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.

Society names Michael Flesher new CEO
The Wisconsin Medical Society Board of Directors has named Michael Flesher as its CEO. Mr. Flesher will also serve as the CEO of Wisconsin Medical Society Holdings Corporation. Starting June 6, Mr. Flesher will replace Bud Chumbley, MD, who is retiring after five years as CEO.

Reminder: Contact Gov’s office on nursing independence bill
All Wisconsin Medical Society members received an Advocacy Alert on March 8, urging physicians to contact Governor Tony Evers’s office to ask that he veto legislation allowing certain nurses to practice independently in Wisconsin.

State Senate puts a wrap on 2021-22 legislative biennium
The Wisconsin State Senate’s lengthy floor session on March 8 ended the 2021-22 general state legislative period. Wisconsin is one of just 11 states that does not place a set limit on the number of session days per year, making our state’s legislature essentially full-time (especially in the odd-numbered years of each biennium).

Last chance: vote for Society offices via WisMed Mobile
Today is the last day Wisconsin Medical Society Members can vote for the Society President-elect and Treasurer via the WisMed Mobile app.* According to the Society’s Constitution, Article V, the President-elect and Treasurer will be elected by the general membership.

Cyber liability trends continue in 2022
As companies shifted to more virtual work, cybercriminals took advantage of every slight vulnerability. So, let’s review some cyber security basics, specifically focusing on why health care professionals and organizations are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks, what their greatest vulnerabilities are and what risk mitigation must be in place to even qualify for insurance.

Society names Michael Flesher new CEO

Michael Flesher

The Wisconsin Medical Society Board of Directors has named Michael Flesher as its CEO. Mr. Flesher will also serve as the CEO of Wisconsin Medical Society Holdings Corporation. Starting June 6, Mr. Flesher will replace Bud Chumbley, MD, who is retiring after five years as CEO.

With more than twenty years of leadership experience, Mr. Flesher brings a wealth of experience as an association leader. He has served as the Executive Vice President and CEO of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) since 2017, was Pfizer’s Director of Strategic Medical Alliances and the American Medical Association’s Director of Resident and Fellow Services.

Jerry Halverson, MD, chair of the Society’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the search committee said, “With well-rounded expertise in association financial management, governance and innovation, Mike is the right person to take our organization to the next level of influence and change. Coupled with an extensive network of contacts in national and state medical societies, he will bring leadership and advocacy skills to grow membership and diversify revenue streams.”

“I am honored to join the Wisconsin Medical Society as CEO,” Mr. Flesher said. “Moving forward, I plan to rely on the continued participation and support of Wisconsin’s strong physician community, so we can be assured that the Society will continue to grow supporting and strengthening physicians’ ability to practice high-quality patient care.”

With strong family ties here, Mike and his family are excited to make Wisconsin their new home.

Mr. Flesher is the ninth Society CEO in its more than 180 year history

Back to top

Rogers Behavioral Health

Reminder: Contact Gov’s office on nursing independence bill

Advocacy Alert

All Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) members received an Advocacy Alert on March 8, urging physicians to contact Governor Tony Evers’s office to ask that he veto legislation allowing certain nurses to practice independently in Wisconsin. The alert was sent to members’ preferred email addresses and as a push notification via the WisMed Mobile app. The alert included the best email for the Governor’s office along with suggested message language.

 

Senate Bill 394 (and its companion bill, Assembly Bill 396) has been controversial since it was introduced in June 2021. Promoted by various nursing organizations as a simple “modernization” bill, the complex, far-reaching legislation raised alarms among physicians recognizing how the bill would promote a move away from physician-led health care teams – a structure helping make Wisconsin one of the best states in the country to get high quality, efficient health care. The original bill allowed advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to establish independent practices nearly immediately after receiving their certification – a dramatic change from current law requiring at a minimum collaborative relationships with physicians.

With that independence comes broad new definitions of what various APRNs would be allowed to do: for example, a nurse practitioner is defined as a “primary and specialty care provider who assesses, diagnoses, treats, and manages acute, episodic, and chronic illnesses” while a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) would be empowered with “providing anesthesia care, pain management care, and care related to anesthesia and pain management for persons across their lifespan.”

Working with WisMed, a coalition of physician-oriented advocacy groups joined forces to shine light on how the bill’s main goals would fracture team-based care, as well as fail to improve health care access in underserved areas. While a bipartisan group of legislators became more concerned about the proposal as they learned more, majority party leadership in both the State Senate and State Assembly continued to push the bill forward. Both houses eventually made some amendments to the original proposal, but those changes did not come close to achieving the physician coalition’s amendment suggestions.

Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD with any questions or for more information.

Back to top

Register now - Foundation 2022 Awards Presentation - April 21 6:30PM

State Senate puts a wrap on 2021-22 legislative biennium

The Wisconsin State Senate’s lengthy floor session on March 8 ended the 2021-22 general state legislative period. Wisconsin is one of just 11 states that does not place a set limit on the number of session days per year, making our state’s legislature essentially full-time (especially in the odd-numbered years of each biennium). The Senate adjourned per Senate Joint Resolution 1, which signaled the official end of the regular session. (The Legislature has some time set aside for other business such as potential veto override attempts and can call itself into extraordinary session on specific topics, but those events are quite rare in the months leading up to November elections.)

Bills of note from the Senate’s March 8 floor calendar:  

  • Independent nursing (SB 394) – The Senate agreed with an amendment the State Assembly made last month to the bill, which allows certain advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to practice independently. The bill now heads to Gov. Tony Evers’s desk for signature or veto. (See this Medigram story regarding the WisMed Advocacy Alert encouraging physicians to ask the Governor to veto the bill.)
  • Harm/Threats to a Health Care Worker = Felony (AB 960) – The Senate and Assembly have both approved this proposal, which makes it a felony to batter or threaten harm to a health care worker or their family.
  • Updating the state’s Worker’s Compensation statutes (AB 911) – In a biennium filled with controversial proposals, this session’s product from the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) bucked the trend and passed through both houses with little fanfare. Previous WCAC proposals had included medical fee schedule provisions, prompting fierce opposition from WisMed and other health care entities. With no such provisions in this session’s bill, the legislature passed a WCAC “agreed-to bill” for the first time since the 2015-16 biennium.
  • Some bills were pulled from the Senate floor calendar and sent back to the Senate Committee on Organization – essentially preventing them from advancing to the Governor. Those bills include a proposal to align state and federal law by raising the cigarette, nicotine and tobacco products purchase age to 21 years old (AB 348), and legislation that sought to eliminate regulatory board and employer oversight over health care professionals expressing “professional opinions,” even if those opinions fall below what is considered to be the minimum standard of care (AB 1007).

As it does each legislative session, WisMed staff will produce a summary of WisMed biennial session activities. This resource is a useful product that you can share with your physician peers who have not yet joined the state’s largest physician organization. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

Back to top

WisMed Financial - Meet your advisor

Last chance: vote for Society offices via WisMed Mobile

President-elect: Don Lee, MD
President-elect Nominee - Don Lee, MD

Today is the last day Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) Members can vote for the Society President-elect and Treasurer via the WisMed Mobile app.* According to the Society’s Constitution, Article V, the President-elect and Treasurer will be elected by the general membership.

The Nominating Committee of the Wisconsin Medical Society prepared a slate of nominees for Society offices during its January 21 meeting. The nominees, including those for American Medical Association (AMA) Delegates are as follows:

  • President-elect: Don Lee, MD
  • AMA Delegate 2023 and 2024: Barbara Hummel, MD
  • AMA Delegate 2023 and 2024: Tosha Wetterneck, MD


Treasurer: Mr. John Cook, CPA
Treasurer Nominee - John Cook, CPA
The Wisconsin Medical Society Board of Directors, as directed by the Society’s Bylaws, selected its nominee for Treasurer on January 22, 2022:

 

  • Treasurer: Mr. John Cook, CPA

The ballot for President-elect and Treasurer will be available until the close of business today, March 10. All Wisconsin Medical Society members are eligible to vote via WisMed Mobile.* The candidate materials are available for review on the ballot as well.

The Board of Directors will consider nominees for the AMA Delegates, Board of Director and Nominating Committee members at its meeting in April.

*If you haven’t downloaded WisMed Mobile app, you can do so here. For assistance, please contact membership@wismed.org or 800.762.8975.

Back to top

Cyber liability trends continue in 2022

As companies shifted to more virtual work, cybercriminals took advantage of every slight vulnerability. So, let’s review some cyber security basics, specifically focusing on why health care professionals and organizations are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks, what their greatest vulnerabilities are and what risk mitigation must be in place to even qualify for insurance.

Most Common Cyberattacks

Cyberattacks impact businesses of all sizes, from global corporations to small startups. Though smaller businesses may think they are too small to be targeted, it’s quite the opposite. Cybercriminals specifically target smaller health care facilities knowing that they are unlikely to have implemented adequate endpoint security. Most successful cyberattacks occur because of human error. It only takes one exposed file or answered phishing email to cause a massive data breach. These are the most common cyberattacks:

  • Ransomware – This malware denies the victim access to their data unless they pay a ransom to the attackers.
  • Phishing – This attack consists of fraudulent emails sent inconspicuously with malicious files attached intended to gain access to the victim’s device.
  • Password Attack – By accessing a victim’s password, cybercriminals can gain entry to critical data and computer systems.
  • Denial of Service (DoS) Attack – In this attack, cybercriminals flood systems and networks with traffic to overload its bandwidth so the owners are not able to operate their system. 
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Attack – Hackers can gain entry through any end point and then access other devices in the network. 

Most Targeted Industries

Cyber perils are currently the most significant concern for all industries, but some business sectors are hit harder than others. According to Forbes, this is the rate that cyberattacks have increased from 2020 to 2021.

  • Health care - 71%
  • Insurance/Legal - 68%
  • Internet Service Providers - 67%
  • Financial/Banking - 53%
  • Government – 47%

Top Five Underwriting Requirements

The basic requirements that need to be in place for an insurance carrier to underwrite cyber liability insurance for medium to large health care facilities is unchanged for 2022, and are as follows:

  • MFA/Multifactor Authentication – a security process that requires two or more validation factors to verify a user’s identity, such as a six-digit code via a mobile phone in addition to a username and password.
  • Cloud based back-ups.
  • Ability to bring systems back up within 10 days.
  • Ongoing phishing training.
  • Endpoint Detection & Response System (EDR) – an endpoint is any device that is physically an end point on the network, such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones. These end points can be entry points for a cyber breach. EDRs continuously monitor and identify threats to contain and remove them. EDRs should also be cloud based.

WisMed Assure

For additional information regarding cyber liability insurance, contact WisMed Assure at insurance@wismedassure.org or call 866.442.3810.

Back to top

 

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