medical Society.
  • Future Superhero of Medicine Scholarship, established by 2020 Foundation Superhero of Medicine recipient, Jasmine Zapata, MD.
  • Jefferson County Medical Society Scholarship, established by a gift from Jefferson County Medical Society.
  • Marathon County Medical Society Scholarship, supported by annual donations from the county medical society and its members.
  • Edmund J. and Estelle D. Walker Scholarship, established by Thomas Walker, MD, as a trust to provide an annual distribution to the Foundation for scholarships in memory of his parents.
  • Victor A. Baylon, MD, Scholarship, established with donations in memory of Dr. Baylon.
  • Goodman-Goodell Scholarship, established by Maurice Goodman, Jr.
  • Robert Jason Gore Scholarship, established by Dr. Donald and Jacquelyn Gore in memory of their grandson, who was killed in Iraq.
  • Amy Hunter-Wilson, MD, Scholarship, established by an estate gift from Dr. Hunter-Wilson.
  • John D. and Virginia Riesch Scholarship, established by Dr. and Mrs. Riesch through a charitable donation from his Individual Retirement Account.
  • Rukmini and Joyce Vasudevan Scholarship, established by Sridhar Vasudevan, MD, to honor his wife and mother.

You can support the future of medicine in Wisconsin by donating to the Foundation’s scholarship program. If you would like to learn how you or your county medical society can establish a legacy of support for students, please contact Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Ringle.

Back to top

WisMed Financial - Meet your advisor

Med Board exploring opioid/controlled substances CME changes

The State of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) may alter its approach to current CME subject-matter requirements related to opioid/controlled substances prescribing. Currently, the MEB requires physicians each biennium to complete two credits in opioids/etc. coursework approved by the MEB. Historically, the MEB has affirmatively renewed this requirement every two years.

One change under consideration would eliminate the requirement that acceptable subject-matter CME be MEB-approved. Another change is more internal to the MEB rulemaking procedure but telling: rather than affirmatively renewing the opioid/etc. requirement every two years and establishing a sunset date, the MEB would instead make the special two credit mandate permanent, meaning it would exist until the MEB proactively removes it through administrative rule.

Other discussions of note from the MEB’s monthly meeting, held virtually on June 16:

  • The MEB expressed unanimous support for expanding the types of services provided by a state program designed to assist professional license holders impaired by alcohol or other drug abuse. The state Department of Safety and Professional Services’ Professional Assistance Procedure (PAP) Program currently serves several dozen license holders from various professions but is not authorized to assist with mental/behavioral health needs. The MEB’s motion urges the state to seek a statutory change that would expand the program’s scope and provide a helpful “safe haven” for license-holders seeking help.
  • MEB staff provided a brief update on the pending chaperone rule, which is designed to promote the use of chaperones when physicians are conducting certain sensitive physical exams. The latest economic impact analysis (EIA) comment period closed on June 13; DSPS staff are still summarizing the comments received. The MEB will receive the results of that EIA at its next meeting, scheduled for July 20, and then decide on next steps.

The Wisconsin Medical Society offers a catalogue of highly rated MEB-approved opioid CME.

Contact the Society’s Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

Back to top

June 17 deadline for feedback on WisMed Board decisions on policy proposals

Help shape WisMed Advocacy - share your policy proposals

Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) members can weigh in on the recent action of the WisMed Board of Directors (Board) on three policy proposals through Friday, June 17. WisMed members can register their support, opposition and/or comments on those Board actions via PolicyLink.

To participate in the comment period:

  1. Visit policylink.wismed.org
  2. Login with your WisMed username and password*
  3. Click “Comment on Proposal” in the top menu
  4. Select “Vote on Board Action”
  5. Click on a blue proposal title – you will see the original proposal, the Policy Review Committee’s recommendation and the Board action
  6. When ready, click on agree, disagree, or neutral in regards to the Board's action and submit any comments if desired in the text box
  7. Click “Submit Comment” button at the bottom of the page

Note: For this round of proposals, the Board took the same action on two separate proposals seeking to strengthen WisMed policy on restrictive covenants, so the Board action will read identically for those two proposals.

Have a policy that you want to submit for consideration?
While in PolicyLink click on “Submit Proposal” (in the menu bar at the top of the page) and enter your proposed policy. Policies submitted during this period will fall into the next submission funnel to be posted on July 15, 2022.

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

*PolicyLink requires your WisMed username and password. Click here to retrieve your username or password, or call 866.442.3800 or email membership@wismed.org for assistance.

Back to top

What is Inflation Guard?

Inflation rising

By Society Insurance Team in 2021, reposted with permission from Society Insurance

In 2021, we’re seeing a unique economic environment. Supply chains have been affected by the pandemic and a few industries experienced weather-related setbacks. This, along with the new challenge of a labor shortage, is not allowing supply to keep up with demand, which leads to inflation.

Lumber is a relevant example and a commodity that has a significant impact on the cost of claims. The cost of claims in 2021 is significantly more than the cost of claims in recent years. This increase may subside quickly, however, economists believe inflation will persist.

What is Inflation Guard?
Inflation Guard is the automatic annual increase in property values on an insurance policy to keep up with rising costs of construction. It provides carriers with adequate premium to pay for losses and provides policyholders with protection against coinsurance penalties if a coinsurance requirement exists. Many insurance carriers apply an annual 4% Inflation Guard increase. If values don’t keep up with the pace of inflation, insurance premiums will eventually have to take a steeper spike upward.

What is Coinsurance?
Coinsurance language in a policy gives an insurance company the right to reduce the amount of a claim payment if the amount of insurance purchased was inadequate.

What Does This Mean for Policyholders & Insurance Agents? 
Policyholders could be underinsured at the time of total loss and find themselves with significant out-of-pocket costs in order to return to normal operations. If a partial loss occurs and the carrier imposes a coinsurance or underinsured penalty, the policyholder would also experience out-of-pocket costs. If the above occurs, there may be errors and omissions lawsuits against the insurance agent.

Does Society Insurance Include Inflation Guard in Policies?
Society Insurance does include Inflation Guard and does not include coinsurance or underinsured penalties in their policies. This provides protection for both policyholders and agents from some of the challenges in managing property values. Maintaining adequate values on insurance policies is critical. Inflation Guard – and annual conversations between insurance agents and policyholders – can fend off trouble.

Reposted with permission from Society Insurance.

WisMed Assure

Contact Brian Fowler, WisMed Assure Account Director, at 608.442.3718 for a quote or with any questions. WisMed Assure is the Wisconsin Medical Society’s insurance agency. Members are eligible for discounts on and exclusive access to insurance products through WisMed Assure including medical malpractice insurance, WPS Medicare Supplement program, Delta Dental endorsed group plan, large-group rates through the Association Health Plan and disability and life insurance.

Back to top

 

Want Medigram in your inbox? Click here to submit your email address and stay updated!