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  • Friday, September 30, 2022 11:38 AM | WiSCAadmin (Administrator)

    Just a few days after Marquette Law School Poll pollster Charles Franklin presented at the WISCA annual forum in Stevens Point, he released the latest version of the Marquette University Law School Poll. It shows a tight statewide race between Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and his Republican challenger, construction executive Tim Michels. Among likely voters, 47 percent said they support Gov. Evers, while 44 percent support Michels. The margin of error for likely voters was 4.9 percent.

    The previous Marquette poll, conducted immediately following the August 9 primary election, similarly showed Gov. Evers leading Michels 48-44 among likely voters. A handful of other polls conducted post-primary have shown the incumbent with an advantage of zero to three points, within each poll’s margin of error.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is running for a third term against Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D). The September Marquette poll showed Sen. Johnson leading his challenger 49-48 among likely voters, a huge swing from the previous month’s poll that found Lt. Gov. Barnes ahead by seven percentage points, 52-45 among likely voters. Two other August polls found Barnes leading Johnson by two and four points among registered voters, but like the Marquette poll, September polls have found Johnson with a lead by as much as 4 points. 

    Both statewide races are attracting significant national attention and millions of dollars in candidate and third-party spending on advertising.

    Marquette University Law School plans to release two more statewide polls of Wisconsin voters before the general election on November 8.

    Statewide Candidates Schedule Debates

    The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) and WISN-TV will sponsor one gubernatorial debate between Michels and Gov. Evers on Friday, October 14. The debate is expected to begin at 7 PM local time and last for about an hour. It will be moderated by Jill Geisler, a media professor at Loyola University Chicago and former Milwaukee-area TV news director. A panel of television and radio journalists will provide questions for the candidates. The debate will be available for broadcast by all WBA member stations.

    The managers of the Evers and Michels campaigns released a joint statement about the debate: “There are plenty of differences between the two candidates, but we agree that voters deserve this opportunity to hear directly from each candidate. This will be the only debate between the candidates before the November election.”

    This is the fewest number of gubernatorial debates since 1998. From 2002 to 2018, the major party candidates for governor debated one another two to four times during the general election.

    So far, Sen. Johnson and Lt. Gov. Barnes have also agreed to participate in one debate, sponsored by WTMJ, WisPolitics, and the Milwaukee Business Journal. It will be held at Marquette University in Milwaukee on Thursday, October 13. WBA also proposed a debate between the U.S. Senate candidates on October 7; Johnson has accepted that invitation, while Barnes has yet to accept or decline. Meanwhile, Barnes plans to appear at an upcoming candidate forum hosted by the Main Street Alliance and the Wisconsin Farmers Union. Johnson has been invited but has not yet publicly responded.


  • Friday, September 30, 2022 11:37 AM | WiSCAadmin (Administrator)

    Sign-up to host a legislative tour of your ASC

    With the 2023-24 legislative session right around the corner, it is increasingly important for WISCA members to strengthen their relationships with key state lawmakers and candidates for state legislative office and educate them on the ASC model of care, the regulatory challenges we face, and the legislative solutions we need to increase access to affordable, quality care provided in the ASC setting.

    One of the best ways to do that is for members to invite their local legislators to tour their ASCs to illustrate firsthand the many benefits of surgery center care. These visits provide a tremendous advocacy opportunity, which is why WISCA members across the state have already hosted numerous successful legislative tours. But we need to maintain the enthusiasm for this critical grassroots advocacy program, and WISCA is excited and ready to set-up additional tours today.

    If you would like to host a legislative tour at your site, please contact the WISCA office at WISCA@badgerbay.co. We will work with you and your legislators to coordinate the meetings and will provide participating members with full support, including legislator/candidate bios, advocacy tips, issue briefings, and supporting documents.   


  • Friday, September 30, 2022 11:36 AM | WiSCAadmin (Administrator)

    WISCA’s committee structure allows the association to be productive and is essential to meeting our principal goals. Of course, member service is voluntary and can lead to significant committee turnover at times. In fact, the WISCA Legislative Committee already has a handful of vacancies and is facing more member resignations due to retirement. In short, WISCA actively recruiting new members to serve on the Legislative Committee.

    The WISCA Legislative committee is responsible for setting and communicating legislative priorities and policy positions that are representative of WISCA’s membership. The committee also works closely with WISCA’s professional lobbying/advocacy team to ensure that state and federal issues important to members are effectively communicated to policymakers.

    If you are interested in serving on the WISCA Legislative Committee, please contact he WISCA office at WISCA@badgerbay.co.


  • Friday, September 30, 2022 11:35 AM | WiSCAadmin (Administrator)

    The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act, federal legislation that would reform prior authorization in Medicare Advantage plans, was unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representative earlier this month and is now under further consideration by the Senate.

    Providing much-needed oversight and transparency while protecting beneficiaries from unnecessary care delays and denials, the bill would require Medicare Advantage plans to:

    ·         Establish an electronic prior authorization program.

    ·         Standardize and streamline the prior authorization process for routinely approved services, including establishing a list of services eligible for real-time prior authorization decisions.

    ·         Ensure prior authorization requests are reviewed by qualified medical personnel.

    ·         Increase transparency around Medicare Advantage prior authorization requirements and their use.

    Passage of this bipartisan bill was driven by more than 320 co-sponsors and over 500 endorsing organizations concerned over patient access to prompt care. In fact, a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General verified that some Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are inappropriately delaying and denying care.


  • Friday, September 30, 2022 11:35 AM | WiSCAadmin (Administrator)

    The latest Marquette University Law Poll, which was conducted earlier this month and released on September14, shows incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Tim Michels (R) remain in a very tight race for governor, and incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and current Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes in a statistical dead heat for U.S. Senate. In the August Marquette Poll, Barnes was up 7-ponts over Johnson. Please find below highlights of the poll:

    Wisconsin Governor’s Race:

    ·         Wisconsin Voters’ Preference for Governor:

    o   Governor Tony Evers (Democrat):  47%

    o   Tim Michels (Republicans):  44%

    o   Joan Beglinger (Independent):  5%

    NOTE:  Joan Beglinger ended her gubernatorial campaign on September 6, 2022 and endorsed Republican candidate Tim Michels.  However, her name will remain on the November general election ballot.

    ·         Evers Favorability:

    o   Favorable:  45%

    o   Unfavorable:  45%

    o   Haven’t heard enough:  7%

    o   Don’t know:  3%

    ·         Michels Favorability:

    o   Favorable:  34%

    o   Unfavorable:  39%

    o   Haven’t heard enough:  19%

    o   Don’t know:  8%

    U.S. Senate Race:

    ·         Wisconsin Voters’ Preference for U.S. Senate:

    o   U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (Republican):  49%

    o   Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes (Democrat):  48%

    ·         Johnson Favorability:

    o   Favorable:  39%

    o   Unfavorable:  47%

    o   Haven’t heard enough:  11%

    o   Don’t know:  3%

    ·         Barnes Favorability:

    o   Favorable:  33%

    o   Unfavorable:  32%

    o   Haven’t heard enough:  25%

    o   Don’t know:  9%


  • Friday, September 30, 2022 11:33 AM | WiSCAadmin (Administrator)

    WISCA works closely with our national association partner – the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) – on advocacy and other issues important to our members. In fact, the WISCA Government Affairs Team joins a national ASCA state chapter call twice a month for a federal regulatory and legislative briefing and closely follows their published Government Affairs Updates. Here is the latest government affairs news from ASCA:

    • ASCA Submits Comments on 2023 Proposed Payment Rule
    • On September 13, ASCA submitted formal comments (attached) in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) CY 2023 OPPS/ASC proposed payment rule. Some of ASCA’s key comments are below:
    • Update Factor. CMS should use the hospital market basket as the annual update mechanism for ASC payments indefinitely. The agency should extend the five-year trial given that Medicare volume data has been skewed the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • ASC Weight Scalar Adjustment. CMS must discontinue the ASC weight scalar. With the 2019 change in the update factor, it is even clearer that removing this secondary scaling adjustment is necessary to truly align the payment systems and enable ASCs to capture the value of the conversion factor, which will motivate increased migration of surgery to the ASC setting and lower the cost of care.
    • Procedures Permitted in ASCs. CMS should add the codes ASC clinicians have requested for addition to the ASC-CPL for 2023 or explain why the agency chooses not to allow surgeons to perform these procedures in the ASC setting.
    • Complexity Adjustment. CMS should finalize its proposal to provide complexity adjustments for combinations of certain service codes and add-on procedure codes that are eligible for a complexity adjustment under the OPPS.
    • Quality Reporting. CMS should finalize its proposal to suspend mandatory implementation of ASC-11 as it is a little-used clinical measure that will create an undue burden for facilities.
    • ASCA expects the final payment rule to be released on or before November 2. Contact Kara Newbury with any questions.
    • State ASC Associations Support ASCA’s Comments on 2023 Proposed Payment Rule

    On September 13, ASCA submitted a state ASC association sign-on letter in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) CY 2023 OPPS/ASC proposed payment rule. The letter was created to allow state ASC associations to easily show support for ASCA’s comments and had support from ASC associations across the country. Wisconsin and WISCA signed-on to the letter, joining 31 other states.

    • Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions for ASC-20

    ASCA has heard from members who were unable to submit ASC-20: COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel data by the first quarterly deadline on August 15. In the event that your ASC was unable to submit any required information due to an extraordinary circumstance, your ASC may request an exception. To request an exception, you must submit a completed Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions form with any required information and supporting documentation within 90 calendar days of the missed deadline. For all ASCs subject to this reporting requirement, please remember that the next quarterly deadline is November 15.

    • Legislation Introduced to Prevent Physician Fee Cut

    On September 13, the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (H.R. 8800) was introduced by Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN). The legislation would provide an additional 4.42 percent to the physician conversion factor (CF) for 2023. As a reminder, in the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a 4.4 percent cut to the 2023 CF, mostly due to the expiration of a temporary, one-year 3 percent increase to the CF passed as part of the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act (S. 610) in December 2021. ASCA is part of a coalition of provider organizations supporting such efforts and expects that a coalition letter will be sent on this specific legislation in the near future. Most recently, the coalition sent a letter asking Congress for relief from impending physician payment cuts. The letter asked Congress to approve at least a 4.5 percent increase in the 2023 physician CF and to waive a 4 percent statutory PAYGO cut.


  • Monday, August 29, 2022 10:27 AM | Becca Liebers (Administrator)

    Want to Be More Involved in WISCA Advocacy? Join the WISCA Legislative Committee

    WISCA’s committee structure allows the association to be productive and is essential to meeting our principal goals. Of course, member service is voluntary and can lead to significant committee turnover at times. In fact, the WISCA Legislative Committee already has a handful of vacancies and is facing more member resignations due to retirement. In short, WISCA actively recruiting new members to serve on the Legislative Committee.

    The WISCA Legislative committee is responsible for setting and communicating legislative priorities and policy positions that are representative of WISCA’s membership. The committee also works closely with WISCA’s professional lobbying/advocacy team to ensure that state and federal issues important to members are effectively communicated to policymakers.

    If you are interested in serving on the WISCA Legislative Committee, please contact he WISCA office at WISCA@badgerbay.co.

  • Monday, August 29, 2022 10:26 AM | Becca Liebers (Administrator)

    Congressman Tom Tiffany, State Lawmakers Tour Northwood Surgery Center as Part of National ASC Month

    Wisconsin Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07), a Republican from Hazelhurst, recently visited the Northwood Surgery Center in  as part of the Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers (WISCA) Capitol Connection program and to celebrate National Ambulatory Surgery Center (ACS) Month. He was joined by State Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) and State Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander). WISCA’s Capitol Connection program aims to connect surgery center members with their local state and federal legislators to show them firsthand the benefits of the ASC model of care.

    “We were thrilled to celebrate National Surgery Center Month by hosting Congressman Tiffany, Sen. Felzkowski, and Rep Swearingen for a tour of our surgery center,” said Jackie McLaughlin, RN, Administrator of the Northwoods Surgery Center. “Northwoods Surgery Center provides affordable, quality outpatient surgical care in a collaborative environment, and we were proud to showcase the ASC patient experience to the visiting lawmakers. We greatly appreciated their visit, their support for our center, and their acknowledgment of the hard work of our physicians, nurses, and employees to successfully carry out our vision.”

    Northwoods Surgery Center is a partnership between Aspirus Wausau Hospital and local surgeons who created a joint ventured center of surgical excellence. The Center, which opened in 2008 and is certified by Medicare and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, is committed to providing quality service and extraordinary outpatient surgical care to their patients. The Center has two operating rooms where specially trained, highly skilled physicians and their professional health care teams perform ophthalmology, orthopedic, pain management, and podiatry procedures.

    The photo includes the following individuals (L to R):
    State Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), Jackie McLaughlin, RN, Dr. Michel Gelinas, Board Certified Ophthalmologist, Congressman Tom Tiffany (R-WI-07), Dr. Mark Balas, Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon, State Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander)

  • Monday, August 29, 2022 10:25 AM | Becca Liebers (Administrator)

    Prior Authorization Reform Bill Moving Advancing in Congress

    The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act recently cleared a key step in the legislative process, as the House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously to advance the bill, which aims to reform prior authorization in Medicare Advantage plans.

    The legislation, which would streamline and standardize prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage program, is now one step closer to consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives. If passed by the full House, the bill will then move to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

    Providing much-needed oversight and transparency while protecting beneficiaries from unnecessary care delays and denials, the bill would require Medicare Advantage plans to:

    • Establish an electronic prior authorization program.
    • Standardize and streamline the prior authorization process for routinely approved services, including establishing a list of services eligible for real-time prior authorization decisions.
    • Ensure prior authorization requests are reviewed by qualified medical personnel.
    • Increase transparency around Medicare Advantage prior authorization requirements and their use.
  • Monday, August 29, 2022 10:22 AM | Becca Liebers (Administrator)

    Post-Primary Marquette University Law Poll Shows Evers and Michels in Tight Race for Governor; Barnes with Lead in U.S. Senate Contest

    The latest Marquette University Law Poll, which was conducted after the Aug. 9 Wisconsin primary election and released on August 17, shows incumbent Tony Evers (D) and Tim Michels (R) locked in a close race for governor, and has current Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes leading incumbent Ron Johnson (R) in the contest for U.S. Senate. Please find below highlights of the poll:

    Wisconsin Governor’s Race:

    • Wisconsin Voters’ Preference for Governor:
      • Governor Tony Evers (Democrat) – 45%
      • Tim Michels (Republicans) – 43%
      • Joan Beglinger (Independent) – 7%
      • Other – 5%
    • Evers Favorability:
      • Favorable:  46%
      • Unfavorable:  41%
      • Haven’t heard enough:  6%
      • Don’t know:  6%
    • Michels Favorability:
      • Favorable:  33%
      • Unfavorable:  33%
      • Haven’t heard enough:  24%
      • Don’t know:  10%

    U.S. Senate Race:

    • Wisconsin Voters’ Preference for U.S. Senate:
      • Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes (Democrat):  51%
      • U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (Republican):  44%
    • Barnes Favorability:
      • Favorable:  37%
      • Unfavorable:  22%
      • Haven’t heard enough:  30%
      • Don’t know:  11%
    • Johnson Favorability:
      • Favorable:  38%
      • Unfavorable:  47%
      • Haven’t heard enough:  9%
      • Don’t know:  6%

    CLICK HERE to read the complete results from the latest Marquette University Poll.

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Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers
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920-560-5627 I WISCA@badgerbay.co

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