State Assembly Approves WHA-Supported Advance Directive Legislation

November 14, 2019

The Wisconsin State Assembly overwhelmingly passed WHA-supported legislation during its floor session on Nov. 12, approving Assembly Bill 287 on a voice vote. The legislation addresses a regulatory bottleneck in Wisconsin’s health care workforce that results in unnecessary delays in acting upon a patient’s advance directive wishes for treatment. The bill helps address these delays by recognizing the education and training of nurse practitioners and physician assistants to make the medical diagnoses necessary to activate the patient’s written medical wishes. Under the bill a physician must still confirm the diagnosis.

Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding thanked the Assembly for their strong bipartisan support: “Bipartisan recognition of the need to utilize the skills of the entire health care team is gratifying,” Borgerding said. “Identifying and updating regulations and laws that interfere with providing efficient, high-quality care is a WHA priority, and it’s good to see that the Assembly also recognizes this need.”

WHA strongly supported AB 287 at October’s public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Health. The Committee approved the bill Oct. 30 on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 12-1 margin. The companion bill, Senate Bill 254, is scheduled for a public hearing Nov. 20 in the Senate’s Committee on Health and Human Services.

Contact WHA General Counsel Matthew Stanford for more information.

This story originally appeared in the November 14, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter