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Emergency rules now in effect
Under s. 227.24, Stats., state agencies may promulgate rules without complying with the usual rule-making procedures. Using this special procedure to issue emergency rules, an agency must find that either the preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare necessitates its action in bypassing normal rule-making procedures.
Emergency rules are published in the official state newspaper, which is currently the Wisconsin State Journal. Emergency rules are in effect for 150 days and can be extended up to an additional 120 days with no single extension to exceed 60 days.
Extension of the effective period of an emergency rule is granted at the discretion of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules under s. 227.24 (2), Stats.
Notice of all emergency rules which are in effect must be printed in the Wisconsin Administrative Register. This notice will contain a brief description of the emergency rule, the agency finding of emergency, date of publication, the effective and expiration dates, any extension of the effective period of the emergency rule and information regarding public hearings on the emergency rule.
Copies of emergency rule orders can be obtained from the promulgating agency. The text of current emergency rules can be viewed at www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code.
Commerce
(Financial Assistance for Businesses and Communities)
(Chs. Comm 105-128)
Rules adopted revising ch. Comm 113 relating to the allocation of volume cap on tax-exempt private activity bonds.
Finding of emergency
The Department of Commerce finds that an emergency exists and that the adoption of a rule is necessary for the immediate preservation of public health, safety and welfare.
Pursuant to s. 560.032, Stats., the Department of Commerce (Commerce) is responsible for administering the allocation of volume cap. The emergency rule is being adopted to incorporate in the administrative code recent changes to the Internal Revenue Code (Section CFR 146) which increases state volume cap limits on tax-exempt private activity bonds. The year 2000 limit was $50 per resident of the state. For the year 2001 the limit has been raised to $62.50; for the year 2002, the limit will be $75.00; and thereafter, the limit will be indexed to inflation. The rule identifies a formula for the allocation of volume cap for the year 2001 and future years. This emergency rule outlines the distribution of the volume cap between the State Building Commission, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, and Commerce. The rules are also being revised to provide an allocation process that will allow Commerce to be more responsive to the needs of businesses as changes occur in the state's economy.
Publication Date: April 26, 2001
Effective Date: April 26, 2001
Expiration Date: September 23, 2001
Hearing Date: July 16, 2001
Financial Institutions - Corporate and Consumer Services
Rules adopted repealing ch. SS 3 and creating chs. DFI-CCS 1 to 6, relating to the Uniform Commercial Code.
Finding of emergency
2001 Act 10 repealed and recreated the Wisconsin Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC"), effective July 1, 2001. The act authorizes the Department of Financial Institutions to promulgate rules to implement the UCC. Without these rules, the department will be unable to operate either a state-wide lien filing system or give effect to the provisions of the UCC before permanent rules can be promulgated. The act is part of an effort by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and all member states to implement a revised model Uniform Commercial Code on July 1, 2001 to facilitate interstate commerce with nation-wide uniformity in lien filings. The rules address general provisions, acceptance and refusal of documents, the information management system, filing and data entry procedures, search requests and reports, and other notices of liens under the UCC.
Publication Date: July 2, 2001
Effective Date: July 2, 2001
Expiration Date: November 29, 2001
Health & Family Services
(Community Services, Chs. HFS 30-)
A rule was adopted amending s. HFS 94.20 (3), relating to patients' rights.
Finding of emergency
The Department of Health and Family Services finds that an emergency exists and that the adoption of the rules are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. The facts constituting the emergency are as follows:
The Department operates secure mental facilities for the treatment of ch. 980, Stats., sexually violent patients. Departmental investigations have indicated that a portion of the ch. 980 inpatient population has routinely abused their s. HFS 94.20 telephone rights by making inappropriate calls to members of the public, by fraudulently placing numerous long distance calls that are billed to innocent third-parties or by operating fraudulent schemes. Since the Department has previously had no means of monitoring patient telephone use, the extent of this activity is unknown, but given the experience of investigations triggered by citizen complaints, it is clear that these sorts of activities are not infrequent among this population. In addition, experience with telephone monitoring in other secure institutions indicates that call monitoring can and does help staff detect contraband and other security-related issues and activities. These abuses are clearly contrary to the therapeutic activities conducted at the secure mental health facilities.
Until recently, the Department has been unable to stop these abuses because the Department's facilities lacked secure telephone systems. Previous DHFS efforts to obtain secure telephone systems from the telephone system's vendor used by the Department of Corrections were not successful because the call volume at DHFS's secure mental health facilities were viewed as insufficient to support the telephone system.
In late 2000, the Department of Corrections selected a new vendor for its secure telephone system. In May 2001, the new vendor agreed to also install the system in DHFS's secure mental health facilities. The installation of the system at the facilities will be completed by June 20, 2001. The systems will allow the Department to establish and enforce calling lists for each inpatient and monitor inpatients' calls for counter-therapeutic activity. An inpatient's calling lists is a finite number of telephone numbers associated with persons the inpatient is approved to contact by telephone. Use of calling lists alone, however, is insufficient to discourage and minimize inpatient attempts to subvert the system. The Department must monitor phone calls made by ch. 980 inpatients to discourage and minimize the occurrence of inpatients calling persons on their calling list who, in turn, subvert the secure system by forwarding the inpatient's call for the prohibited purposes and activities previously described. The Department must be able to monitor the phone calls of ch. 980 inpatients both to protect the public and promote therapeutic activities at the secure mental health facilities.
The Department is issuing these rules on an emergency basis to protect the public's safety by minimizing the recurring fraudulent activity associated with telephone use. These rules also ensure the public's safety and welfare by promoting the effective treatment mission of the secure mental health facilities. The recording capability of the telephone system hardware that has been installed at the Wisconsin Resource Center and the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center cannot be turned off, i.e., when the system is functional, all features of the system are fully operational. If the secure telephone system is not operational, both the Wisconsin Resource Center and the Sand Ridge facility will lose the therapeutic and safety advantages afforded by the system. Since the Sand Ridge facility is accepting its first patients during the week of June 18th, there is not alternative telephone system for patients.
Publication Date: June 22, 2001
Effective Date: June 22, 2001
Expiration Date: November 19, 2001
Hearing Date: September 12, 2001
Health & Family Services
(Health, Chs. HFS 110—)
Rules adopted revising ch. HFS 119, relating to the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan (HIRSP).
Exemption from finding of emergency
Section 149.143 (4), Stats., permits the Department to promulgate rules required under s. 149.143 (2) and (3), Stats., by using emergency rulemaking procedures, except that the Department is specifically exempted from the requirement under s. 227.24 (1) and (3), Stats., that it make a finding of emergency. These are the emergency rules. Department staff consulted with the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan (HIRSP) Board of Governors on April 25, 2001 on the rules, as required by s. 149.20, Stats.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Health and Family Services
The State of Wisconsin in 1981 established a Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan (HIRSP) for the purpose of making health insurance coverage available to medically uninsured residents of the state. HIRSP offers different types of medical care coverage plans for residents.
One type of medical coverage provided by HIRSP is the Major Medical Plan. This type of coverage is called Plan 1. Eighty-six percent of the 10,790 HIRSP policies in effect in March 2001, were of the Plan 1 type. Plan 1 has Option A ($1,000 deductible) or Option B ($2,500 deductible). The rate increases for Plan 1 contained in this rulemaking order increase an average of 3.4%. Rate increases for specific policyholders range from 0.0% to 4.9%, depending on a policyholder's age, gender, household income, deductible and zone of residence within Wisconsin. This increase reflects industry-wide premium increases and takes into account the increase in costs associated with Plan 1 claims. According to state law, HIRSP premiums must fund 60% of plan costs and cannot be less than 150% of the amount an individual would be charged for a comparable policy in the private market.
A second type of medical coverage provided by HIRSP is supplemental coverage for persons eligible for Medicare. This type of coverage is called Plan 2. Plan 2 has a $500 deductible. Fourteen percent of the 10,790 HIRSP policies in effect in March 2001, were of the Plan 2 type. The rate increases for Plan 2 contained in this rulemaking order increase an average of 3.4%. Rate increases for specific policyholders range from 0.0% to 4.9%, depending on a policyholder's age, gender, household income and zone of residence within Wisconsin. These rate increases reflect industry-wide cost increases.
The Department through this rulemaking order proposes to amend ch. HFS 119 in order to update HIRSP premium rates in accordance with the authority and requirements set out in s. 149.143 (3) (a), Stats. The Department is required to set premium rates by rule. HIRSP premium rates must be calculated in accordance with generally accepted actuarial principles.
The Department through this order is also adjusting the total HIRSP insurer assessments and provider payment rates in accordance with the authority and requirements set out in s. 149.143 (2) (a) 3. and 4., Stats. With the approval of the HIRSP Board of Governors and as required by statute, the Department reconciled total costs for the HIRSP program for calendar year 2000. The Board of Governors approved a methodology that reconciles the most recent calendar year actual HIRSP program costs, policyholder premiums, insurance assessments and health care provider contributions collected with the statutorily required funding formula.
By statute, the adjustments for the calendar year are to be applied to the next plan year budget beginning July 1, 2001. The total annual contribution to the HIRSP budget provided by an adjustment to the provider payment rates is $19,982,024. The total annual contribution to the HIRSP budget provided by an assessment on insurers is $19,617,772. On April 25, 2001, the HIRSP Board of Governors approved the calendar year 2000 reconciliation process and the HIRSP budget for the plan year July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002.
The fiscal changes contained in this order also reflect the conversion of HIRSP from cash accounting to accrual accounting, as recommended by the Legislative Audit Bureau and the HIRSP Board of Governors. Cash accounting recognizes the costs of claims and expenses when paid. Accrual accounting recognizes the costs of claims and expenses in the time period when first incurred. Basically, HIRSP program liabilities have been understated under the cash accounting methodology. The net effect of the HIRSP conversion to accrual accounting is to provide a more accurate reflection of the program's financial condition.
Publication Date: June 29, 2001
Effective Date: July 1, 2001
Expiration Date: November 28, 2001
Insurance
Rules adopted revising ch. Ins 17, relating to annual patients compensation fund and mediation fund fees.
Finding of emergency
The commissioner of insurance finds that an emergency exists and that promulgation of this emergency rule is necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. The facts constituting the emergency are as follows:
The commissioner was unable to promulgate the permanent rule corresponding to this emergency rule, clearinghouse rule No. 01-035, in time for the patients compensation fund (fund) to bill health care providers in a timely manner for fees applicable to the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2001.
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