UPH Government & External Affairs

Wisconsin Update – February 2022

by | Feb 23, 2022

Ongoing Advocacy

  • Protecting Frontline Health Care Workers. Incivility towards health care workers, including threats and acts of violence, has been on the rise during the COVID pandemic. The Legislature is considering legislation (Assembly Bill 960 / Senate Bill 970) that would make threats of violence a felony in Wisconsin. As background, a similar law was passed in 2019 to enhance penalties for battery to a nurse. These bills expand beyond that law to include other types of health care professionals and others who work in a health care setting. Additionally, they enhance penalties for the threat of battery to one of these individuals or their family members. These proposed penalties are in line with penalties for violence and threats of violence committed against other critical public safety personnel and officers of the court. The Wisconsin Hospital Association supports this legislation.
  • White Bagging (Assembly Bill 718 / Senate Bill 753). Known as “Koreen’s law,” these bills prohibit the practice of “white bagging,” a practice by insurance companies requiring that certain life-changing medications be shipped from a source that they dictate, rather than using the patient’s local hospital pharmacy. This is a practice that UPH has historically advocated against, and therefore we support this legislation and continue to monitor it.

New Laws

Since our last report, Governor Tony Evers signed several bills with health care implications.

  • Licensure: Two new licensure compacts have been enacted:

Additionally, Wisconsin has recognized a new licensed occupation – naturopathic medicine (2021 Wisconsin Act 130). This licensure includes two categories of licensed naturopathic practice – a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) and a licensed limited-scope ND.

  • Public Safety: With the passage of 2021 Wisconsin Act 120, the reckless handling of a vaccine or drug has been criminalized.
  • Reimbursement: 2021 Wisconsin Act 125 eliminates prior authorization under the Medical Assistance program for any enteral nutrition products administered through a tube.

Wisconsin Hospital Association 2022 Advocacy Day

On Wednesday, March 23, WHA will be hold a virtual day of learning and advocacy. This will include a keynote by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, physician and former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The day will also feature a bipartisan legislative panel, legislative issues briefing and grassroots legislative visits. For more information about the event including pre-registration, click here.


For more information on State of Wisconsin advocacy, legislative, policy and regulatory issues of impact to UnityPoint Health, please contact cathy.simmons@unitypoint.org