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Welcome to the website!  To access the member list or post to the member blog, you will need to login (very top right of this page)  with your password.  Your user name is your first initial and last name (ex. Murphy Brown would be MBrown).  If you don’t know your password, go to the login page and click “Lost your password?”  If you find problems, let Stacy know.

 

Also – find us on FaceBook:                                                                                                   Wisconsin  Association of Lactation Consultants (WALC):http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wisconsin-Association-of-Lactation-Consultants-WALC/189793571059394

USLCA Calls for Family Reunification

In solidarity with thousands of individuals and many organizations across the United States of America and the world, the U.S. Lactation Consultant Association calls on lawmakers to end immediately the forced separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border. This unnecessary practice is harmful to both adults and their children, and no justification for this practice should be prioritized above the health and well-being of human beings.

As International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), we work daily alongside many more breastfeeding advocates and providers of health care to support and ensure optimal health of pregnant people, parents, infants, children, and the general public through education about and assistance with breastfeeding. The IBCLC is an expert in infant feeding and is responsible to uphold scientific, evidence-informed theory and practice that is free from conflict of interest, be it financial, academic, personal, political, or otherwise.

Separation of children from their parents creates barriers to breastfeeding and safe infant feeding, and to our knowledge, no IBCLCs have been contacted with regard to how to appropriately feed infants away from their parents, to support and protect continued lactation in lactating persons who do not have access to their children for breastfeeding, or any general information about infant and young child feeding in national emergencies, natural disasters, or humanitarian crises. It is critical to understand that globally, children breastfeed far beyond infancy and that this practice is important to the health of families and the general public. The abrupt removal of the opportunity to be breastfed or to express breast milk has serious health consequences for infants, toddlers, and their lactating parents, and USLCA firmly opposes this practice in all circumstances. In addition, all major health organizations with policies about infant feeding call for the use of pasteurized donor human milk in all situations where their own parent’s milk is not available; the use of safely prepared infant formula for all children under the age of 12 months is only recommended when neither their own parent’s milk nor pasteurized donor human milk are available.

USLCA calls for the immediate and rapid reunification of families who have been separated from each other, as well as the provision of appropriate health care and support for all persons who have been directly affected by the practice of forced separation. This includes comprehensive health consultation for all facets of physiological and mental health, as well as support for resuming breastfeeding, milk expression, and education and support to ensure safe infant and young child feeding.

2018 WALC Grant Awards

We received many interesting and ambitious grant applications this year! Lactation support is growing in our area and we are fortunate to have so many people supporting breastfeeding families!

This year WALC is supporting the following agencies and programs –

The Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes – A High Capacity Shaking Water Bath and Thermometer

Milk Depot at 9th Street Wellness Center in Green Bay – Purchase of a Freezer

Breastfeeding Alliance of Northeast Wisconsin (BFAN) – Support for a focus group to determine what is preventing mothers in the community from reaching their breastfeeding goals.

Washington Ozaukee Breastfeeding Coalition – Workplace Breastfeeding Initiative

African American Breastfeeding Network – Community Breastfeeding Gatherings

Family Health/La Clinica – Breastfeeding Education and Support materials for local support group

Fond du Lac County WIC/Public Health – Workplace Breastfeeding Initiative

Full Moon Rising – Local breastfeeding promotion and support

 

Thank you for all you do to support breastfeeding families!

Call for nominations for Secretary Board Position!

We are seeking nominations for the Secretary Position on the Board.

Thank you to Lisa Brock for your service to WALC and the Lactation Community as Secretary! Lisa has been elected to the USLCA Board and has stepped down from her position as WALC Board Secretary. Thank you for all you’ve done for mothers, families and WALC, Lisa!

Secretary is an elected Board position and we are taking nominations. You can nominate yourself or another WALC member. Send nominations to WALC President, Allison Laverty Montag at allisonlavmon@gmail.com. Please share this with anyone you think will be interested.

Secretary duties:
Take Minutes at our WALC Board meetings and WALC Business Meetings.
Board meets before our regularly scheduled WALC meetings:
3rd Friday of January
3rd Tuesday of May
3rd Friday of September
2nd Tuesday of November
We often meet the evening before these dates when the Board agenda is longer (commonly January and May meetings). (Anticipate two overnight meetings per year.)
Submit minutes to Board for review and post on website within 2 weeks of meeting.

Please contact Allison with questions allisonlavmon@gmail.com

May 15th WALC meeting – Beaver Dam – Tongue Tie Webinar

It’s not too late to join us for the May 15th WALC meeting.  We are showing a USCLA Webinar on Tongue Tie with Alison Hazelbaker, Annette Skowronski, and Catherine Watson Genna.  2L CERPs.  RSVP to Diane Oakland at  doakland@thebirthhospital.org if you would like to attend.  More information is available on our website – walc.net

Next Meeting Beaver Dam May 15th

Please check out our meeting page for information on our upcoming meeting. We have some exciting plans for upcoming speakers. Stay tuned for more info!

Project Grant Applications due May 1, 2018!

Each year that there are adequate funds in the treasury, the WALC will consider grants to individuals or organizations to fund projects consistent with the purposes of WALC. WALCs statement of purpose can be found on the website, but especially relevant tenets are:
• To support and encourage the development of high standards of effective and ethical practice in the field of infant feeding among lactation consultants and other health care workers.
• To create universal awareness of the importance of human milk and breastfeeding and the hazards of artificial feeding.
• To cooperate with other Wisconsin organizations that have aims and objectives (in whole or in part) similar to those of WALC.
The WALC board will approve the applications and may elect to fully or partially fund a request.

The Project Grant Application can be found under forms on our website. Please submit applications to Allison – allisonlavmon@gmail.com by May 1, 2018. Please contact Allison with any questions.

Speaker Suggestions and Topics Wanted!

WALC has quarterly meetings which are held May, September, November and January each year. Each meeting offers 2 hours of education. Locations vary throughout the state. If you are interested in hosting a meeting, please let us know!

Do you know a great speaker or aspire to become a speaker?

We are looking for recommendations for topics and speakers. (You can suggest yourself!) : )

Please email Diane at doakland@thebirthhospital.org or Allison at allisonlavmon@gmail.com with your suggestions!

Have a beautiful day and thank you for all you do to support breastfeeding families!

WALC Letter to Anthem regarding changes in reimbursement for breast pumps

Hello Everyone!

Below is a letter that was sent to Anthem Blue Cross in response to their decision to lower reimbursement breast pumps effective April 1, 2017. Please feel free to use this letter as a template for a response from you! I encourage you to personalize your response and make changes to make it your own so it stands out.

There are 3 email addresses in the email to which you can send your response.

Thank you for all you do to support breastfeeding families!

Allison

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February 27, 2018

Craig Samitt, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer
Anthem, Inc.
120 Monument Circle
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Craig.Samitt@anthem.com

Dear Doctor Samitt,

This letter is in regards to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision to lower reimbursement for E0603 from $169.15 to $95.00. This cut in reimbursement will put mothers, babies and young families at risk of reduced duration of breastfeeding. In particular, low-income families will be adversely impacted as they lack resources to access other options.

I represent the Wisconsin Association of Lactation Consultants. Our membership of 168 Lactation Supporters work daily to support breastfeeding families and to help them overcome barriers to the continuation of breastfeeding from the early days after birth to returning to work and through weaning. Many of us work with mothers that are returning to work very early – at times as soon as 1-2 weeks postpartum. A vital part of what we do is to help mothers prepare to return to work and maintain their milk supply while away from their babies. These mothers face many barriers. The use of ineffective and low cost breast pumps will add another obstacle to the continuation of breastfeeding.
Reduced access to reliable and durable breast pumps will impact the bottom line of Anthem with shorter durations of breastfeeding. The 2010 paper The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: A Pediatric Cost Analysis estimates “If 90% of US families could comply with medical recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, the United States would save $13 billion per year and prevent an excess 911 deaths, nearly all of which would be in infants ($10.5 billion and 741 deaths at 80% compliance).”

The decision to lower reimbursement for breast pumps is contrary to the stance Anthem has taken in the past to support quality care of mothers and babies. We urge you to reconsider this decision and to maintain coverage at the current rates.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Yours truly,

Allison Laverty Montag IBCLC
WALC President
allisonlavmon@gmail.com
(920)765-4375

CC: Mr. Paul Nobile, President
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin
Paul.Nobile@anthem.com

CC: Michael Jaeger, MD, Medical Director
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin
Michael.Jaeger@anthem.com

Conference Registration fee increases on February 16- Register Soon!

Our 2018 WALC Breastfeeding Conference is less than a month away!  Procrastinator fees start on February 16 so sign up soon to save some money.  And be sure to get your hotel room right away!   To register online:  WALC Conference Online Registration   To Register by mail, check out our brochure on the website (Under Conference).  Be sure to postmark it by February 15 to beat the Procrastinator increase.   Hope to see you there!

 

Changes to breast pump coverage by Anthem Blue Cross April 1, 2018.

In late December, durable medical equipment providers received a letter from Anthem informing them of a reduction in reimbursement for E0603, from $169.15 to $95.00.  The effective date is April 1, 2018.

CA, CO, CT, GA, IN, KY, ME, MO, NH, NV, IL, NY, OH, VA, WI, are the states being affected.

Let’s work together to protect the families we work with to get the care and breastfeeding equipment they need!

You can use the following on social media:

Big changes are coming for thousands of moms with Anthem Blue Cross benefits.  @AnthemInc has decided to cut their rates for breastfeeding support starting April 1.  Many moms depend on quality breast pumps to care for their babies.  They are planning to reduce breast pump coverage to $95. At that low of a rate, there is no quality pump in existence that can extract milk or keep up your supply.   

Let @AnthemInc know that moms and babies matter.  Share your voice online and contact https://twitter.com/hashtag/antheminc to stress your concern.  Or send a letter: To the Chief Medical Officer, Craig Samitt, MD. (Craig.Samitt@anthem.com).

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Dr. Jenny Thomas has shared this information on Facebook and has given permission for us to share her post here. Please see her facebook page for the original post which you can share.

February 3, 2018

I use this site to share evidence-based science and practices and other really cool things about human milk but today I’m going to take a very personal and American turn and talk about the behavior of Anthem, Inc. The good news, by the end of this post, is that outcry from the public has reversed what I’m about to share in at least one state. I am hoping you will help.

On April 1st, 2018, Anthem BC/BS (my insurance company, and that of many in Southeastern Wisconsin) will cut breastfeeding support for the purchase of breast pumps for its customers by 45%, from $169.15 to $95. As many of you know, the breastfeeding provisions contained within the Affordable Care Act allowed for mothers to receive a breast pump at no cost sharing.

Anthem’s decision was announced to durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers for Anthem and not to Anthem subscribers who will only notice the change after April 1, 2018.

The decision is detrimental to the health of mothers and babies. If a mother uses an inferior pump, it affects her supply and ultimately her ability to meet her own and nationally set goals. I am especially motivated because it affects the mothers and babies for whom I care in Wisconsin, but this cut will also touch mothers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Virginia.

I have already contacted Anthem and received this as a response from Kathryn Norman, Vice President, Provider Solutions at Anthem:

“Please be assured we are in complete agreement regarding the clinical value of breast milk for babies and we join you in wanting to see more mothers and babies engage in this practice for the reasons you stated.

The decision to reduce reimbursement for HCPCS E0603 followed extensive analysis and review of market dynamics. Quality, accessibility and affordability were important components in making this decision to ensure Anthem’s members will continue to receive high quality, affordable care. With that in mind and high confidence that quality affordable care remains intact, we respectfully decline the request that Anthem reverse the fee schedule reduction.” (End quote)

I am not aware of what data Anthem is using to support their decision other than the “review of market dynamics.” However, several different actuarial analyses conducted in 2017 and work done by health economists reached the predictable conclusion that supporting breastfeeding saves money. So if this decision moves forward as planned, and Anthem limits access to the quality breast pumps necessary in the US for the many, many women who need to return to work after their babies are born, Anthem will see higher costs in the short and long-term. This cut does not benefit them either.

If you are interested in helping to stop this cut, tag @AnthemInc on social media and/or email Chief Medical Officer Craig.Samitt@anthem.com. We know that public action by motivated, passionate people, changed the decision in Alabama. We have an opportunity to reverse this decision before it is implemented. Share this, post online, email. Let’s reverse this cut.

Thank you

Dr. Jen
(Jennifer Thomas, MD, MPH, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM)