Several new statutes were signed into law by Gov. Evers last week intended to positively impact Wisconsin nurses, physical therapists, and mental health professionals.
Increasing Penalties for Battery Against a Nurse
Under Wisconsin law, if a person commits battery (i.e., intentional bodily harm without consent) against certain categories of individuals, such as firefighters, jurors, or emergency medical care providers, they face an increased penalty for the crime. A new law adds RNs, LPNs, and those acting under their supervision to that list. Specifically, if an individual causes intentional bodily harm to a nurse who is acting in a professional capacity at the time, that battery may now be considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor, which can result in significant additional penalties.
Physical Therapy Licensure Compact
Another new Wisconsin law allows for physical therapists licensed in any state participating in the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact to obtain a “compact privilege” to practice in Wisconsin. Nearly half of the states in the country participate in this compact, so Wisconsin’s participation will make it easier for Wisconsin physical therapists to provide care to patients out of state via telemedicine and for Wisconsin patients to be treated by physical therapists based in other states.
Mental Health Consultation Reimbursement by Medicaid
Under current Wisconsin law, mental health professionals providing clinical consultations to students under the age of 21 can get reimbursed by Medicaid. The new law removes the previous deadline for this program and expands the scope of clinical consultations to include communications with a student’s parent.
Any questions on how these new laws may impact your health care practice? Contact Lora Zimmer at [email protected] or 920-257-2214.
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