2018 WISAM Conference              

Latest News

  • January 22, 2018 1:41 PM | Deleted user

    WI Health News

    Gov. Scott Walker signed two executive orders that are part of a series of new recommendations offered by his task force charged with tackling the opioid epidemic.

    One of Walker’s orders creates the Governor’s Commission on Substance Abuse Treatment Delivery, which will study whether Wisconsin should adopt a “hub-and-spoke” delivery model for substance abuse disorder treatment.

    The model involves regional “hubs” that serve as resource centers for addiction treatment and “spokes” in the community that provide recovery support for patients as well as referrals to more intensive services.

    “Too many Wisconsin families feel the painful effects of this crisis every day,” Walker said in a Friday statement. “Through the guidance and recommendations of the task force, we've created reforms that will open the door to the best treatment outcomes for patients and their families.”

    An additional order signed by Walker directs the Department of Health Services to convene a faith-based summit on opioids for pastors, priests and those involved in faith-based organizations.

    Under the order, DHS will work with the Law Enforcement Standards Board to develop best practices around how law enforcement and first responder should treat situations involving opioids.

    The order directs DHS to apply for a federal grant to develop software that tracks treatment capacity for substance abuse services, create uniform statewide standards on data submission for people seeking treatment, work with the Department of Corrections to facilitate continuity of care for offenders reentering the community and review Medicaid prior authorization rules to ease access to buprenorphine, an opioid-addiction treatment drug.

    The Department of Children and Families will also have to revise some of its programs and standards to better document and track substance abuse problems in child welfare cases. And the state patrol and Capitol Police will have to use software aiming to ensure accuracy and timely reporting for overdoses.

    The order calls on the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse to continue its work. Both executive orders come from recommendations in a Friday report by task force co-chairs Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette. The recommendations build on previous actions by the Legislature and Walker's administration.

    “Wisconsin is leading the way,” the co-chairs wrote in their Friday report. “Our kids and communities deserve nothing less.”

    The report recommends that the state:

    ·     Expand Department of Children and Families programs that help at-risk youth.

    ·     Clarify state law so that schools have to teach students about prescription drug abuse.

    ·     Create a fund to provide grants to state and local agencies to expand efforts to fight against illegal drugs.

    ·     Add two regional drug resource prosecutors to Department of Justice field offices in Wausau and Green Bay.

    ·     Support the use of victim impact panels, a sentencing tool for judges in drunken driving cases, that involve people in recovery or family members of overdose victims.

    ·     Encourage the adoption of software allowing police departments to participate in a nationwide database that tracks overdose data.

    ·     Analyze the use of technology in Milwaukee County that aims to help law enforcement and medical examiners process overdose cases faster.

    ·     Require all prescribing professionals to have continuing education requirements specific to controlled substances.

    ·     Provide one-time funding to the Department of Children and Families to develop internet-based training resources on the opioid epidemic for county-based social services and veterans service staff.

    ·     Look into reciprocity for mental health and substance abuse professionals with other states.

    ·     Fund graduate nursing education to reduce wait lists and increase class sizes at the University of Wisconsin's mental health nursing program.

    ·     Incorporate recommendations from the agreed-upon bill from the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council that help expand coverage for addiction treatment.

    ·     Clarify state law so that nurse practitioners and physician assistants can prescribe buprenorphine even if their supervising physician can't.

    ·     Provide $1 million to launch a pilot project providing Vivitrol, which targets drug abuse, to individuals with substance use disorder whom are leaving jail.

    ·     Revise Wisconsin law that targets pregnant mothers with substance abuse disorder.

    ·     Pass a bill expanding drug courts to juvenile courts and create a fund to support such efforts.

    ·     Pass a bill clarifying standards around people with drug convictions seeking occupational licensures.

    Read the report. 

  • January 12, 2018 11:52 AM | Deleted user
    Premier survey shows executives at U.S. health systems are prioritizing their response to the crisis because technology may be among the most important tools to manage it.
    By Mike Miliard
    01:02 PM

    As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the United States, hospitals and health systems are on the front lines of the battle. Commanding majorities of C-suite leaders say their organizations see the epidemic as one of their top priorities – and are marshaling technology resources to help fight it.

    A new survey from Premier shows that 90 percent of execs from member health systems are focusing on the opioid crisis as an imperative for 2018. Hospital leaders are focusing their efforts on assessing patients to evaluate their pain levels upon admission, educating their staff about resources for safe opioid use and exploring alternative methods for pain relief, the study shows.

    Patient education is key too, of course, and health systems are focusing on engaging those patients on smart pain management treatment and safe use of opioids. They're also collaborating with state, local and community partners.

    But in the opioid battle, technology may be among the most important tools: Health systems are increasingly relying on advanced clinical decision support, automated patient alerts, e-prescribing practices and continuous electronic monitoring of patient-controlled analgesia, according to Premier.

    Premier CEO Susan DeVore said Premier’s members are striving to improve pain management issues to reduce misuse and addiction. 

    To that end, Premier offers its members medication surveillance tools that can give them real-time alerts on high-risk drugs and dangerous drug-drug interactions, monitoring patients who are prescribed high-dose or long-acting/extended-release opioids. The technology also offers advice and recommendations for co-prescribing naloxone and feature educational tools for patient and families who may need to administer naloxone in cases of overdose.

    Those hospitals taking part in Premier’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, meanwhile – it's part of the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services Partnership for Patients program – are also participating in an initiative to measurably improve pain management among providers, clinicians and patients/families.

    Premier also recently launched its Safer Post-operative Pain Management pilot program, with more than 30 hospitals working together to redesign care delivery processes to better manage pain and the potential for drug addiction.

    The alliance has also published a Safer Pain Management Toolkit for its 3,750 hospitals and 130,000 provider members. If provides a repository of all Premier group purchasing contracts, suppliers, services and programs in the pain management space and allows members to search for alternative therapies, devices that monitor oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to avoid respiratory-related side effects and infection prevention treatments to improve the immune system’s response to opioids.

    The toolkit also offers analytics on opioid visits, utilization and prescribing practices in the emergency department at nearly 650 Premier hospitals, allowing other providers to benchmark themselves against against national data.

    Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
    Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

  • January 09, 2018 1:01 PM | Deleted user

    More than 80 percent of Wisconsin counties are suing opioid manufacturers for alleged aggressive and fraudulent marketing of painkillers.

    Twelve additional counties joined the lawsuit Friday, bringing the total number of Wisconsin counties suing drugmakers to 60. The lawsuit is being led by Milwaukee-based Crueger Dickinson and Simmons Hanly Conroy, a law firm with offices throughout the country.

    The counties allege that drug companies pursued a deceptive marketing campaign that's led local governments to spend millions fighting the opioid epidemic. The drug companies, which include Purdue Pharma, deny wrongdoing.

    Simmons Hanly Conroy has launched similar lawsuits in Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, New York and Pennsylvania

  • January 04, 2018 12:20 PM | Deleted user

    Share Your Story!

    Be a Part of the #WhyITreatAddiction Campaign. Share Your Story!

    ASAM would like to hear your story about why you treat addiction.​ Between now and January 31st, share your story and enter the chance to be featured in a possible ASAM national campaign.

    Share now!

    • While we would love to hear all stories, selected winners must be current 2018 members of ASAM.
    • Stories are limited to 200 words or less.
    • Every story must start with “I treat addiction because...” (This does not count towards the word count.)
    • Selected winners will be notified by email.

    Disclaimer: If your story is selected, we may require a high-quality photograph of you to accompany your story. Winning stories will go through a editing and vetting process and are subject to minor changes which will be sent for your approval before any publication. The winning stories will be shared publicly, and further participant background information may be required.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • January 04, 2018 12:18 PM | Deleted user

    For Immediate Release

    January 4, 2018

    Contact: Jennifer Miller/Elizabeth Goodsitt (608) 266-1683

    DHS Announces New Substance Use Treatment Options in High Need Areas

    Four grants issued to expand services for treatment of opioid and methamphetamine addiction

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has awarded grants to four organizations to establish treatment services for opioid and methamphetamine addictions in areas of the state most in need of help. 

    “Accessible addiction services are a vital part of our plan to treat Wisconsin’s opioid and methamphetamine problems,” said DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “People who are struggling with the chronic disease of addiction need supports close to home, to help them manage their recovery. This investment moves us closer to our vision of everyone living their best life.” 

    View the entire news release.

  • January 03, 2018 6:32 PM | Deleted user

    For Immediate Release

    January 3, 2018

    Contact: Jennifer Miller/Elizabeth Goodsitt (608) 266-1683

    DHS Announces New Grants to Support Graduate Medical Education

    The Medical Residency Programs help increase access to health care in rural and underserved areas

    Grants totaling more than $2.9 million to support development of three new residency programs and eight new resident positions in current programs were announced today by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Launched in July 2014, the DHS Graduate Medical Education (GME) Initiative builds on numerous partnerships among hospitals and clinics, health systems and academic institutions to expand graduate medical education (GME) and helps  ensure access to quality health care in rural and other underserved areas of the state.

    View the entire news release.


  • January 02, 2018 11:53 AM | Deleted user
    December 20, Wisconsin Health News

    An Assembly committee is planning to take up a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would allow providers in free and charitable clinics to apply for a loan forgiveness program that now targets those working in underserved areas.

    The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health administers the program for those who practice in federally-designated shortage areas for healthcare providers or for federally qualified health centers. The bill would add workers at free and charitable clinics to that list.

    Under the program, physicians and dentists working 32 hours a week for three years are eligible to have up to $50,000 of their loans repaid. Physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, dental hygienists and nurse practitioners who work the same amount of time may receive up to $25,000 in loan forgiveness.

    Sara Nichols, executive director of Open Arms Free Clinic in Elkhorn, told lawmakers at a public hearing last week that they recently received a federal grant to hire a dentist and dental hygienist.

    “We can’t hire a hygienist,” she said. “We can’t find them. We have no carrot to wave because we have no loan forgiveness program.”

    Lake Area Free Clinic in Oconomowoc recently opened its own dental clinic and is planning to hire two full-time dentists, according to Medical Director Dr. Peter Geiss.

    “We’re not really competitive right now, and it’s difficult for us to hire dentists as well as dental hygienists,” he said. The bill “would help us dramatically,” he said.

    Katherine Gaulke, Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics executive director, said they pursued the legislation in part because the Department of Health Services ended a waiver that allowed dentists to volunteer and serve BadgerCare patients in free clinics without having to be certified by the program.

    “We just want to get on an even playing field with the other partners in the safety net,” she said.

    The program now serves around 20 out of 50 applicants a year, said John Eich, director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.

    The proposal doesn’t add new money to the program, and Eich said that additional applicants would be judged “on equal footing” with existing applicants.

    He doesn’t anticipate seeing many additional applicants under the bill as it’s “very unusual” for providers to volunteer that amount of time or be paid by a clinic. 

  • December 18, 2017 1:49 PM | Deleted user

    The Wisconsin Partnership Program has awarded almost $400,000 in two-year grants to eight projects in the state, according to a recent statement.

    They’re the first set of projects awarded through the program’s Community Catalyst Grant Program.

    The grants were:

    ·     $50,000 to WisconsinEye to create and distribute curriculum for a documentary featuring young Wisconsinites sharing their stories of opioid and heroin addiction and recovery.

    ·     $50,000 to Great Lakes Dryhootch to support development of an online space to provide peer-based mental healthcare to veterans.

    ·     $38,500 to Nehemiah Community Development Corporation to create a University of Wisconsin class on providing healthcare to incarcerated individuals.

    ·     $50,000 to the Milwaukee Inter-City Congregation Allies for Hope and Leaders Igniting Transformation to improve opportunities for Milwaukee youth at risk of expulsion and incarceration.

    ·     $50,000 to complete development of HealthConnect.Link, a website that aims to help residents of Dane, Rock and Sauk counties access healthcare and social services.

    ·     $50,000 to Centro Hispano of Dane County to create an educational program to train community health workers on how to reduce health disparities affecting Latina postpartum women.

    ·     $50,000 to Supporting Families Together Association to address health inequities associated with childhood abuse and neglect.

    ·     $50,000 to expand Wood County’s River Riders Bike Share Program.

  • December 18, 2017 1:45 PM | Deleted user

    The state Department of Justice continues to investigate the role pharmaceutical manufacturers played in creating the opioid epidemic.

    Attorney General Brad Schimel announced in June that he was working with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in an ongoing investigation. He said Friday that they recently subpoenaed five drugmakers.

    About two-thirds of Wisconsin counties have sued opioid manufacturers alleging that their marketing practices helped the epidemic. The companies have denied the allegations.

    Two Democratic senators called on Schimel to hold drug companies accountable last month. 

  • December 14, 2017 4:22 PM | Deleted user

    December 13, 2017

    Dear Partners:

    nidamed_FB_Tw_hands_prescription-bottle-11.28..jpgWe are excited to share the findings of a new study conducted within the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, which suggests that a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation show similar patient outcomes in the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) once the medications are initiated. As hypothesized, it was more difficult for active opioid users to initiate treatment with naltrexone, since using this drug requires complete detoxification.

    "The good news is we filled the evidentiary void, and also learned that, for those who were able to initiate treatment, the outcomes were essentially identical, as were adverse events," said John Rotrosen, M.D., the study lead investigator. "This gives patients the freedom to choose a treatment approach that best suits their lifestyle, goals, and wishes."

    More on OUD Treatment
    Visit the NIDAMED Treatment Information page for other OUD treatment study findings and for resources on opioid and drug addiction treatment for both clinicians and patients.

    Share the News!
    Please share this message with members, peers, and colleagues and visit NIDAMED for updates on on the rapidly evolving field of opioid treatment. If you would like sample promotional material (e.g., social media messages, graphics, or brief text) to share this information, please contact the NIDAMED coordinator, Michelle Corbin.

    With kind regards,


    Follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact WISAM

563 Carter Court, Suite B
Kimberly, WI 54136

Donate Today! 

Help fund WISAM
WISAM is funded in part by generous donations from patrons such as yourself.  Click here to make your donation today.  Your donation is tax deductable.

Copyright © 2018 WISAM All rights reserved.  | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

The Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM) is headquartered in Kimberly, WI.
Contact us today for more information about our organization!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software