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  • 19 Nov 2020 7:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Wisconsin Healthcare Human Resources Association (WisHHRA) is now accepting nominations of any member in good standing interested in serving in leadership.

    The Board is calling for nominations for the following positions:

    • President-Elect
    • Secretary
    • At-Large Director

    Expectations of Officers and Board - All Officers and Directors of the Board shall attend in person, or telephonically, at least 60% of all Board meetings on an annual basis. Region Directors shall participate in all activities of the Board of Directors. Each shall recommend to the President, members of his/her district for appointment to various committees of the organization, act as a resource to members within their district, and assist with planning conferences on a rotating basis.

    The President-elect shall, in the absence of, or because of the incapacity of the President, perform all duties and assume all responsibilities of the President.  He/she shall have the responsibility of recognizing contributions of Board members. This position serves 1 year, proceeds to serve as President for 2 years and then proceeds to Past-president for 1 year. Nominees must have previously served at least 1-term on the board to be eligible as an officer.

    The Secretary shall record the proceedings and prepare the minutes of the organization, which shall be available to the members for inspection. He/she shall maintain the supplies, minutes and official records of the organization and perform such other duties as may be necessary to coordinate and advance the organization's objectives as authorized by the Board of Directors. This position serves for two years.

    At-Large Directors are elected to 2-year terms and may serve up to 2 consecutive terms. 

    All terms begin January 1, 2021.

    Please click here to nominate yourself or a colleague online. Nominations are due by December 4, 2020.


  • 20 Jul 2020 10:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) invites you to attend a Medicaid Telehealth Expansion interactive webinar.

    Agenda

    This webinar will seek your response to DHS’s proposed launch of Wisconsin Act 56: Telehealth Expansion, which will significantly expand Wisconsin Medicaid’s permanent telehealth policy. The presentation will include the following items:

    1.       General overview of telehealth expansion
    2.       General policy information
    3.       Wave 1 priority acute and primary service areas:
    4.       Proposed services included in telehealth
    5.       Proposed services excluded from telehealth
    6.       Input from attendees

    Following the presentation, DHS will take questions from attendees via the DHS telehealth mailbox.

    How to join

    Thursday, July 30, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

    Click this URL to join; Password: 07302020

    Join by phone: 646-558-8656; Webinar ID #933 1403 1869

    Friday, July 31, 2:00-3:30 pm

    Click this URL to join; Password: 07312020.

    Join by phone: 646-558-8656; Webinar ID #999 9957 0817


  • 9 Jul 2020 10:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wisconsin Health News, July 9

    Wisconsin hospitals are asking that the federal government consider making temporary COVID-19 regulatory flexibilities, especially those that helped expand telehealth, permanent. 

    Bellin Health CEO Chris Woleske said they asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar about making the waivers permanent during his visit to Green Bay last month.

    Woleske said that keeping flexibility around licensing, emergency rooms and record keeping requirements beyond the pandemic would also be helpful. She said the waivers have played a vital role in meeting the needs of patients.

    Eric Borgerding, Wisconsin Hospital Association CEO, said that they’ll advocate at both state and federal levels to make recent flexibilities permanent.

    “The pandemic has shown that providers and patients have embraced the technology – utilization of telehealth has exploded since March,” he said in a statement. “Some healthcare systems have measured patient and provider satisfaction with telehealth visits and the reviews are consistently very positive.”

    WHA supports permanent changes for other pandemic-related flexibilities, including allowing out-of-state healthcare providers to practice in Wisconsin.

    Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., was among a bipartisan group of 38 senators who sent a letter last week to Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma asking for a plan and timeline for making the telehealth flexibilities permanent. 

    Congress, through its COVID-19 relief packages, provided HHS with the authority to waive telehealth requirements for the length of the federal public health emergency. The senators said they’ve heard from patients concerned the rules will be rolled back. 

    “Telehealth has been a lifeline to patients and providers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote

    A CMS spokesperson said the agency is reviewing the flexibilities granted during the emergency and determining what it can do under its regulatory authority once the emergency finishes. 

    The spokesperson said telehealth has been a crucial tool in the fight against COVID-19.

    The agency has in the past few months expanded telehealth aggressively, allowing for the use of virtual emergency room visits, letting doctors supervise clinical staff remotely and eliminating requirements that some visits be face to face. That’s led to a significant increase in visits, the spokesperson noted.

    “CMS Administrator Verma believes it is crystal clear that we need to continue to harness the power of telehealth,” they wrote. “Factors such as reimbursement and how we determine which telehealth services work best are going to continue to evolve.” 


  • 2 Jul 2020 9:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello fellow WisHHRA members! I hope that this finds you all healthy and enjoying this warm Wisconsin weather. As I write this a few days before the long holiday weekend, I reflect how much has changed for all of us over these last few months. While I am sometimes sad about things that were cancelled and delayed, I am also grateful for the extra time that I got to spend with my family. From a professional perspective, and as Human Resources professionals a lot has changed for us as well. I don’t think that I learned as much in my career as I did over the last few months of enduring a pandemic. We have had to provide support to our employees in ways we never thought we would as well as trying to manage the changing market which has impacted all of our health care systems in different ways. In many ways, our leadership teams have looked to the HR professionals to help them navigate through these difficult times and from what I can see, everyone has stepped up to meet those challenges.

    Now six months into my presidency, we have had to cancel our annual conference, which was saddening to me as I was really looking forward to connecting with many of you in-person. However, the Board is working through some alternative plans, which I hope will find new and exciting. More information will be coming in the next few months so please stayed tuned to your WisHHRA monthly messages. Please also take some time to respond to the survey that Badger Bay will be sending out shortly regarding what you would like to see as well as what topics you would like to spend some additional time talking about. In addition, I ask that you all please try to actively engage on our listserv. This is one of the many valuable things about being a WisHHRA member, the ability to share ideas and get feedback from your peers. There have been a lot of great questions posed as we all navigated through these new times together, and it always help to see what others are trying as well as what your organizations are doing as well.

    Finally, I would like to take an opportunity to wish Bree Clarksen from Badger Bay good luck in her new adventure. For those of you who don’t know Bree, she is the Association Director from Badger Bay, who assists us with the management of WisHHRA. She has been instrumental in our conference planning as well as assisting me with the tasks related to being the President. She has kept me on task, and also provided some great ideas to myself and the Board. She has been very easy to work with and has made my transition to President very easy.

    I hope that you all enjoy these next few summer months and all of the “excitement” that lies ahead. If there is ever anything that you would like to see in upcoming newsletters or activities that you would like us to consider or any thoughts related to WisHHRA, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Nicole.berlowski@phci.org. I would love to hear from you!

    Nicole

  • 9 May 2020 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Governor Tony Evers today announced Wisconsin’s new Battelle Memorial Institute Critical Care Decontamination System™ is now ready and available for use by the state’s health care workers and first responders to decontaminate their N95 respirators so they can be reused up to 20 times. The Battelle system decontaminates N95 respirators by killing viruses and bacteria using hydrogen peroxide gas, and will greatly extend the life of a vital piece of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    The Battelle system will be able to decontaminate up to 80,000 N95 respirators on a daily basis. It can decontaminate respirators up to 20 times without degrading filtration performance. The usual decontamination turnaround time for users is a maximum of 72 hours, plus shipping time, as long as the site is not over its capacity for use. The Battelle system can only decontaminate respirators, and not other items of PPE. It is also not authorized for use with respirators containing cellulose-based materials.

    Battelle decontamination services, including shipping, will be provided to Wisconsin healthcare organizations and professionals free of charge. Eligible healthcare providers include, but are not limited to, hospitals, nursing homes, public health professionals, human and child protective services offices, emergency managers, first responders, coroners, medical examiners, law enforcement and correctional institutions, home health organizations, pharmacists, rural health services and dental offices.

    The new Battelle system highlights decontamination efforts ongoing throughout Wisconsin to try to ensure that health care workers and first responders can be as safe as possible when performing their duties.

    With all of the decontamination efforts underway in Wisconsin, health care workers and first responders are being asked to save their used PPE supplies for decontamination. Throughout the past couple of weeks, outreach efforts were conducted to inform health care workers and first responders on how to sign up for the Battelle system decontamination service, and ensure their masks are safely returned to them.

    Through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the State of Wisconsin received the Battelle system this week. Battelle developed the system in 2015 to help decontaminate PPE to prevent further spread of Ebola. The Columbus, Ohio company is currently deploying the system to 60 different sites across the nation.

    Beyond the Battelle system, other decontamination efforts in Wisconsin include UV decontamination sites. These sites service N95 respirators as well as other types of PPE, such as face shields, gowns, and aprons. UV decontamination facilities are currently operating in much of Wisconsin, highlighted by sites in Brown, Dane, Kenosha, and Sawyer counties.

    In addition to statewide decontamination efforts, Wisconsin continues to work on building up its stockpile of PPE supplies. Last week Wisconsin received a delivery of 230,000 N95 respirators from FEMA. Gov. Evers continues to request more of these supplies to meet Wisconsin’s pressing need.

    The full press release from the Governor is available online (link).

  • 20 Apr 2020 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    Governor Evers today announced Wisconsin's "Badger Bounce Back" plan which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. In coordination with this announcement, at the direction of the governor, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #31 establishing the process and outlining the phases of the plan. The emergency order is available here.

    The Badger Bounce Back plan is informed in part by the President's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again that was issued by the White House on April 16, 2020. Currently, Wisconsin does not meet the criteria the White House established to start reopening our state. The Badger Bounce Back plan takes important steps to get the state of Wisconsin there. 

    The goal of the Badger Bounce Back plan is to decrease cases and deaths to a low level, and increase capacity in our healthcare system so the phased reopening of businesses is possible. As part of that plan the state will be working to increase access to more testing and expand lab capacity. Under the Badger Bounce Back plan, everyone who needs a test should get a test. The state is setting a goal of 85,000 tests per week, averaging about 12,000 tests per day. More information on the state's testing efforts was released earlier today, and is available for review 
    here.

    Next, the state will be expanding contact tracing and more aggressively tracking the spread with the goal of every Wisconsinite who tests positive being interviewed within 24 hours of receiving their test results and their contacts being interviewed within 48 hours of test results.


    Additionally, the state will continue to pursue every avenue to grow Wisconsin’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare and public safety entities to conduct COVID-19 testing, patient care, and public safety work. Finally, the plan works to bolster healthcare system capacity where patients can be treated without crisis care and there are more robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers. 

    The state will be looking for a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 symptoms reported within a 14-day period, and a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period. When the state has seen these efforts be successful, Wisconsin can begin to turn the dial, re-open the state, and get businesses and workers back on their feet.

    The Badger Bounce Back plan is available here. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s portion of the Badger Bounce Back plan aimed at helping to ensure workers and businesses are prepared and ready to bounce back is available here. The Badger Bounce Back plan in brief is also available here.


  • 16 Apr 2020 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Governor Evers today directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to extend the Safer at Home order from April 24, 2020 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. The order implements some new measures to ensure safety and support the progress we've made in containing COVID-19, but also allows certain activities to start up again.

    The extension of the Safer at Home order includes a few changes. Some changes allow more businesses and activities to open back up, while other changes help make businesses safer for employees and customers.

    The changes in this order go into effect on April 24, 2020. The order will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on May 26, 2020.

    The order is available online (link).  The Governor’s full press release is also available online (link).


  • 15 Apr 2020 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    The State Legislature passed, and the Governor has signed, the state's COVID-19 response package, which includes liability immunity provisions. A late amendment broadens the measure and ensures there is no ambiguity about protections applying to COVID and non-COVID patients alike. 

    The legislation also includes provisions that will help the state draw down additional federal dollars for Medicaid as well as a provision related to out of network billing.  

    Below is the liability immunity language as adopted.

    SECTION 98. 895.4801 of the statutes is created to read:

    895.4801 Immunity for health care providers during COVID-19 emergency.

    (1) DEFINITIONS. In this section:

    (a) “Health care professional” means an individual licensed, registered, or certified by the medical examining board under subch. II of ch. 448 or the board of nursing under ch. 441.

    (b) “Health care provider” has the meaning given in s. 146.38 (1) (b) and includes an adult family home, as defined in s. 50.01 (1).

    (2) IMMUNITY. Subject to sub. (3), any health care professional, health care provider, or employee, agent, or contractor of a health care professional or health care provider is immune from civil liability for the death of or injury to any individual or any damages caused by actions or omissions that satisfy all of the following:

    (a) The action or omission is committed while the professional, provider, employee, agent, or contractor is providing services during the state of emergency declared under s. 323.10 on March 12, 2020, by executive order 72, or the 60 days following the date that the state of emergency terminates.

    (b) The actions or omissions relate to health services provided or not provided in good faith or are substantially consistent with any of the following:

    1. Any direction, guidance, recommendation, or other statement made by a federal, state, or local official to address or in response to the emergency or disaster declared as described under par. (a). 
    2. Any guidance published by the department of health services, the federal department of health and human services, or any divisions or agencies of the federal department of health and human services relied upon in good faith.

    (c) The actions or omissions do not involve reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct.

    (3) APPLICABILITY. This section does not apply if s. 257.03, 257.04, 323.41, or 323.44 applies. 


  • 10 Apr 2020 9:36 AM | Anonymous

    Governor Evers announced that the state is seeking volunteers to support Wisconsin's healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Active and retired healthcare professionals and those who wish to help in non-clinical support positions are encouraged to sign up to volunteer through the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR)

    The number of patients in Wisconsin who need to be treated for COVID-19 is expected to surge in the coming weeks. Building a network of available volunteers now will greatly reduce the hardships on hospitals and clinics that would not normally have the capacity to care for the increase in patients. 

    Both active and retired healthcare professionals can volunteer for critical clinical roles by entering their information into the WEAVR, a secure, password-protected, web-based volunteer registration system for healthcare and behavioral health professionals. Individuals who are not licensed professionals are also encouraged to sign up to volunteer for non-clinical support positions.

    Volunteers will be assigned to locations across Wisconsin to support ongoing efforts related to the COVID-19 national emergency. Those who are willing to travel should note that when they sign up. All volunteers should also be aware that they will be required to complete a background check.

    The full copy of the Governor’s press release is available online (link).


  • 3 Apr 2020 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    The Department of Health Services announced the creation of the Resilient Wisconsin Initiative (website) on Friday, which provides Wisconsinites with resources to cope with stress and mental health challenges from COVID-19.

    DHS recommends that Wisconsinites do the following:

    ·         Get the three goods. That’s good-for-you foods, a good night’s sleep, and a good amount of exercise every day.

    ·         Stay connected to your support system. Reach out to family and friends, colleagues, and community groups in whatever way you can—calls, texts, video chats, and more.

    ·         Spend time away from focusing on COVID-19. Don’t let the pandemic take over what you read, watch, or talk about. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to talk about something else.

    ·         Reduce anxiety by reducing your risk. Stay safer at home. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Stay at least 6 feet apart while running essential errands at the store, pharmacy, or gas station. Knowing you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy can help you worry less.

    ·         Check in with yourself. Everyone’s reaction to stress is different. Difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritability, fatigue, and even stomachaches can be normal. But if you find you are overwhelmed or having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, reach out for help right away. Text HOPELINE to 741741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


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