New Opioid Legislation Circulating

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and various co-authors have circulated a new package of bills to address substance use disorder. Nygren has led the legislative effort to combat Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic with his Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) agenda starting in the 2013-14 session and continuing through 2018. Read more about Wisconsin’s work in fighting […]

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New CMS Rule Changes How PAs May Work with Physicians

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized its 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Rule, which changed Medicare supervision requirements for physician assistants (PAs) by largely deferring to state law on how PAs practice with physicians. Recently, 11 states have replaced the outdated term “supervision” with other terms, such as collaboration, to better […]

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CARES Act Would Eliminate Workforce Barriers for PAs

The Collaboration and Rural Expansion of Services (CARES) Act (LRB 0196), which would update Wisconsin statutes related to physician assistants (PAs), is currently circulating in the Legislature. The bill seeks to reduce workforce barriers for PAs, thus maintaining and increasing access to high quality medical care, particularly in underserved rural areas of the state. The […]

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Survey Shows Dental Insurance Enrollees Are Highly Satisfied with Coverage

A survey recently released by America’s Health Insurance Plans shows dental insurance enrollees are highly satisfied with their providers and coverage. Overall, the survey found consumers were happy with their ability to find in-network, high quality, and affordable dental care. Highlights of the survey included: 83 percent of respondents said they are extremely/very satisfied or […]

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Medicaid Budget Projected to End in the Red

On Sept. 30, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted an updated projection for the state’s Medicaid budget to the Joint Finance Committee. DHS estimates the Medicaid expenditures will exceed the budget by $21.4 GPR at the end of the 2019-2021 biennium. The main reason cited for the negative projection is a decrease in the […]

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Bills of Note: Direct Primary Care

The Assembly Committee on Small Business Development held a public hearing on Sept. 4 on a bill that would establish parameters for the practice of direct primary care (DPC) in Wisconsin. The bill (SB 28/AB 26), authored by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin), is largely the same as the version […]

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Bills of Note: Dental Therapists

The Senate Committee on Health & Human Services this week held a public hearing on a bill that would create a new license in Wisconsin for dental therapists, an intermediate level of dentistry practice between hygienists and dentists. The bipartisan bill has received wide support from a coalition of 62 stakeholder groups but is opposed by […]

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Gov. Evers Issues Executive Order on Prescription Drug Prices

This week, Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order creating a Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices. The task force is charged with addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs in Wisconsin, which the executive order says cost Wisconsin residents $1.3 billion in 2019 and costs the state’s Medicaid program $400 million annually. The […]

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Gov. Evers Announces Caregiving Task Force Members

This week, Gov. Tony Evers announced the members appointed to his Task Force on Caregiving. The governor created the task force by executive order in February. The task force is charged with examining strategies to develop the direct care workforce, reduce health care costs for care givers, and increase access and quality of care. The […]

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Medicaid Expansion Bill Circulating

This week, Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Rep. Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) circulated legislation (LRB 2962) to expand the eligibility level for the state Medicaid program to up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Under the Affordable Care Act, states which expand Medicaid receive enhanced federal funding. The bill requires the Department of Health […]

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