Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
Doctor Day is just one week away, but there’s still time to register to learn first-hand how you can make a difference in the legislative process! The day will be full of fantastic speakers, legislative visits and networking. Thanks to our sponsors, the day is free for physicians and medical students to attend. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, president-elect of the American Medical Association, will be speaking to the group in his AMA role; he is also a senior associate dean, tenured professor of anesthesiology and director of the largest statewide public health philanthropy organization, “Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment” at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Ehrenfeld’s keynote address will focus on current challenges physicians face as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and what both organized medicine and individual physicians are doing and can do.
The priority issues this year are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Legislation and Extending Medicaid Coverage for New Moms.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Legislation – Bills currently up for debate in the legislature would allow for most advanced practice registered nurses (CRNAs, NPs, certified nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists) to practice independently in Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers vetoed substantially similar legislation last session, stating in his veto message his dissatisfaction that the bill did not address “concerns raised by parties in the medical profession that went unremedied in the legislative process.” Gov. Evers then used his biennial budget proposal to lay out reasonable provisions that legislation would need to garner his signature. Physician groups agree that many of those provisions are vital if a bill is to be approved, especially:
- requiring four years of real-world experience in team-based care before being allowed to practice independently
- inclusion of important truth in advertising/titling protections that reserve terms such as “physician,” “anesthesiologist” etc. for those with a medical degree (MD or DO) and
- ensuring that any CRNA clinic offering pain management services work in collaboration with a physician specializing in pain medicine.
The legislation just received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health on May 24 (see this story), so the timing is ideal for physician input. The companion bills (same language in each) are Senate Bill 145 and Assembly Bill 154.
Extending Medicaid Coverage for New Moms to One Year Post-Partum – Another issue that has widespread physician support: extending the time period that Medicaid will cover new moms who have delivered a baby to one year post-partum, matching the coverage newborns receive when the mother is Medicaid-eligible upon delivery. Medicaid eligibility levels are more generous for pregnant mothers, so sometimes a mother “incomes out” of the Medicaid program after giving birth. This disruption harms continuity of care and often makes it more difficult for moms to seek medical care for both themselves and/or their babies – which is usually when comprehensive care is needed the most.
The companion bills are Senate Bill 110 and Assembly Bill 114.
Register today. If you have any questions, contact Heidi Green or Mark Grapentine.
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