Latest News

  • March 13, 2021 9:01 AM | Deleted user

    Bradley Burmeister, MD FACEP
    WACEP President

    Hello WACEP Members!

    I’m hoping this isn’t going to be an “in like a lamb, out like a lion" March! We’ve been pretty lucky, and I’ll be honest, I’m slightly bummed at the quickly deteriorating skiing conditions across the ski resorts in our state!

    WACEP continues to be very busy. We continue to follow multiple pieces of legislation moving through at the state level including: the proposed Medicaid reimbursement budget increase; proposed balanced billing legislation; the PA bill; many bills impacting EMS and more. I’m anticipating many updates over the next few months so will save you from information overload now, but obviously if you have questions, please reach out to us!

    Our most important update in the coming month is that our virtual annual meeting / Spring Symposium is April 8th! We have a great day planned full of education and networking, and I encourage everyone to join us if available! Sign up here.

    Another exciting transition is that the WACEP Board is planning an in-person meeting the morning of June 8th at Lambeau Field! If you are in the region or want to join us for the conversation or just the phenomenal view, Board meetings are open to all members. Just let us know if you plan to come and we’ll get you details!

    Thank you for your membership.


  • March 12, 2021 9:35 AM | Deleted user

    Barack Obama signed the CURES Act into law in 2016.  This 996 bill has many provisions that can be found online through ACEP, and also through HHS. This Act impacts Emergency Physicians in a number of ways and a brief review of the bill may be worth your time. 

    Throughout the past year, our institution has changed the default setting to share all emergency physician notes with certain exceptions.  This action has resulted in a handful of patient complaints or requests to change the medical record. 

    Here are some helpful hints that I have found through review of patient concerns. 

    Common Documentation or Pitfalls

    Considered Revision

    Patient is obese

    Patient’s BMI >30 or meets the medical criteria for obesity.

    Patient refused admission to the hospital

    After discussion of the risks and benefits of hospital admission the patient elected to continue treatment as an outpatient.  Patient is decision and understands they are at increased risk of myocardial infarction….  The patient is concerned if they are admitted there will be nobody to watch their children and they will get fired from their job.

    Patient appears SOB

    Patient is short of breath

    Patient refuses to take their medication

    Patient has difficulty affording medication, or has had difficulty tolerating pills…..

    Patient is paranoid and refuses to acknowledge

    Consider revising using direct quotes.  “The transmitters in my brain tells me the medication is the devil.” 

    Beware of just loading the macro

    Patients will likely notice when they come for an ankle sprain and you preload the heart, lung and full neuro exam.

    While this is not an exhaustive list, I think the take home message is that direct quotes and non-judgmental language will decrease concerns from patients and strengthen the quality of the medical record.  Knowing why the patient elected to be discharged, couldn’t take their medications, or providing direct quotes may even help other members of the care team give better care for the patient.  Medical records reflecting the compassionate and thoughtful care will build trust with the patient and result in more efficient care and better physician-patient relationships. 

    There may be a few instances in which the physician may not want a note visible to the patient.  Examples include forensic nurse evaluations or instances in which a mother’s spouse may not be the father of an infant.  Check with your institution on how to opt out of sharing notes. While guided by the CURES Act each institution has its own workflow. 

    Familiarizing ourselves with the CURES act in our daily practice our health system’s implementation will ensure the physician’s note reflects our commitment to safe and compassionate care.

  • March 02, 2021 5:27 PM | Deleted user

    The ACEP committee application process is now open to any member interested in joining a committee. The deadline to apply is May 1st.

    ACEP has more than 35 committees and task forces working on issues such as ethics, emergency medicine practice, pediatric emergency care, disaster medicine and more. Please consider volunteering—ACEP and emergency medicine need your experience and expertise. Committees provide important leadership to ACEP members, its Board and Council.

    EMRA members who are interested in serving as that organization's representative on an ACEP committee should also apply. The process is the same for resident and active members and you can expedite the process by using the online application. Residents and candidate applicants may provide a letter from their program directors and/or mentors as well.

    The majority of committee work is accomplished through e-mail and conference calls. Committee members are expected to attend the organizational meetings at the annual meeting in Boston, October 23-24, 2021. 

    Those not currently serving on a national ACEP committee will be required to submit a current CV to volunteer for a committee. Please attach your CV to the online form or mail it to ACEP headquarters. You may also want to submit a letter of support from the Wisconsin Chapter, ACEP.  

    Review the online application for details and to begin the process.  After completion of the form, you should receive an acknowledgement that your committee interest form has been submitted. Committee appointments will be finalized in late June. If appointed to an ACEP national committee, your appointment will not be considered final unless a completed Conflict of Interest form is submitted by the deadline. 

    Each Committee is appointed by the President to assist with activities for the year. Committee members serve for a specific period of time and are accountable to the President for achievement of assigned objectives. Task forces operate much like committees, but once their work is complete they are deactivated. 

    Questions may be directed to Mary Ellen Fletcher, CPC, CEDC, at 800-798-1822, ext. 3145, or 

  • February 23, 2021 2:58 PM | Deleted user

    WACEP Members,

    We have great news to report! Governor Evers included a proposed budget increase of over $5.2 million annually in his executive budget to improve Medicaid emergency services reimbursement rates in Wisconsin. WACEP has been advocating for this increase for over 20 years since our last consideration of an increase.

    As you probably know, the Wisconsin Medicaid program reimburses the worst in the country for our most commonly used E/M codes, and we have a lot of work to do to make this increase a reality. The budget proposal must go through the Joint Finance Committee and be approved by the full legislature over the next four months. 

    At this point, the budget provides an increase, however exactly how that increase would be operationalized (should it make it through the Legislature) would be determined by the Department of Health Services (DHS). We continue to work with the Administration to understand exactly what $5.2 million might look like to specific reimbursement coding. Obviously WACEP will continue to work with the state should this budget item make it through the earmark.  

    It’s important to know that while the Governor included this funding in his budget, it has a long way to go before it becomes reality. With certainty, we will need YOUR help over the coming months to contact your legislators to help ensure that this item remains in the budget. 

    As we learn more and work out details of the specific ask to your individual legislators, there are two things you can consider doing now. First would be to send a “thank you” to the Governor: 

    Phone: 608-266-1212
    Mail:  The Honorable Tony Evers, Governor of Wisconsin
    115 East, State Capitol
    Madison WI 53702

    Second, please consider attending Doctor Day on May 5th, which will be virtual. While Doctor Day addresses issues pertinent to all physicians, this could be a great opportunity for you to meet with your legislators during what is anticipated to be a key time in the budget process. Notably, attending Doctor Day should not supplant other grassroot efforts (calls, meetings, letter writing) during the budget process, but the additional exposure and participation could be very helpful.

    Finally, thank you for your membership in Wisconsin ACEP. You give a voice to Emergency Medicine in Wisconsin. Should you find yourself interested in helping our organization continue to build relationships please consider giving to our PAC or recruiting a colleague to ACEP/WACEP membership.

    Please know that our physician legislative committee members and advocacy team are monitoring developments daily. Stay tuned for additional updates. 


    Brad Burmeister, MD, FACEP, WACEP President
    Lisa Maurer, MD, FACEP, WACEP Legislative Committee Chair

  • February 10, 2021 1:34 PM | Deleted user

    This morning, Governor Evers announced important proposals he will include in his Executive Budget, scheduled to be introduced next week. Included are several proposals specifically aimed at reforming crisis intervention and emergency detention—all of which are a direct result of ongoing work of the WPA/WACEP Emergency Psych Task Force as part of a collaborative workgroup with the Badger State Sheriffs, Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association, and the Wisconsin Counties Association.   

    While these proposals are only the first steps in the biennial budget process and must go through both the Joint Finance Committee and the full Legislature, WACEP is thankful both for the Governor’s leadership and recognition of these shared challenges, and the work of the Emergency Psych Task Force for bringing these proposals and important issues to the forefront.  

    Read Gov. Evers' Budget Proposal Press Release

  • February 09, 2021 2:31 PM | Deleted user

    Bradley Burmeister, MD FACEP
    WACEP President

    February is always my favorite month. This February seems extra special: we have vaccines for COVID, COVID numbers are down, and the days are getting longer and longer.

    I think, though, we have another glimmer of hope in our ongoing push for fair reimbursement from the Medicaid program. The state is projected to have a more than $600 million Medicaid surplus (partly due to increased federal funding related to COVID). WACEP has been making the case to the Governor and Legislature for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates. Having essentially the lowest reimbursement rates in the country for Emergency services and having not seen an increase in decades, WACEP continues to advocate for fair increase. This is hopefully the prime opportunity for us to move forward. We may need your help, so stay tuned—we’ll let you know if there becomes a time where we need your grassroots help!

    In the meantime, save the date for these two important advocacy opportunities:

    May 5: Wisconsin Doctor Day (virtual)  Visit to sign up. Meet with your state legislator and/or their staff at the state level. Building relationship is incredibly important. Although the exact legislative priorities we will advocate are still to be determined it would be nice to have a good representation of Emergency physicians. 

    July 25-27: ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference (LAC) Visit to learn more. Meet with your federal legislators and/or their staff. This might be virtual, it might be in person, it might be a hybrid! For now, save the date!

    Also, don’t forget about our own WACEP 2021 Spring Symposium on April 8. It’ll be virtual this year and is always a great opportunity to learn and network with your peers. Register today!

    And finally, how can Wisconsin ACEP help you? If you have any questions, concerns or needs, please do not hesitate to reach out! My email is

  • February 09, 2021 1:05 PM | Deleted user

    The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) sponsors an annual educational conference on leadership.  Because of the pandemic, this year's conference will be split into a half-day of online talks on March 12, and then two half-days of in-person talks and discussion on September 14 and 15, 2021.  

    WHA welcomes physicians in leadership positions, and especially those physicians with a developing interest in leadership, to participate in the conference. 

    Learn more and register. Be sure to click on the featured presenter tab near the top pf the web page to see the outstanding group of speakers for this conference.

  • February 09, 2021 12:02 PM | Deleted user

    Businesses, frontline workers, and communities from across the state have come together this past year to help slow the spread of COVID-19. As many await vaccines, and our health care providers battle new strains, we can’t let our guard down now.

    The most recent public education message from the Stop the COVID Spread! coalition urges Wisconsinites to remain vigilant in the continuing fight against COVID-19, stressing the importance of continuing to practice key, simple measures like wearing face masks, social distancing, and washing hands regularly. 

    WACEP is proud to be part of the “Stop the Covid Spread!” coalition, a group of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, education, and advocacy organizations who have all joined together in the effort to urge the public to step up and take preventative measures seriously. The coalition has grown dramatically since its launch and now includes over 135 Wisconsin organizations. 

    We’ve come a long way together but the fight’s not over yet! You can learn more about the coalition and how we all need to stay vigilant to help stop the spread:  Please join us in sharing this crucial message with your friends and family!

  • February 03, 2021 8:20 AM | Deleted user

    While Doctor Day 2021 has shifted to a virtual format, the May 5th event promises to offer equally important hot topics and content.

    This year’s policy and politics panel will include members of the powerful budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance.  Committee co-chairs Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) will be joined by their Democrat colleagues Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point).  

    You will hear a first-hand account of important budget topics, and during the middle of budget negotiations. This includes policy related to the Department of Health Services and funding for the Medicaid Program. This is a great opportunity to hear differing views on policy and spending priorities for the 2021-23 Biennial Budget and current legislative session.

    Other components of the day will again include policy breakouts, priority issue briefings, a keynote presentation and of course, legislative visits.

    Whether you’ve attended many advocacy days in prior years or none at all, be sure to sign up for Doctor Day 2021 and make your voices heard! The unique multi-specialty nature of Wisconsin's Doctor Day offers all physicians across the state from all specialties to come together and advocate for issues affecting their patients, their practices and their specialty.  Learn more and sign up at

  • January 28, 2021 1:36 PM | Deleted user

    EMRA is looking for faculty for its Virtual Medical Student Forum taking place on Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 9:30 am to 12:45 pm CDT. Interested faculty should apply by February 1.

    The EMRA Medical Student Forum is free to all EMRA medical student members. It brings together program directors and faculty to answer questions specific to your phase in training. General sessions answer big-picture topics, and breakout sessions per year to target exactly where you are in your training.