WISCA Legislative Affairs Report:
WISCA Submits Public Comments on Proposed Medical Chaperone Rule
By Andrew Engel – WISCA Lobbyist (Hamilton Consulting)
As was previously reported by WISCA, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) is considering the creation of a new regulatory rule that would require a medical chaperone be present in an exam room whenever a physician is performing an examination or procedure that involves the breast, genitals, or rectal area of a patient. In addition, the proposed rule would consider these types of exams conducted without a chaperone as unprofessional conduct.
While the MEB did publish a revised proposed rule that allows for some flexibility in regards to what constitutes a chaperone, it still puts pressure on ASC’s to provide for a chaperone and track instances where they don’t. Additionally, the “presumptive guilt” language still resides in the current iteration of the rule. The draft regulation was recently open for a 30-day public comment period as it relates to the economic impact of the rule. On June 8, WISCA submitted comments to the MEB expressing our concerns with the potential new regulation and the financial pressures it would cause.
While we appreciate the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board’s overall goal of increasing patient safety and protecting patients from potential wrongdoing by unscrupulous actors, the current draft of the rule would cause undue hardship on Wisconsin’s 75 ASCs across the state, putting them in the tough position of either increasing costs or opening themselves up to increased liability. WISCA’s comments specifically calls attention to our belief that the rule would cost an average ASC around $80,000 a year. Please CLICK HERE to review WISCA’s full comments submitted to the MEB.
As the MEB continues to pursue the rule, there will be additional opportunities for public comment. WISCA will continue to closely monitor and engage on this important issue, as well as keep members updated on the latest developments.