Latest News

  • September 09, 2022 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    With many questions surrounding the status of Wisconsin’s abortion-related law following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June 2022, the Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) is offering members a special webinar with legal experts to describe the current legal landscape. Attorneys from the Madison law firm Pines Bach will present “Providing Patient Care Post-Dobbs: A Look at Wisconsin Abortion Law” live at noon on Tuesday, September 20, including time for Q&A. The presentation will also be recorded and available on-demand for a limited time.

    Register for this members-only event here. There is no cost for this WisMed member benefit. If you have questions about the current status of Wisconsin law you think should be covered in the program, please contact WisMed Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD.

    About the legal experts, Pines Bach attorneys Diane M. Welsh and Leslie A. Freehill:

    Attorneys Diane Welsh and Leslie Freehill of Pines Bach LLP

    Attorneys Diane Welsh and Leslie Freehill of Pines Bach LLP

    Attorney Diane Welsh is a partner at Pines Bach LLP, where she advises clients on a variety of matters, including government and health law, and represents clients in all levels of litigation. Prior to joining Pines Bach, Diane served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and as assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Attorney Leslie Freehill is an associate at Pines Bach, where she practices in the areas of civil litigation, administrative law and appeals. Prior to joining Pines Bach, she served as a staff attorney for the Dane County Circuit Court

  • August 29, 2022 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Meetup @ ACEP22
    Sunday, October 2, 2022
    7:00-10:00 pm
    Black Hammer Brewing
    544 Bryant Street | San Francisco, CA

    Join your Wisconsin colleagues for drinks and light snacks at this annual WACEP reception during ACEP's Annual Meeting.

    This year's event will take place at Black Hammer Brewing, about a half mile from the Moscone Convention Center. The event is complimentary, but please RSVP if you plan to attend.

    RSVP Here

  • August 25, 2022 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society
    August 18, 2022

    The state of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) put the final touches on its revamped chaperone rule for sensitive physical exams at its monthly meeting August 17, significantly scaling down the proposal’s scope following individual physician and Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) advocacy ever since the potential rule was first discussed in April 2021. The current version of the rule would require physicians to post their clinic/office’s chaperone policy “in at least one location reasonably likely to be seen by all affected patients.” If a self-employed physician does not have a chaperone policy, the rule requires the physician to create one and follow the posting requirements. The rule does not specify any parameters for what a chaperone policy must include – those decisions are left to the physician or their employer.

    The MEB grappled with a thorny issue inherent in a state where so many physicians are employed by large health care systems: what if the physician has little or no control over their employer’s practice of posting a chaperone policy?

    “My specific question on this new language is that it does put some of the onus on the physician to make and post the copy of these rules – which is effective in a small practice or a clinic where a physician has more control over those things,” said MEB member Emily Yu, MD. “But many people practice in an environment where that's more of a hospital responsibility of posting procedures – and so how would an individual physician be affected if their hospital corporation didn't comply with some of this language?”

    Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services legal staff acknowledged that the MEB’s authority does not extend to hospitals or non-physician employers – prompting MEB public member Rachel Sattler to ask, “Wouldn't this compel the hospitals to actually do that as well?”

    ”One would hope,” replied the MEB’s Sumeet Goel, DO.

    “Sometimes it's difficult for an individual physician in a big corporation to make sure those things happen,” Dr. Yu said, “and I don't think it's fair to ask a physician to be responsible for that – not that it shouldn't stay in this language, but I think it's a consideration as far as who is actually responsible for that part of the process if a complaint is filed against a physician in that situation,” Dr. Yu said.

    “If there is a complaint directed at a specific doctor for not having this posted in the hospital, we have the discretion to handle that,” Sattler said. “And if their position is ‘I don't control what the hospital does,’ that seems legitimate.”

    Following discussion, the MEB unanimously approved moving forward with the new rule language, triggering another public comment process. The first step will be an Economic Impact Assessment period where physicians and other entities can comment on the projected fiscal effects of complying with the new rule. Following that feedback, the MEB can decide whether to continue moving forward with the proposal. If it decides to do so, the MEB would schedule a public hearing as part of a future MEB monthly meeting. Stay tuned to future editions of Medigram for news of when these comment periods are officially scheduled.

  • August 04, 2022 1:56 PM | Anonymous

    Elected officials are heading back to their districts for the month check out ACEP's Advocacy At Home: August Recess Toolkit can help you set and prepare for local meetings with federal legislators or staff. This is a great time to share your stories that personalize our calls for policy changes. 

  • July 28, 2022 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    Your PAC has had a busy summer prior to the mid-term elections. We are just short of our goal of $20,000 for this election cycle having raised about 75% of our goal. Your PAC board has been busy visiting multiple campaign events the last few months to discuss issues important to emergency physicians.


    Photo captions:
    Wisconsin Emergency PAC board member attends a fundraiser for Tammy Baldwin which was sponsored by NEMPAC 

    Wisconsin Emergency PAC members attend a fundraiser for Tony Evers.

    Wisconsin Emergency PAC board member attends a fundraiser for Andrew Thomsen a republican candidate for state senate in the Fox Valley area.

    Contribute to the PAC Today!

  • July 22, 2022 8:59 AM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society
    July 21, 2022

    The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (Lifeline), a free, confidential behavioral health and support line is now available. Anyone can utilize the Lifeline at any time by calling 988 (multiple languages available), texting a message to 988 (English only), or using the chat feature at (English only). People can connect with a trained crisis counselor to get help for themselves or a loved one experiencing a crisis, such as is thoughts of suicide, a mental health concern, substance use issue or any kind of emotional distress.

    Additional details about the Lifeline:

    • Wisconsin Lifeline counselors are trained to reduce stress, provide emotional support and connect people with local resources.
    • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available to use at no cost to Wisconsin residents. Additional care or intervention may come with a cost.
    • Wisconsin Lifeline is not able to send an in-person response directly. An in-person response requires a transfer to another service and could involve law enforcement.
    • Calls, texts and chats with Wisconsin Lifeline are confidential between the person and counselor, unless there is imminent danger for the person or others.

    Jerry Halverson, MD, DFAPA, WisMed Board Chair and Rogers Behavioral Health Chief Medical Officer, told Fox6, "The purpose of 988 is to help you get over that crisis point, and get you someone that can help you more definitively. This is going to open up access to a lot of people who wouldn’t have taken advantage in the past. It can be a game-changer."

    The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a network of more than 200 support centers around the country. Contacts not answered by in-state partners roll over to a national backup system. The Wisconsin Lifeline has helped ensure that as many contacts as possible are answered by Wisconsin-based counselors who have the best understanding of local communities, cultures and resources. 

    Learn more about Lifeline here.

  • July 22, 2022 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Medical Society
    July 21, 2022

    The state of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) will likely move in a new direction on a proposed administrative rule designed to promote the use of chaperones for physicians conducting sensitive physical exams. The change in direction follows more than a year’s input from physicians around the state and two separate Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) periods on two different versions of the proposal.

    Results of the second EIA period showed that physician offices, clinics and hospitals would face an estimated $75 million in training and compliance costs in just the first year under that version of the rule. Under state law, any proposed administrative rule that would cost more than $10 million in additional costs over two years requires the rule’s progress to be halted and instead submitted to the state legislature as potential legislation – a path the MEB does not appear to desire.

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) has been the lead force raising concerns about another part of the proposed rule: if a physician did not use a chaperone during an exam and an inappropriate touching/conduct complaint is subsequently filed, then the physician would have been presumed guilty and forced to prove their innocence. This change in “presumption” is the opposite of the current discipline procedure, fundamentally interfering with physicians’ rights. The new proposed language removes that presumption of guilt and instead aims at ensuring patients are aware of any office/clinic/hospital policy on chaperones. The new language includes:

    Med 10.03 (2)(f)(4): A physician who practices in a hospital or works for any other employer shall comply with the rules established by their hospital or employer regarding chaperones or other observers in patient examinations. Physicians who are self-employed or in other practice settings that do not involve hospitals or employers shall establish written procedures for the use of chaperones or other observers in patient examinations and shall comply with these procedures once established. A physician shall make a copy of the rules and procedures regarding the physician’s use of chaperones or other observers available to patients and shall post their procedures or policy regarding chaperones or other observers in at least one location that is visible to all patients.

    The MEB’s attorney explained that this language would not require a facility to have any specific chaperone policy – or even offer chaperones at all. For example, a facility could fulfil the rule’s requirements by posting “this facility does not offer chaperones as part of a patient visit” if that is the case. The attorney termed this version of the rule: "Have a policy. Follow the policy. Make the policy available."

    The MEB plans to use this language as a starting point for discussion at its next scheduled meeting on August 17, 2022. During the June 20 meeting, Board Chair Sheldon Wasserman, MD, asked WisMed for initial thoughts on the new language. WisMed Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine replied that at first glance it was positive to see the guilt presumption provision removed, and he thanked the MEB for listening to physician feedback on that issue. Grapentine also emphasized WisMed members’ agreement with the MEB that inappropriate sexual conduct complaints should be thoroughly investigated, with wrongdoers severely disciplined following a finding of guilt.

    Contact WisMed Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD via email or message him in WisMed Mobile for more information. 

  • June 23, 2022 12:52 PM | Anonymous

    WACEP Board Report

    Hubbard Wilson & Zelenkova

    June 2, 2022

    Policy Issues

    APRN Bill/Nurse Independent Practice:  Although the legislature is out until next January, work continues on policy issues and initiatives.  Nurse groups have gone on the attack concerning the veto of their APRN bill (SB 394) and turned an early resignation by the BON chair into a cause for media attention.  This effort has been bolstered by conservative Americans For Prosperity.   Since an initial burst of media, however, there has no new attention to the issue. 

    Medicaid Reimbursement:  WACEP intends to again prioritize an increase of Medicaid reimbursement rates associated with emergency codes.  While the increase obtained in the last budget has taken effect and improved reimbursement for emergency codes for the first time in three decades, there is still more work to be done to get on par with other states.  Outreach to the Administration will begin this summer in hopes of including another boost in agency budget request, the Governor’s executive budget, and ultimately through the legislative Joint Finance Committee.

    Political Landscape

    The US Supreme Court overruled the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s approval of the Evers drawn state legislative maps in March based on Voting Rights Act violations.   This action required the Wisconsin Supreme Court to approve a new set of maps, under a very tight timeline, because districts needed to be established by April 15—the date nomination papers begin to be circulated.   After a couple weeks of silence from the Court, they ended up approving the maps passed by the legislature and drawn by Republicans.  As we reported before, while the Evers map could have been considered a “win” for democrats compared to the alternative of the Court selecting the legislative republican-drawn maps, both maps still reflected clear majorities for republicans in the state based on historical electoral results.

    On June 1, all candidates for state and federal office were required to have their nomination papers turned in.   We will now know definitively who is on the ballot for the November election and which races we expect to be competitive.  

    Below is a list of what may be competitive races in the legislature.   At bottom is a list of all retirements.


    AD 1 (Kitchens)--Held by GOP.  Door County and Kewaunee County.  Always a seat that is identified as competitive.   Kitchens has won by double digits in the past 4 elections.

    AD 4 (Steffen)—Held by GOP.   Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Allouez.   GOP numbers have reduced in 2018 and 2020 making it a seat to watch

    AB 21 (Rodriguez)—Held by GOP.  South Milwaukee and Oak Creek.  Highly competitive (51%) GOP district.   Rodriguez tends to outperform the top of the ticket.

    AD 29 (Moses)—Held by GOP.  NW WI—Menomonie, Colfax, Baldwin.   This is a Lean GOP District (53%), but it changed significantly in redistricting reducing the benefit of incumbency.

    AD 33 (Vruwink)—Held by DEM.  SC WI—Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Palymyra.   Redistricting moved Vruwink out of his old seat (AD 43) into AD 33, which is much more competitive.  Top of the ticket it is a 51% GOP, but Vruwink has been on the ballot in over half the new district.

    AD 49 (Tranel)—Held by GOP.  SW WI—Grant County.   Highly competitive as the top of the ticket slightly lean Dem (51%).  However, Tranel greatly outperforms the top of the GOP ticket since 2014

    AD 51 (Novak)—Held by GOP.   SC WI—Monroe, Lafayette Co, Iowa Co.  This is the seat the Dems target every election.   54% Dem top of the ticket, but Novak wins. 

    AD 85 (Snyder)—Held by GOP.  Wausau, Schofield.   Highly competitive GOP seat (51%).  Snyder usually outperforms by 2-3 points.

    AD 94 (Doyle)—Held by DEM.  Onalaska, West Salem, Holmen.  Highly competitive Dem seat (51%).  Doyle has held the seat since 2012 and performs much better in gubernatorial years.

    AD 96 (Oldenburg)—Held by GOP.  Monroe Co, Vernon Co and Crawford Co.  Highly competitive Dem (51%).  Assembly Republicans have continually outperformed the top of the ticket for decades.


    SD 5 (OPEN)—Held by GOP.  Brookfield, Wauwatosa, New Berlin.  Senator Kooyega held the seat but decided not to run.  It was highly competitive in the last election but picked up 4 GOP points after redistricting.  It will still be competitive as an open seat.

    SD 17 (Marklein) –-Held by GOP.   SW Wisconsin.   Highly competitive Dem seat (51%).   Marklein won 54% in 2018 and 55% in 2014.

    SD 19 (Open)—Held by GOP.  Appleton, Neenah, Menasha.   Highly competitive GOP seat (52%).   Formerly held by Sen Roth, who decided to run for Lt. Governor.   It will be competitive as an open seat.

    SD 25 (OPEN)—Held by Dem.  NW WI.   Held by Sen Bewley, who decided not to run.   This once strong Dem area has changed over the last decade to a true 50-50 seat.    As an open seat, it will be highly competitive.



    • District 3 - Ron Kind (D) - Not Seeking Re-election

    State Senate:

    • District 15 – Janis Ringhand (D) – Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 25 – Janet Bewley (D) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 27 – Jon Erpenbach (D) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 23 – Kathy Bernier (R) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 19 – Roger Roth (R) - Running for Lt. Governor
    • District 29 – Jerry Petrowski (R) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 5 –  Dale Kooyenga (R)

    State Assembly:

    • District 5 –  Jim Steineke (R) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 6 –  Gary Tauchen (R)  - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 10 – David Bowen (D) – Not seeking Re-election
    • District 13 – Sara Rodriguez (D) – Running for Lt. Governor
    • District 15 – Joe Sanfelippo (R)  - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 19 – Jonathan Brostoff (D) – Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 27 – Tyler Vorpagel (R) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 31 – Amy Loudenbeck (R)  - Running for Sec. of State
    • District 33 – Cody Horlacher (R) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 45 – Mark Spreitzer (D) – Running for Senate
    • District 46 – Gary Hebl (D) – Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 52 – Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R)  - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 54 – Gordon Hintz (D) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 55 – Rachel Cabral-Guevara (R)  – Running for Senate
    • District 59 – Tim Ramthun (R) - Running for Governor
    • District 61 – Samantha Kerkman (R) – Won Kenosha County Executive Race
    • District 68 - Jesse James (R)  – Running for Senate
    • District 73 – Nick Milroy (D) – Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 74 – Beth Meyers (D) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 79 – Dianne Hesselbein (D) - Running for Senate
    • District 80 – Sondy Pope (D) – Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 82 – Ken Skowronski (R) - Not Seeking Re-election
    • District 84 – Mike Kuglitsch (R) - Not Seeking Re-election


    Sen. Brad Pfaff (D)– free shot at CD 3

    Sen. Patrick Testin (R) – free shot at Lt. Gov.

  • May 18, 2022 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin ACEP PAC Short of Fundraising Goal

    The Wisconsin Emergency Medicine PAC Board has set a goal of $20,000 to be raised this election cycle. This is a very important cycle as many offices are up for re-election at the state level and because we recently had a significant number of legislative wins. The PAC is another avenue to continue building relationships with our legislators. We currently have $15,000 raised which is a fantastic amount but we are hoping to do a bit more to extend our influence.

    The PAC supports bipartisan candidates as well as party committees. Funds typically support candidates who have demonstrated positions on issues important to emergency physicians or serve on relevant legislative committees.

    PAC contributions can be made via PayPal or by mail with this PAC contribution form.

    Donate Online

    Consider joining many of your peers with a monthly recurring donation! This stability ensures the ongoing ability of our PAC to respond to needs even after the conventional fund-raising season is over.

    Recommended Annual Donation Levels:

    • $500 (~$42/month) – Match the commitment made by the WACEP Board members
    • $365 (~31/month) – Participate at the “Dollar a Day” Level
    • $200 ($17/month) – Can’t swing the dollar a day? $200 makes a huge impact for us still!
    • $60 ($5/month) – Residents are encouraged to consider a $5/month contribution
    • Other – Any amount helps!

  • May 18, 2022 1:28 PM | Anonymous

    ACEP’s Legislative and Advocacy Conference was in Washington DC May 1-3 of this year. WACEP had five attendees this year (including one virtual). They met with 6 (of 8) of the congressional offices as well as both senator offices regarding several topics important to Emergency physicians.

    Senator Baldwin made a special guest appearance this year speaking at a special lunch event on “Diversity in Action: Women in Politics.” Senator Baldwin is also the author of “The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act.” This bill, which has corresponding legislation which already passed the House asks OSHA to issue a standard which would require workplace violence prevention plans be considered by hospitals.

    The group also discussed with their representatives the instability of Medicare with a total of a 9% cut anticipated at the end of year unless Congress acts. This is the result of anti-inflationary and budget neutrality policies of CMS. Essentially, even though we are netting 10,000 beneficiaries per day being added to the Medicare role, Congress and CMS have decided that we won’t be spending additional funds to deliver this care. In the past, congress had elected to forego this requirement such that rates are not cut for the subsequent year. This goes without saying with inflation increasing the disparity between the consumer price index (CPI) and physician reimbursement by the Medicare system will continue to grow as it has for the last 20+ years. Our ask at this point is the congress act before the end of the year to avoid cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates as well as consider a permanent fix to this so we can avoid this issue year after year.

    LAC 2023 is scheduled from April 30-May 2, 2023. Please email us at should you have interest attending next year or add yourself to the interest list to get the latest updates from ACEP:

Wisconsin Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians
563 Carter Court, Suite B
Kimberly, WI 54136
920-750-7725 |

© Wisconsin Chapter, ACEP. All rights reserved.