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The latest issue of the Your Key to EVV newsletter is now available online. We’re finishing up November, and the weather is getting cold. We hope you’re staying safe and warm inside. The end of November is also the end of our first month of using electronic visit verification (EVV). We appreciate your help in bringing Wisconsin forward into the future of care technology. Keeping that in mind, we wanted to focus on workers and answer the questions we’re hearing from you in the first few weeks of EVV operation. Here you’ll find some common questions about how the Wisconsin Department of Health Services-provided EVV solution works during visits. Please share this information with any workers who may find it helpful.
Each November the home care and hospice community honors the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation. To recognize their efforts, we call upon all Americans to commemorate the power of caring, both at the home and in their local communities and join with WiAHC and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) by celebrating November as National Home Care & Hospice Month.
With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the need for health care will continue to rise, and costs will continue to skyrocket. This is where home care and hospice come in. As the preferred choice for most patients, it also offers the greatest cost savings. For example, Medicare pays nearly $2,000 per day for a typical hospital stay and $450 per day for a typical nursing home stay. Meanwhile, home care costs less than $100 a day and helps many U.S. seniors remain independent at home, enrich their lives, and keep in touch with those they love.
The Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine program is now enrolling providers.
By enrolling in the COVID-19 Vaccine program, vaccinators will be approved to administer COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin once a safe and effective vaccine is made available. COVID-19 vaccine will not be available for private purchase; it will only be available for delivery through the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine program.
Which vaccinating entities should enroll?
Enrollment is open to all providers that will vaccinate against COVID-19 such as: health care systems; health care providers; pharmacies; local and tribal health departments; mass vaccination sites; and long term care facilities (LTC) and assisted living facilities (ALF) that are not participating in the Pharmacy Partnership program.
If your organization plans to administer COVID-19 vaccine, please register as soon as possible, especially if you plan to vaccinate priority populations such as health care workers, essential workers, or people 65+ years.
How to enroll?
Please follow the steps outlined on our COVID-19 Vaccinator page.
When will my entity receive COVID-19 vaccine?
After completing enrollment and obtaining approval from the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine program, your entity will receive COVID-19 vaccine as supply allows. During the first phases of vaccination, it is anticipated that the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine program will be allocated a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine and therefore, recommendations will be limited to certain priority groups. The program plans to focus shipments of vaccine to entities that can vaccinate those early priority groups.
Over time, as vaccine supply increases, we anticipate vaccine allocations and recommendations will expand to other groups.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has published a new issue of the Your Key to EVV newsletter. Included in this issue are true and false ideas about electronic visit verification and recommended reading.
State Assembly Election Analysis
There is a possibility Assembly Republicans could lose five to ten seats. While specific seats in western Wisconsin are always considered vulnerable for Republicans, campaign spending shows significant spending among Democratic candidates in the Milwaukee suburbs, spelling potential worry for Republican incumbents. Conventional wisdom says that where spending is high, races are competitive.
Financial reports from last week in the 21st Assembly district (South Milwaukee, Oak Creek), which is held by Republican Rep. Jessie Rodriguez, show Democratic challenger and South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks and groups backing him have outspent Rodriguez and her supporters $432,681 to $228,628.
The 23rd Assembly District (Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Bayside, Mequon) is currently held by Republican incumbent Jim Ott. Finance reports show Republicans have committed a significant amount of money in defending that seat. Republicans are outspending the Democratic challenger, Deb Andraca, and supportive groups $460,532 to $199,016. Rep. Ott has held this Republican stronghold seat since 2006.
Similar concern seems to be reflected in the neighboring 24th Assembly District (Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Brown Deer) held by Republican Rep. Dan Knodl. Total spending between the two candidates have surpassed $1 million.
Knodl’s campaign and groups supporting him have spent a total of $850,288. His challenger, Democrat Emily Siegrist, and supportive groups have spent $390,030 on her campaign.
Democrats also seem to be making a play in unseating Republican Rep. Rob Hutton in the 13th Assembly District (Elm Grove, Brookfield). Democrat challenger Sara Rodriguez and supportive groups have outspent Hutton and his supporters $417,511 to $404,244.
While it is unlikely that all four of the incumbent Milwaukee-area Republican representatives will lose their seats, the financial reports certainly indicate concern among Republicans. This is likely due to a loss of support among suburban women; a shift seen nationally in opposition to President Donald Trump among that demographic.
Another Republican-held seat to watch is in the 88th Assembly District (part of Green Bay, De Pere, Bellevue). Democrat Kristin Lyerly and supportive groups have outspent Republican Rep. John Macco by a factor of 7 to 1. Lyerly and supportive groups have spent $324,885 versus $47,132.
The other vulnerable Republican Assembly seats we are watching are the typical vulnerable seats in western Wisconsin. These include the 51st District held by Todd Novak, the 96th District held by Loren Oldenburg, and the 50th District held by Tony Kurtz. However, these are seats Republicans traditionally expect to be contested and defend in campaign cycles.
In the Novak seat, Democratic challenger Kriss Marion and supportive groups are outspending Novak $292,267 to $226,556.
Assembly Republicans currently hold a 27-seat majority, 63 to 36 seats. Even if they lose five to eight seats, they still maintain control of the Assembly.
State Senate Election Analysis
Whereas it previously appeared Senate Republicans were playing offense to grow their majority, it seems they are having to play defense in similar areas for similar reasons.
As noted above, Assembly Republicans appear to be concerned about Republican incumbents Jim Ott and Dan Knodl. Their seats make up two of the three Assembly districts that make up the 8th Senate Seat (Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Bayside, Mequon, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Brown Deer, southern Washington County, northeastern Waukesha County) held by longtime incumbent Senator Alberta Darling.
Financial reports show Democratic challenger Neal Plotkin and supportive groups have outspent Darling and her supporters $742,196 to $371,074.
Darling’s district could suffer the same loss in support among suburban women Assembly Republicans are concerned about in the Ott and Knodl seats.
Defending Republican Senator Patrick Testin in the 24th Senate District (Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Sparta, Tomah) is also becoming expensive. Financial reports show Democrats are outspending Republicans in that district $484,751 to $400,556 with both candidate’s campaign committees alone spending six figures.
In the open seats in the 30th Senate District (Green Bay area) and 32nd Senate District (LaCrosse area), races seem to be close in reflection of the staggering amount of money being spent by both Republicans and Democrats. Millions have been spent in both districts, with the Democratic candidates and supportive groups outspending their Republican challengers. It is fair to say both seats remain tossups. However, with some amount of Republican spending needing to be focused on defending Darling and Testin, Democrats (Jonathan Hansen in 30th, Brad Pfaff in the 32nd) may have the upper hand in being successful on Election Day.
Senate Republicans currently hold 19 of the 33 Senate seats. It is important to note the 30th and 32nd districts are seats that Democrats are looking to defend. Both were previously held by Democrats. Should Republicans lose both, it does not help Democrats grow their share of seats. In order to do so, they would need to flip a Republican-held seat.
Additionally, it is possible Republicans could flip the 10th Senate District held by Democratic Senator Patty Schachtner. In which case, even if Democrats flipped a seat, it would not grow their minority.
It is difficult to predict how many seats each side could lose on Election Day. However, we believe it is still safe to say, no matter the outcome of individual races, Republicans will retain their majority in the State Senate.
On October 28, Marquette University Law School released its final poll of the 2020 campaign cycle giving Wisconsin voters a last look out potential outcomes in the presidential race.
Among likely voters polled, 48 percent support Biden and 43 percent support Trump. On October 7, 46 percent indicated they will vote for Biden and 41 percent said they will vote for Trump. In September, 47 percent favored Biden and 43 percent favored Trump.
Today’s numbers are consistent with MU Law Poll numbers since May. Biden has led Trump four to six points every month, indicating an incredibly stable race.
Of note, 8 percent of likely voter respondents would not indicate which candidate they plan to support. This brings up the question of “hidden Trump voters”, which many polls were not able to accurately capture in 2016 polling data.
MU Law pollsters attempted to analyze potential support among those 8 percent by how they responded to favorability ratings of the candidates. In analyzing that data, the poll’s modeling projects 50 percent support Biden and 45 percent Trump.
Among likely voters, the poll found 91 percent stated their minds are made up while 6 percent indicated they may change their minds. In the next six days, both Trump and Biden will make appearances in the state to encourage turnout among their bases as well as vie for that 6 percent.
The poll found that 41 percent of respondents already voted by the time they took the poll. Among those respondents, 64 percent said they voted for Biden, 25 percent voted for Trump, 2 percent for Libertarian Jo Jorgenson, and 9 percent would not say.
When it comes to respondents that had not yet voted, 56 percent indicated they will vote for Trump, 35 percent for Biden, 3 percent for Jorgenson, and 6 percent would not say. This is consistent with expectations that Democrats would outvote Republicans in early voting while Republicans would vote in higher numbers on Election Day.
On the question of favorability, 49 percent had a favorable view of Biden, while 46 percent did not. In early October, his ratings were 48 percent and 45 percent, respectively. In May, his numbers were 42 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable.
For Trump, 44 percent have a favorable view of Trump, while 54 percent do not. In early October, favorability was 42 percent and 53 percent, respectively. In May, his numbers were 44 percent favorable and 51 percent unfavorable.
While Biden holds leads in all recent polling and likely has a real statistical edge in Wisconsin heading into November 3, the state remains a true battleground and too close to make a confident prediction. Perhaps spoiling confidence for Democratic voters and political spectators, nearly every poll also indicated Hillary Clinton would win Wisconsin in the final week of the 2016 campaign. It remains to be seen what pollsters may have learned from that experience in revising their modeling.
Only one week left until #election2020, have you already voted or have your plan in place to do so within the next week? If not, be sure to request your absentee ballot by 10/29 OR better yet - do it right now!
There is still time to request a ballot by mail at https://myvote.wi.gov. You can mail back your ballot, drop off at a local ballot box, vote early, or vote on election day with a mask, physically distancing and washing your hands!
Find more information here: https://www.wpha.org/mpage/VoteSafeWisconsin2020
The Electronic Visit Verification Portal Functionality User Guide was recently revised and posted to the ForwardHealth Portal on October 27, 2020. The worker electronic visit verification start date information in the Worker Association section of the user guide has been updated.
The RELI Group, along with its partners TMF Health Quality Institute and CGS, is contracted with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop, produce and disseminate provider-specific comparative data reports, referred to as the Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report, or PEPPER. PEPPER summarizes one provider’s Medicare claims data statistics and provides comparative data with the state, jurisdiction and nation. Providers can review the PEPPER to evaluate their statistics and determine whether they should take any actions, such as reviewing records to ensure the care provided was necessary, and that documentation supports the diagnosis codes and services billed.
We would like to encourage providers to access this free comparative billing report and utilize it as a tool to support their auditing and monitoring efforts. With that in mind, would you consider sharing the one page summary (attached), electronically via e-mail or newsletter, with your membership?
TMF Health Quality Institute
TODAY is the beginning of early and in-person voting here in Wisconsin. Be sure to bring an ID and double check your local voting hours at https://myvote.wi.gov before you go. Find more about voting safely at https://www.wpha.org/mpage/VoteSafeWisconsin2020 @WIPublicHealth #VoteSafeWI2020
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