March at Wisconsin ACEP: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Tiger
By Bobby Redwood, MD
We are over the moon here at Wisconsin ACEP (WACEP). The last month has really showcased the positive impact that Wisconsin emergency physicians can create when we work together and show up in force. To put it succinctly, March was a time of Influence, Education, and Accolades for Wisconsin emergency medicine.
Influence. Our month started off with an important milestone: the WACEP PAC reached an historic high and 100% of the WACEP board (as well as many general members) donated to the cause. The strength of our PAC gives emergency physicians unprecedented access to representatives in the state and national legislature at a time when the future of our healthcare safety net is more uncertain than ever. With the collapse of the American Health Care Act, our elected officials are scrambling to come up with strategies to provide broad access to care and also maintain a high level of quality care. WACEP will continue to advocate for increased Medicaid reimbursement for emergency physicians (we are 50th in the nation after all, in terms of Medicaid reimbursement for level 3, 4, and 5 emergency visits). Our thriving PAC is how we are able to build relationships, gain access to key meetings, and ensure that emergency medicine always has a seat at the table. Are you feeling me on this? Be a catalyst for change and contribute to the WACEP PAC at http://www.wisconsinacep.org/PAC
Education. On March 28th, emergency physicians from across the state felt the love of their colleagues and the pride of their specialty at the WACEP 2017 Spring Symposium. We pounded out our 2016 LLSA articles, we learned cutting edge emergency ultrasound techniques, and we celebrated the role of women in emergency medicine while also strategizing against the harmful gender stereotypes that unfortunately continue to plague our physician workforce. Dr. Steve Hargarten gave a provocative and inspiring keynote address on the epidemic of firearm violence in Wisconsin; local EM celebrities Tim Westlake, Brian Sharp, and Julie Doniere educated our membership on the new mandatory opioid prescribing guidelines issued by the state medical examining board; and then educational speed dating ensued with breakout sessions on hot topics in emergency medicine that ranged from contract negotiations to fluid resuscitation in the septic CHF patient. It was a fabulous example of scholarly fellowship in Wisconsin emergency medicine and we cannot wait to reveal what we have planned for the 2018 Spring Symposium.
Accolades. WACEP was honored to have our signature issue highlighted as a one of three priority issues at the 2017 Doctor Day at the Capitol on March 29th. More than 470 physicians from all specialties flooded the halls of the capitol and, in the spirit of unity and collective impact, advocated face-to-face with our legislators for increased Medicaid reimbursements for EMTALA related care. With passion and conviction, physicians across the board presented legislators with the graphic pasted below, a striking reminder that Wisconsin Medicaid reimbursement rates pale in comparison to our neighbors in the Midwest.
But the accolades don't end there. While presenting at the WACEP Spring Symposium, Dr. Rebecca Parker (president of national ACEP) revealed that she has just been named by Modern Healthcare as one of the top 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders of 2017. We at WACEP are incredibly proud of Dr. Parker (who has visited Wisconsin twice in the past year!) and are asking all WACEP members to vote for Dr. Parker to be THE most influential physician executive and leader by casting your vote at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XFVWR78
I remember learning in grade school that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Let's be real, this is Wisconsin; March comes in like a lion and goes out like a tiger. The wind is howling, the rain is nipping fiercely at our noses, and we at Wisconsin ACEP are loving every minute of it!