Emergency Physicians at the Capitol

March 31, 2017 2:58 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

Doctor Day 2017 Recap
By Lisa Maurer, MD

WACEP has been a long-time proud sponsor of Doctor Day, where physicians of all specialties come to Madison to discuss issues important to our practice and our patients.  

At this week's event, which drew nearly 500 physicians from across the state, Medicaid physician reimbursement--and specifically emergency physician reimbursement--was, without a doubt, the issue that garnered the most energy at the Capitol.

What I did expect, was that our specialty would be well represented. We had 24 emergency physicians at the event, telling our story of how we are stuck in our practices between a federal mandate and state fee schedule, losing money on each encounter with Medicaid enrollees.  

What I didn't expect was the overwhelming support from our colleagues in other specialties. We didn't even have to be the ones to speak up! 

  • Primary care physicians were the ones to ask legislators, "If the ED's lose their ability to attract quality EM docs, who will be the front lines for the opioid epidemic?"  
  • Psychiatrists challenged the legislators, "How can we expect EM groups to stay afloat when they lose money every time we have to send them our patients with psychiatric emergencies?"  
  • Our physician partners working as CMOs of Wisconsin insurance companies were there at our sides saying, "Payors in Wisconsin have a responsibility to support the safety net of our health care system."  
The legislators of Wisconsin heard loud and clear that patients AND physicians of many specialties depend on us! WACEP looks forward to using this momentum to find a solution for our state. Be sure to thank your colleagues around your community this week for the huge impact they had on our behalf.