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Visit www.legis.wisconsin.gov to find information on specific legislation including authors, supporters, amendments, and other details. Simply enter the bill number in the “Find a Proposal” box. 


Mental Health Legislative Updates: 2015-16 Legislative Session

 

SB 293 – Creating of Behavioral Health Care Coordination Pilot Programs in MA – authored by Senator Leah Vukmir and Representative Mary Czaja (signed into law as Act 153).

AB 709 – Creating Income Tax Deduction for Psychiatrists practicing in WI – authored by Representative Paul Tittl and Senator Luther Olsen (died in Assembly). WPA supported.

AB 713 – Limiting Prior Authorization Requirements for MA Mental Health Care Services – authored by Senator Shelia Harsdorf and Representative Nancy VanderMeer. WPA supported.

AB 784 – provided $50,000 funding for Alzheimer’s & Dementia research at UW-Madison. 

AB 791 – Requiring CBRF’s to have signed acknowledgement prior to administration of “psychotropic medications” to patients with “degenerative brain disorders.” WPA felt these terms were too broad, but they are identical to terms utilized for similar longstanding requirements for Nursing Homes. WPA weighed in with Rep. Mike Rohrcaste, (author) who has pledged to discuss with WPA addressing use of these terms as they relate to both CBRFs and Nursing Homes.

A second round of ten bills were introduced by Representative John Nygren (following on 7 HOPE bills passed last session) to continue the fight against Heroin and Opioid abuse.

AB 364 – PDMP Reporting Requirements (Passed both houses)

AB 365 – Law Enforcement Officers duty to report to PDMP (Passed both houses)

AB 366 – Pain Clinic Certification Requirements (Passed both houses)

AB 367 – Methadone Program Reporting Requirements (Passed both houses)

AB 427 – Opioid Antagonists (signed as Act 115 by Governor Walker)

AB 657 – Treatment & Diversion Program funding

AB 658 – Masking Agents

AB 659 – Opioid Treatment Programs

AB 660 – Guidelines for Controlled Substance Prescribing


Mental Health Legislative Updates: 2014-15 Legislative Session

AB 51 -  Relating to creating family treatment court and juvenile treatment court grant programs in the department of children and families and making an appropriation.

AB 90 - This bill reorganizes each chapter of the criminal procedure code, with the exception of chapter 973, Sentencing. This analysis is organized in the ascending order of the chapters, as reorganized in the bill. This bill creates subchapters in long chapters, separates long statutes into shorter statutes, reorganizes individual statutes, and provides titles for some provisions. This bill also creates new authority for courts and codifies some current practices. Under this bill, chapter 967 contains definitions of terms used throughout the criminal procedure code and general provisions that, under current law, appear throughout the criminal procedure code. The bill also adds definitions for certain terms including complaint," district attorney," felony," misdemeanor," motion," and sentencing."

AB 120 - Under current law, a licensed pharmacist may make therapeutic alternate drug selections, if made in accordance with written guidelines or procedures (a formulary) previously established by: 1) a pharmacy and therapeutics committee of a hospital and approved by the hospital's medical staff, for patients in a hospital; or 2) a quality assessment and assurance committee of a nursing home, for patients in a nursing home. The use of the therapeutic alternate drug selection must have been approved for a patient during the period of the patient's stay within the hospital or nursing home by the patient's attending physician, physician assistant, or, in the case of a hospital, the patient's advanced practice nurse prescriber. This bill creates a Corrections System Formulary Board (board) in the Department of Corrections (DOC).

SB 28 - This bill permits an individual who is of sound mind, is not incapacitated, is at least 18 years of age, is a resident of Wisconsin, and has a terminal disease to request voluntarily medication from his or her attending physician for the purpose of ending the individual's life in a humane and dignified manner. The bill authorizes the individual's attending physician to issue a prescription for the medication if specified requirements are met. Further, the bill creates a statutory request for medication authorization form and requires that the Department of Health Services (DHS) prepare and provide copies of the form for distribution to certain facilities, associations, and persons. 

SB 84 - Under current law, a licensed pharmacist may make therapeutic alternate drug selections, if made in accordance with written guidelines or procedures (a formulary) previously established by: 1) a pharmacy and therapeutics committee of a hospital and approved by the hospital's medical staff, for patients in a hospital; or 2) a quality assessment and assurance committee of a nursing home, for patients in a nursing home. The use of the therapeutic alternate drug selection must have been approved for a patient during the period of the patient's stay within the hospital or nursing home by the patient's attending physician, physician assistant, or, in the case of a hospital, the patient's advanced practice nurse prescriber.


Mental Health Legislative Updates: 2013-14 Legislative Session

On February 6, 2013, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos created a bipartisan Task Force on Mental Health, charged with eliminating barriers to mental health treatment, improving coordination of care, and more. WPA participated in several Task Force hearings held in various locations testifying about needs within the mental health system, and offering several ideas for improvement. 

Assembly Bill 452 (the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program) begins the creation of a statewide remote consultation program to link primary care physicians with child psychiatric specialists.  With 38 bipartisan co-sponsors, AB 452 was signed into law on February 6, 2014 as 2013 Wisconsin Act 127.

Assembly Bill 453 (Mental Health Care Coordination—often referred to as "HIPAA Harmonization") improves the sharing of patient information among psychiatrists and other physicians to improve the coordination and quality of patient care. AB 453 was signed into law on April 8, 2014 as 2013 Wisconsin Act 238.

Assembly Bill 454 (the Primary Care and Psychiatric Shortage Grant Program) provides $1.5 million to fund grants to 12 psychiatrists and 12 primary care physicians ($62,500 each) who train in Wisconsin, and remain in Wisconsin to practice in underserved areas.  AB 454, boasting 46 bipartisan co-sponsors, was signed into law on February 6, 2014 as 2013 Wisconsin Act 128.

Other Legislation Impacting Physicians

Assembly Bill 139 (Informed Consent) was introduced in April 2013 in an effort to "reset" the notion of informed consent. AB 139 passed the full Legislature and was signed into law in December as 2013 Wisconsin Act 111.

Assembly Bill 120 (the “Physician Apology” bill) opens the door for more open, honest and empathic physician-patient communication. The bill, championed by Representative Erik Severson, MD faced stiff opposition from the trial bar and appeared dead late in session until nearly 200 physicians showed up for Doctor Day. AB 120 was signed into law on April 4, 2014 as 2013 Wisconsin Act 242.

Senate Bill 550 (Worker’s Compensation Fee Schedule) With unprecedented success, physicians joined forces with hospitals and others standing against the combined political strength of the insurance industry, business organizations and labor unions. The Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Advisory Council (consisting of representatives from labor and business) recommended the creation of fee schedules for medical care provided within the Worker's Compensation system, threatening both access to and quality of patient care for injured workers. Through an intense and cooperative lobbying effort, Senate Bill 550 died in committee as the 2013-14 session came to a close.