WISCA Legislative Affairs Report: Update on Proposed Medical Chaperone Rule

Monday, August 29, 2022 10:18 AM | Becca Liebers (Administrator)

WISCA Legislative Affairs Report:
Update on Proposed Medical Chaperone Rule

By Andrew Engel – WISCA Lobbyist (Hamilton Consulting)

As has been previously reported in the WISCA Advocacy Newsletter, WISCA submitted comments to the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) detailing how compliance with the Board’s proposed “medical chaperone rule” could cost Wisconsin ASC’s tens of millions of dollars.

If you recall, the regulatory board was considering a new rule that would have required 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.

At its meeting last month, the MEB decided to significantly pare back its proposed rule on medical chaperones, abandoning the requirement that ASC’s provide a separate chaperone to patients when requested. At their latest meeting, the MEB reviewed new draft language, which requires physicians and their employers to have a policy on medical chaperones and to make the policy readily available to affected patients. A Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) staff attorney has said during MEB meetings that the policy could theoretically be as simple as “we don’t require the use of medical chaperones here.”

Following some discussion, the board made minor changes to the proposed language so that the rule does not specifically make either physicians or their employers responsible for posting the policy. It simply requires that a policy be made available to patients. MEB members did not want to make physicians responsible for what may be a failure of their employer to create or post a policy, while MEB lacks the authority to directly regulate hospitals and clinics.

A representative from the Wisconsin Medical Society thanked the board for listening to stakeholder input and crafting specific language that considers who bears the burden of the rule.

MEB members approved a motion allowing the board chair and DSPS staff to finalize the rule and submit it once again for public comment on its economic impact. The review is expected to be complete in a month or two, before the board’s October meeting.

Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers
563 Carter Court, Suite B Kimberly WI 54136
920-560-5627 I WISCA@badgerbay.co

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