Physician regulatory and electronic health record (EHR) burden were themes heard at the recent WHA Physician Leaders Council meeting. One of WHA’s 2018 goals is to develop an agenda that reduces burden impacting physician and professional practice, and identifies strategies to reduce physician time spent on non-clinical work.
Special guest presentation on physician burnout and EHRs
WHA invited Wisconsin Medical Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, to discuss the Society’s updated findings on physician burnout. Dr. Chumbley focused much of his attention on EHR’s role in contributing to physician burnout, and a key takeaway of Chumbley’s presentation is a need for EHR vendors to begin designing their products to be more focused on promoting physician well-being.
WHA chief medical officer survey
The Council provided input on a draft WHA chief medical officer (CMO) survey that will be sent out to WHA member CMOs this summer. As one of WHA’s 2018 Board-approved goals, the survey will help further guide and refine WHA’s integrated physician advocacy, education efforts and physician leader support.
One important goal of the survey is identifying specific regulatory burden challenges facing physicians. The survey will also address physician leaders’ evolving scopes of responsibility, changing medical leadership structures within our organizations, and emerging needs and challenges facing physician leaders.
Physician assistant scope of practice proposed legislation
WHA was recently approached by the Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants (WAPA) regarding legislation they would like to introduce in 2019 to change the existing supervision relationship between a physician assistant and a physician, among other things. The Council discussed key items in the proposal that could affect health systems and physicians. While the Council identified regulatory changes addressed (and not addressed) in the proposal that could appropriately reduce physician oversight burden of physician assistants, the Council also identified concerns that portions of the draft bill would create a misalignment with federal payment policy, thus putting organizations at risk.
Physician health program
WHA staff provided an update on emerging conversations regarding re-establishing a statutory physician health program. The Council reaffirmed its recommendations based upon a similar 2015 proposal. Staff told the Council the discussions are in an early stage and WHA will continue to engage the Council as discussions progress.
Update on Supreme Court decision on constitutionality of noneconomic damage cap
WHA staff provided an update on the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Ascaris Mayo v. IPFCF regarding the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s non-economic damage cap in medical liability cases. The Council discussed the importance of the cap on Wisconsin’s ability to recruit and retain physicians to Wisconsin communities and its impact on physician workforce and access to care.