December 30, 2011
Volume 55, Issue 50


Association 2011 "Results" Reflect Strength of Member-Staff Collaboration
Guided by member priorities, WHA achieves commendable outcomes

Travel to an unfamiliar destination requires a road map. The same could be said for an Association.

For WHA, our members set the road map for policy decisions in Madison, Washington DC, and within regulatory agencies. Without it, the results that we achieved this year—one of the most challenging in our history—would be unattainable.

Member participation on WHA councils, task forces, and committees this year was at an all time high. It requires a commitment of time by our members that is gratefully acknowledged by the WHA staff and our Board of Directors. The work products, recommendations and motions that were heard and acted upon by the WHA Board in 2011 started as discussions of often complex issues that required expertise, experience, and vision—hallmarks of Wisconsin’s health care leaders.

The WHA 2011 "Results" are in this week’s packet and on the WHA website at:www.wha.org/pubarchive/reports/2011results.pdf. We actually couldn’t fit all the achievements that we made together with you, our members, in that eight page publication (see President’s Column on page 3). It is a nice problem to have as an organization that strives to provide membership value to Wisconsin hospitals that are dedicated to improving patient care, controlling costs, and ensuring that health care is accessible to patients in your community.

The staff at WHA is looking forward to serving our members in 2012.

Happy New Year.

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Medicaid Audit Highlights Need for Better Program Management

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) recently completed its work on an audit of the Wisconsin Medicaid program. Auditors recommended several areas of improvement in the state’s management and oversight of the program, and the need for better data and information to evaluate program expenditures. In his response, Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Dennis Smith agreed to take the steps needed to increase the program’s transparency.

The audit was requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee in January 2011 as a result of concerns about the growth of enrollment and expenditures in the Medicaid program. The report indicates that since 2006, enrollment increased by about 38 percent, from 870,200 to 1.2 million, and expenditures grew from $5.0 billion to $7.5 billion—an increase of about 50 percent.

The report attributes the program’s enrollment growth to the economic downturn and to changes in state law that expanded eligibility. The majority of the expenditure growth is attributed to increased enrollment, but also increased reimbursement rates for some services, like hospital services.

WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding, in a memo to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, emphasized that state expenditures are only one part of the picture. It is important to consider whether those expenditures are reasonable considering the actual cost of the services being provided.

"Even with increased payments from the hospital assessment, hospitals and other health care providers overall are reimbursed for services well below the costs those providers incur to provide those services," the WHA memo states. "In 2010, WHA estimates that hospitals alone were reimbursed approximately $879 million below what it cost hospitals to provide care to Medicaid enrollees. In other words, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program paid 63 cents for every $1 worth of hospital services (at cost) it received … although annual Medicaid expenditures are currently over $7 billion, the program’s true value is actually much higher when you account for the un-reimbursed costs incurred by providers for caring for Medicaid patients."

The auditors also found limitations in the state’s accounting systems, and indicated that they spent a large portion of their efforts compiling basic information on expenditures, participation, and service costs in a useful format for policymakers. The LAB recommends that DHS submit a detailed biennial budget request, and detailed reporting of program expenditures by service category.

The report notes concerns about state contracts and vendors, as well as the lack of state resources available to manage the program. The concerns identified by the LAB highlight the need to consider simplification efforts as part of Medicaid reform activities, and to avoid adding complex new initiatives without appropriate state resources to manage them.

Finally, the auditors recommend that DHS consider the potential benefits of enrolling recipients into HMOs in a timely manner. WHA has supported efforts to better manage care for the Medicaid population. Earlier this year, the WHA Medicaid Reengineering Group submitted recommendations to DHS for better care management in the Medicaid program, including the use of medical home models, as well as more information about the care management practices currently being employed by care management vendors. This would help all stakeholders understand practices that work well and that could be replicated throughout the program.

See the WHA memo to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee in response to the audit findings: www.wha.org/Data/Sites/1/medicaid/labmedicaidaudit-whamemo.pdf

To see the full audit report, including the DHS response, go to: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/CurrentReportsByDate.htm

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Wisconsin Hospitals Join WHA Quality Initiative
Join WHA’s Partners for Patients Initiative

A new WHA initiative is off to a strong start with 63 hospitals now enrolled in the new "Partners for Patients" project. Announced the week before Christmas, WHA staff has been pleased with the member response.

"Partnership for Patients" is a national initiative supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) aimed at reducing inpatient harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent over a three-year period in ten key areas. Through the new project, hospitals will have access to evidence-based practices, staff training and opportunities for sharing practices, as well as continued direct engagement with WHA staff.

"We’ve learned from our other successful collaboratives that even if a hospital has worked on these topics before, they find that sharing and an open dialogue with peers about improved processes can take them to a higher level of performance," according to Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. "Even the best performers learn that it takes a lot of diligence to hardwire best practices in patient care areas."

For information on the Partnership for Patients, visit: www.healthcare.gov/partnershipforpatients.

To see the list of participating hospitals, visit www.wha.org/partnersforpatients.aspx.  To enroll in the project, contact Kelly Court, WHA, kcourt@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

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Political Action Spotlight: Wisconsin Hospitals PAC and Conduit Campaign Raises $232,000 in a Volatile Political Year

In 2011, the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit fundraising campaign raised $232,000 from 411 individuals. The 2011 non-election year campaign was just shy of surpassing the 2010 all-time record of $235,000.

"While we were just shy of last year’s record-breaking year, I am quite proud of the campaign’s success this year, especially given that 2011 was a non-election year when it is typically more difficult to raise contributions," said WHA Advocacy Chair David Olson.

The average contribution this year is up to an all-time high of $566. The average contribution from individuals that are hospital CEOs/presidents was more than $1,250, and one third of those individuals are members of the new Platinum Club. The Platinum Club recognizes those who have contributed $1,500 or more in a calendar year, and members are invited to special recognition events.

In addition to the start of the Platinum Club in 2011, special events designed to thank and recognize all contributors were also a large part of the 2011 campaign. Participants were invited to events such as the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC/Conduit Hospitality Reception at the Governor’s Inaugural Gala in January, a breakfast event with Politico’s Jim VandeHei in Madison in April, an evening cocktail reception at Elkhart Lake in June and a special election 2012 briefing with pollster Prof. Charles Franklin at Miller Park in early December.

Next year’s campaign effort will focus on growing the number of individuals participating in the 2012 campaign. The 2012 Advocacy Committee, chaired by outgoing WHA President Dr. Nick Turkal, will meet in early spring to help determine next year’s goal.

This year’s contributors are listed in alphabetical order by contribution amount below.

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Contributions ranging from $1 - 499 

Adams, Daniel

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Alstad, Nancy

Fort HealthCare

Anderson, Layton

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Andritsch, Stacie

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Annala, Shannon

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Arendt, Kathleen

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Ashenhurst, Karla

Ministry Health Care

Ayers, Mandy

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Bablitch, Steve

Aurora Health Care

Ballentine, Anne

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Banaszynski, Gregory

Aurora Health Care

Barkovich, Catherine

Sacred Heart Hospital

Beall, Linda

Hudson Hospital

Beglinger, Joan

St. Mary's Hospital

Bell, Kristine

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Bernklau, Robert

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Biros, Marilyn

SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Bliven, David

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Bloom, Deborah

Sacred Heart Hospital

Boecker, Ron

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Bosio, David

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Boson, Ann

Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Boudreau, Jenny

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Braun, James

Flambeau Hospital

Braun, Michael

Aspirus, Inc.

Braunschweig, Jennifer

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center

Brenholt, Craig

St. Mary's Hospital

Brenny, Terrence

Stoughton Hospital Association

Bryans, Richard

Sacred Heart Hospital

Burgener, Jean

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Busch, Rebecca

Spooner Health System

Buss, Diane

St. Mary's Hospital

Calhoun, William

Mercy Medical Center

Campau, Patricia

Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.

Campbell-Kelz, Nancy

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Hansen, Carrie

Ministry Health Care

Casey, Candy

Columbia Center

Caven, Michael

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Ceelen, John

Ministry Health Care

Censky, Bill

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Clark, Renee

Fort HealthCare

Connor, Michael

Aurora Health Care

Cooksey, Patricia

Hudson Hospital

Cox, Tamarah

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Dahl, James

Fort HealthCare

Dalebroux, Steve

St. Mary's Hospital

Danner, Dean

Aspirus, Inc.

Decker, Michael

Divine Savior Healthcare

DeMars, Nancy

Sacred Heart Hospital

Derks, Darla

Sacred Heart Hospital

DeRosa, Jody

St. Mary's Janesville Hospital

Devermann, Robert

Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh

Dietrich, Dean

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Dolohanty, Naomi

Aurora Health Care

Donlon, Marcia

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Drengler, Kathryn

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Drexler, Rochelle

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Dux, Larry

Community Memorial Hospital

Dwyer, Amy

Sacred Heart Hospital

Ehn, Diane

Froedtert Health

Ela, Susan

Aurora Health Care

Elliott, Roger

St. Joseph's Hospital

Erickson, Susan

Meriter Hospital

Erickson, William

Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital

Evans, Kim

Bellin Hospital

Evenson, Rock

Froedtert Health

Fabich, Robb

Aspirus, Inc.

Facey, Alice

St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Fait, Jane

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Fielding, Laura

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Flanagan, Tracy

Sacred Heart Hospital

Freiberg, Kerry

Community Memorial Hospital

From, Leland

Beloit Health System

Fuchs, Thomas

St. Joseph's Hospital

Furlong, Marian

Hudson Hospital

Garavet, Scott

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Garvey, Gale

St. Mary's Hospital

Gaynor, Stanley

Black River Memorial Hospital

Giedd, Janice

St. Joseph's Hospital

Gigot, Kelly

St. Vincent Hospital

Gjolberg, Skip

Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital

Goldberg, David

Community Memorial Hospital

Govier, Mary

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Graul, Mark

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Grohskopf, Kevin

St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Groskreutz, Kevin

St. Joseph's Hospital

Gruber, Richard

Mercy Health System Corporation

Grunwald, Patricia

Meriter Hospital

Guffey, Kerra

Meriter Hospital

Gulan, Maria

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Gullicksrud, Lynn

Sacred Heart Hospital

Gutsch, Mike

Southwest Health Center

Hafeman, Paula

St. Vincent Hospital

Halida, Cheryl

St. Joseph's Hospital

Hamilton, Lisa

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Hamilton, Mark

 

Hansen, Carrie

Ministry Health Care

Hattem, Marita

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Heilmann, Lea

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Hemes, Jim

 

Hessert, Peter

Aspirus, Inc.

Hieb, Laura

Bellin Hospital

Hill, Nick

St. Joseph's Hospital

Hockers, Sara

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Hoege, Beverly

Reedsburg Area Medical Center

Hofer, John

Bay Area Medical Center

Holmes, Sheryl

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Holub, Gregory

Ministry Door County Medical Center

Hueller, Julie

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Hupf, Angela

Memorial Health Center

Jelle, Laura

St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Jensen, Russell

St. Mary's Hospital

Johnas, Nancy

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Johnson, Charles

St. Mary's Hospital

Johnson, Joanne

St. Mary's Hospital

Keene, Kaaron

Memorial Health Center - An Aspirus Partner

Kellar, Richard

Aurora West Allis Medical Center

Kelsey Foley, Kathy

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Kempen, Jacob

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

King, Peggy

Memorial Health Center

King, Steve

St. Mary's Hospital

Klay, Lois

St. Joseph's Hospital

Kleaveland Kupczak, Sarah

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Kostroski, Sharon

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Kuehni-Flanagan, Tracy

St. Joseph's Hospital

Lachecki, Therese

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Laird, Michael

Froedtert Health, St. Joseph's Hospital

Lange, George

Westgate Medical Group, CSMCP

Lentz, Darrell

Aspirus, Inc.

Leonard, Mary Kay

St. Mary's Hospital

Logemann, Cari

Aspirus, Inc.

Lopas, Mary

Ministry Door County Medical Center

Lucas, Roger

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

LuCore, Patricia

Sacred Heart Hospital

Lux, Teri

Community Memorial Hospital

Magnussen, Eric

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Marcouiller, Don

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Margan, Rob

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Markgraf, Janelle

Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner

Maroney, Lisa

 

Marquardt, Amy

 

Marsch, Jean

St. Vincent Hospital

Mason, Paul

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Matzke, Monica

Aspirus, Inc.

Maurer, Mary

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

McKenzie, Paula

St. Mary's Hospital

McKevett, Timothy

Beloit Health System

Meicher, John

St. Mary's Hospital

Meidl, Kathy

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Meissner, Diane

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Merline, Karen

 

Meyer, Jeffrey

Osceola Medical Center

Meyer, Margaret

Community Memorial Hospital

Mohr, Carol

Sacred Heart Hospital

Mourey, Gerald

Aspirus, Inc.

Mueller, Rick

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Muellerleile, Steven

Westfields Hospital

Mugan, James

Agnesian HealthCare

Mulder, Doris

Beloit Health System

Myers, Lynne

Meriter Hospital

Nakamura, Ron

Children's Hospital and Health System

Needham, Jean

Westfields Hospital

Neikirk, Jon

Froedtert Health

Nelson, Dean

St. Mary's Hospital

Nevers, Rick

Aspirus, Inc.

Niemer, Margaret

Children's Hospital and Health System

Nockerts, Steven

The Richland Hospital

Norton, Marcella

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Ojala, Theresa

St. Mary's Hospital

O'Keefe, James

Mile Bluff Medical Center

Olson, Bonnie

Sacred Heart Hospital

Oungst, Laurie

Ministry Health Care's Howard Young Medical Center

Omdahl, Nicholas

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Ose, Peggy

Riverview Hospital Association

Osen, John

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Page, Alison

Baldwin Area Medical Center

Palecek, Steve

St. Joseph's Hospital

Peiffer, Susan

Sacred Heart Hospital

Peck, Lori

Memorial Health Center

Pempek, Kalynn

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Penczykowski, James

St. Mary's Hospital

Peters, Kenneth

Bellin Hospital

Petonic, Mary Frances

Meriter Hospital

Pinske, Heather

St. Mary's Hospital

Piper, Barbara

Sacred Heart Hospital

Polenz, Scott

Memorial Medical Center - Neillsville

Potts, Dennis

Aurora Health Care

Powell, Stacey

Sacred Heart Hospital

Priest, Geoffrey

Meriter Hospital

Proehl, Sheila

Hudson Hospital

Prunty, Brian

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Quade, Steve

Ministry Door County Medical Center

Quinn, George

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Radoszewski, Pat

Children's Hospital and Health System

Rambert, Luanne

Community Memorial Hospital

Rambo, Kari

Hudson Hospital

Reinke, Mary

Aurora Health Care

Rickelman, Debbie

WHA Information Center

Roethle, Linda

Bellin Hospital

Rozenfeld, Jonathan

St. Mary's Hospital

Rubenzer, Deanne

St. Joseph's Hospital

Rudolph, Wade

Sacred Heart Hospital

Rueber, Joel

Aspirus, Inc.

Rutkowski, Jennifer

Grant Regional Health Center

Samitt, Craig

Dean Health System

Sanders, Paul

Community Memorial Hospital

Saunaitis, Tamara

Meriter Hospital

Schade, Randy

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Schaefer, Mark

Froedtert Health

Schaetzl, Ron

St. Clare Hospital & Health Services

Schmitz, Bonnie

Agnesian HealthCare

Schraufnagel, Patricia

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Schroeder, Larry

Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital

Schuelke, Susan

Community Memorial Hospital

Schulz, Janet

ProHealth Care, Inc.

Schuster, Lynn

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Scieszinski, Robert

Ministry Door County Medical Center

Scinto, Jeanne

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sczygelski, Sidney

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sennholz, William

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Shapiro, David

Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital

Sheehan, Heather

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge

Smith, Greg

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Snow, Rachel

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sparks, Steven

St. Mary's Hospital

Sprengeler, John

St. Joseph's Hospital

Stanford, Cynthia

 

Statz, Darrell

Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Stelzer, Jason

St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Stenson, Jill

Agnesian HealthCare

Stephenson, Sean

 

Stine, Stephen

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Stoffel, Julie

St. Joseph's Hospital

Stone, Stacy

Sacred Heart Hospital

Strasser, Kathy

Aspirus, Inc.

Strobel, Donald

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Sullivan, Anne

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Sullivan, Gail

St. Joseph's Hospital

Swiderski, Julie

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Tapper, Joy

Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Tarantino, Jennifer

Aurora Health Care

Taylor, Steve

Beloit Health System

Tews, Carol

Memorial Medical Center - Neillsville

Tincher, Pat

Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner

Tobin, Susan

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Todd, Jeffrey

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Turner, Sally

Aurora Health Care

Turtenwald, Robyn

Community Memorial Hospital

Tuttle, Kathryn

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Vakoc, Patricia

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

VanDeVoort, John

Sacred Heart Hospital

Voelker, Thomas

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Vogt, Paula

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Waldoch, Timothy

Froedtert Health

Walker, Troy

St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Wanless, Kathy

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Washburn, Juliane

Bay Area Medical Center

Watts, Susan

St. Vincent Hospital

Wipperfurth, Kay

Fort HealthCare

Witt, Heather

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Yaron, Rachel

Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital

Zeller, Brad

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge

Zorbini, John

Aurora Health Care

 

Contributions ranging from $500 - 999 

Anderson, Rhonda

Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Hospital

Andersen, Travis

St. Elizabeth Hospital

Bailet, Jeffrey

Aurora Health Care

Bayer, Tom

St. Vincent Hospital

Bukowski, Cathy

Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital

Bultema, Janice

 

Byrne, Frank

St. Mary's Hospital

Cardamone, Dr. Steve

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Carlson, Dan

Bay Area Medical Center

Clapp, Nicole

Grant Regional Health Center

Clough, Sheila

Ministry Health Care’s Howard Young Medical Center

Deich, Faye

Sacred Heart Hospital

Dicus-Johnson, Coreen

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Dietsche, James

Bellin Hospital

Eckels, Timothy

Hospital Sisters Health System

Frank, Jennifer

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Garcia, Dawn

St. Joseph's Hospital

Gingerich, Lisa

 

Granger, Lorna

ProHealth Care

Grundstrom, David

Flambeau Hospital

Guirl, Nadine

ProHealth Care

Heifetz, Michael

SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Herzog, Sarah

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Hinner, William

Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital

Huettl, Patricia

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Hyland, Carol

Agnesian HealthCare

Johnson, Patricia

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge

Jurenec, Anne

ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI

Kersten, Juliet

Children's Hospital and Health System

Kerwin, George

Bellin Hospital

Klimisch, Ronald

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Korom, Nancy

Children's Hospital and Health System

Krueger, Mary

Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital

Lewis, Gordon

Burnett Medical Center

Mantei, Mary Jo

Bay Area Medical Center

May, Carol

Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital

McNally, Maureen

Froedtert Health

Nelson, Dave

SSM Health Care-Wisconsin

Nelson, James

Fort HealthCare

Nelson, Nanine

ProHealth Care

Normington, Jeremy

Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics

Oberholtzer, Curt

Bay Area Medical Center

Ouimet, Mary

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Pedretti, Julie

Children's Hospital and Health System

Peterson, Douglas

Chippewa Valley Hospital

Pollard, Dennis

Froedtert Health

Postler-Slattery, Diane

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

Richards, Theresa

Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Rocole, Theresa

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Roller, Rachel

Aurora Health Care

Runge, Charles

Froedtert Health

Russell, John

Columbus Community Hospital

Sale, Nora

Froedtert Health

Schafer, Michael

Spooner Health System

Schneider, David

Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner

Selberg, Heidi

HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division

Shabino, Charles

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Ship, Mark

Children's Hospital and Health System

Simaras, James

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Stuart, Philip

Tomah Memorial Hospital

Schoof, Susie

 

Swanson, Kerry

St. Mary's Janesville Hospital

Thurmer, DeAnn

Waupun Memorial Hospital

Van Meeteren, Bob

Reedsburg Area Medical Center

VanCourt, Bernie

Bay Area Medical Center

Volpe, Joseph

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Worrick, Gerald

Ministry Door County Medical Center

Zenk, Ann

Ministry Saint Mary's

 

Contributions ranging from $1,000 - 1,499 

Alig, Joanne

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Anderson, Sandy

St. Clare Hospital and Health Services

Boland, Susan

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Bowers, Brenda

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Britton, Gregory

Beloit Health System

Buser, Kenneth

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

Court, Kelly

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Duncan, Robert

Children's Hospital and Health System

Edwards, Susan

ProHealth Care, Inc.

Fale, Robert

Agnesian HealthCare

Francis, Jeff

Ministry Health Care

Friberg, Deb

Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Hospital

Fritsch, Phyllis

Upland Hills Health

Geboy, Scott

Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman

Gunn, Veronica

Children's Hospital and Health System

Gutzeit, Michael

Children's Hospital and Health System

Hahn, Brad

Aurora Health Care

Harding, Edward

Bay Area Medical Center

Hilt, Monica

Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital

Hymans, Daniel

Memorial Medical Center - Ashland

Karuschak, Michael

Amery Regional Medical Center

Kerschner, Joseph

Children's Hospital and Health System

Kosanovich, John

UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center

Kryda, Michael

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital

Little, Steven

Agnesian HealthCare

Loftus, Philip

Aurora Health Care

Martin, Jeff

Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital

Morgan, Dwight

Aurora Health Care

Nauman, Michael

Children's Hospital and Health System

Niemer, Margaret

Children's Hospital and Health System

Radoszewski, Pat

Children's Hospital and Health System

Reynolds, Sheila

Children's Hospital and Health System

Robertstad, John

ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital

Sanders, Robert

Children's Hospital and Health System

Size, Pat

 

Sohn, Jonathan

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Standridge, Debra

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Troy, Peggy

Children's Hospital and Health System

Wallace, Michael

Fort HealthCare

Westrick, Paul

Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.

 

Contributions ranging from $1,500 - 1,999 

Bjork, Tanya

Capitol Navigators, Inc. 

Bloch, Jodi

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Boese, Jennifer

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Canter, Richard

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Coffman, Joan

St. Joseph's Hospital

Eichman, Cynthia

Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital

Gorelick, Marc

Children's Hospital and Health System

Grasmick, Mary Kay

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Herzog, Mark

Holy Family Memorial, Inc.

Jacobson, Catherine

Froedtert Health

LePore, Michael

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Mohorek, Ronald

Ministry Health Care

Normington, Jeremy

Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics

O'Brien, Mary

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center

Olson, David

Froedtert Health

Olson, Edward

ProHealth Care

Potter, Brian

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Sexton, William

Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital

Stanford, Matthew

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Starmann-Harrison, Mary

Hospital Sisters Health System

Warmuth, Judith

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Wolf, Edward

Lakeview Medical Center

Woodward, James

Meriter Hospital

 

Contributions ranging from $2,000 - 2,499 

Borgerding, Dana

 

Brenton, Mary E.

 

Fish, David

Hospital Sisters Health System

Kachelski, Joe

Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network

Katen-Bahensky, Donna

 

Kief, Brian

Ministry Saint Joseph’s

Leitch, Laura

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Merline, Paul

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Mettner, Michelle

Children's Hospital and Health System

Neufelder, Daniel

Affinity Health System

Oliverio, John

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Pandl, Therese

HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division

Sanders, Michael

Monroe Clinic

Troy, Peggy

Children's Hospital and Health System

 

Contributions ranging from $2,500 - 2,999 

Desien, Nicholas

Ministry Health Care

Levin, Jeremy

Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Taylor, Mark

Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.

 

Contributions ranging from $3,000 - 3,999 

Borgerding, Eric

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Kammer, Peter

The Kammer Group

Petasnick, William

Froedtert Health

Turkal, Nick

Aurora Health Care

 

Contributions ranging from $4,000 - 4,999 

Erwin, Duane

Aspirus Wausau Hospital

 

Contributions $5,000 + 

Brenton, Stephen

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Klein, Rick

Aurora Health Care

Size, Tim

Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Tyre, Scott

Capitol Navigators, Inc.

 

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Legislative Study Committee Supports Key WHA Behavioral Health Task Force Recommendations

On December 19, a special legislative study committee voted to recommend legislation that would require hospital representation on county-level 51.42 mental health policy making boards and also agreed to create a committee workgroup to review and refine a WHA proposal to explicitly align Wisconsin emergency detention procedures with federal law. Both actions stem from key recommendations by WHA’s Behavioral Health Task Force.

The study committee, officially named the Special Committee on Review of Emergency Detention and Admission of Minors Under Chapter 51, is made up of legislators, health care providers, law enforcement, county human services providers, county corporation counsel, and mental health consumer representatives, and met for the first time since December 2010 to review and recommend legislation to improve emergency detention processes in Wisconsin.

George Kerwin, CEO Bellin Health Care and chair of WHA’s Behavioral Health Task Force, and Dr. Gina Koeppl, regional director of Ministry Health Care-Northern Region’s Behavioral Services, serve as hospital representatives on the Committee.

WHA Recommendation: Explicitly align Wisconsin emergency detention procedures with federal law

The study committee discussed the WHA Behavioral Health Task Force’s draft proposal to amend Wisconsin law to help ensure that hospitals would not be penalized under federal law for emergency detention related decisions made by county crisis agencies or law enforcement pursuant to Wisconsin’s emergency detention statute. Pursuant to that statute, in most situations, county crisis agencies and law enforcement have exclusive authority to make determinations regarding whether and how a mentally ill individual may be involuntarily detained under the emergency detention statute and transported for stabilization.

The study committee agreed to create a work group of the Committee to more fully discuss the proposal and to refine language drafted by legislative council attorneys at the request of Rep. Joan Ballweg.

WHA worked with Rep. Ballweg, other legislators on the study committee and other members of the study committee prior to the meeting to help educate them on this technical but important issue, and was pleased that they agreed to add the WHA proposal to the study committee’s discussion.

Stressing the need to address the situation, Dr. Koeppl said, "Hospitals need to be in a position when people do arrive on site to support a diversion to a crisis bed or other appropriate setting."

"We are trying to narrowly craft something that doesn’t create new liability for counties; enables the counties to continue to do [emergency detention] diversionary work, which we support; and meets the consumers’ needs," said Matthew Stanford, WHA vice president, policy & regulatory affairs, in testimony to the study committee.

A first meeting of the workgroup has not yet been set, though WHA anticipates that it will occur in the very near future.

WHA Recommendation: Add hospital representation to 51.42 county behavioral health policy boards.

The study committee also voted unanimously to recommend legislation to the full Joint Legislative Council that would implement the WHA Task Force’s recommendation to include hospital representation on 51.42 Boards that make policy regarding county behavioral health services. The Joint Legislative Council will now have an opportunity to introduce and sponsor the legislation.

To increase collaboration and improve care for individuals with mental illness at the county level, the WHA Behavioral Task Force recommended in its 2010 white paper that hospital representation be required on county 51.42 Boards. Counties are required to have such boards to make policy regarding the county behavioral health services, including mental health crisis services.

"The key issue is to have hospitals and law enforcement involved actively in the discussion to learn from and develop relationships with people on the board and be able to overcome some of the concerns that the committee heard in testimony last year," Kerwin told the study committee in his support of the 51.42 Board recommendation.

Senator Mary Lazich, chair of the study committee agreed. "I think this is an absolutely excellent idea to add the hospital rep and the law enforcement rep [to the 51.42 Boards]….I know from my prior experience on a human services board that that expertise would be invaluable."

Other issues

The study committee also considered 11 other reforms. Notable recommendations of the study committee included ensuring that Dane County would not become subject to special emergency detention procedures, which are now statutorily required only of Milwaukee County, once Dane County’s population exceeds 500,000 individuals; creating new limited exceptions to the statutory requirement that an individual in Milwaukee County must be evaluated for detention by the detention facility treatment director within 24 hours; and creating new limited exceptions to the statutory requirement that a probable cause hearing must be held within 72 hours of the initiation of an emergency detention.

Due to time constraints, the study committee was unable to discuss two additional draft bills regarding the creation of a mental health power of attorney statute and various reforms to the admission of minors for behavioral health treatment under s. 51.13 of the Wisconsin Statutes. It is anticipated that these issues will be taken up by the Task Force at a future meeting.

If you have any questions or input on any of these issues, please contact WHA’s Matthew Stanford at mstanford@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

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President’s Column: "From the Cutting Room Floor – Good Out-takes from ‘Results’"

Every year about this time, we produce a publication that reviews the "Results" of your Association’s work over the past 12 months. Most of you know me well enough by now to know that I appreciate brevity. Our eight-page report could have easily been 16 pages. It was a busy, productive and often challenging year. The state budget, the federal deficit, health reform implementation, physician workforce report, and issues associated with Medicare and Medicaid were enough to keep us on the "top of our game," a dynamic we’ll need to maintain in 2012.

In the space of my column this week, I’d like to highlight a few priorities that were not included in the 2011 "Results" publication, which is in our Friday packet this week:

ICD-10 Readiness – Remember when we all waited with eyes wide open for the clock to strike 12:01 AM in the year 2000? Some experts are likening the ICD-10 transition to Y2K. The hope is that it, too, will be as uneventful as that moment 12 years ago due to advanced planning and careful attention to critical implementation timelines.

Thanks to staff efforts at WHA, we have been acknowledged by our members as a valued ICD-10 educational resource, offering 22 different sessions focused on ICD-10 readiness this year. Several of my President’s columns in 2011 were devoted to "sounding the alarm" and ensuring that our members were aware of key deadlines. You can count on us to continue to stay abreast of this issue in 2012. This coming year is the critical time to activate your implementation plan full force while bringing your physicians into the fold, fine tuning your education plan, assessing managed care contracts and planning for possible threats to financial stability, and frequent communication with vendors to ensure timely and accurate system transitions.

Workforce – While the WHA physician report, "100 New Physicians A Year" received a lot of attention this past year, the health care workforce as a whole continues to be closely watched and occasionally influenced by WHA staff. In 2011, the trend of having a lot of vacant positions basically disappeared as the recession took hold. Member hospitals reported in the WHA annual personnel survey that they were experiencing the lowest vacancy rates since WHA’s first survey in 2000. In spite of the slowdown, however, hospitals reported having more than 3,000 vacant positions. WHA will release its annual workforce survey early in 2012.

Communications and Education – At the beginning of every year, WHA staff are asked to select five member hospitals and schedule on-site visits. Over the past couple of years, most of you have welcomed staff and provided them with insights that we cannot gain from emails, regional programs or even Council meetings. During the course of those visits, we heard many times over the value of WHA’s communication and education efforts. An Association is only as strong as its ability to communicate effectively on the issues that are your highest priorities. Every week, we strive to collect the latest information and report to you on issues that are critical to your success. Our special reports are designed to give our members, and oftentimes, legislators and other stakeholders, a better perspective on an issue and provide readers with the impact that it will have on Wisconsin.

We view our commitment to member education as proactively providing information that will help you meet your staff education goals. In the last year, we offered 125 webinars, 21 in-person conferences and seminars, and hosted nearly 4,200 attendees from Wisconsin hospitals. Next year, we have a full education agenda planned, with flexibility built in to address new education needs that may arise as the year rolls on.

We hope you enjoy reviewing "Results." It is a privilege to serve the hospitals of Wisconsin. We wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support of YOUR Association.

Steve Brenton,
President

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Medicaid Spared from Budget Lapse

The Walker Administration last week provided additional details concerning the "unallocated lapse" of $174 million that was part of the 2011-2013 biennial budget (2011 Wis. Act 32). The budget bill requires the secretary of the Department of Administration (DOA) to develop a plan for the discretionary lapse and submit that plan to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance for review. The Medicaid program was spared from the lapse.

Announcing the lapses and confirming that the Medicaid program would not be affected, DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote, "In establishing the lapse targets, specific educational exemptions were granted to school aids, higher education financial aid and technical college aids. In addition, Medical Assistance and other direct care programs at the Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Department of Children and Families’ child welfare and certain Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs were exempted."

DOA’s plan includes a lapse of $24 million related to a performance bonus the Medicaid program received from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for simplifying their enrollment and renewal processes and increasing the enrollment of uninsured children in the Medicaid program. The $24 million bonus reportedly had not been budgeted for Medicaid expenditures and, therefore, does not increase the amount of savings, approximately $550 million, DHS must identify in the Medicaid program in its 2011-2013 budget.

Subsequently, a plan was announced to lift the Family Care cap imposed in the last budget and to expand Family Care to additional counties. The funding source for lifting the cap, estimated to be $80 million, and expanding the program to additional counties is unclear.

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Congress Passes Hospital Supported TRICARE Clarification
Without change, TRICARE patients might have had fewer health care options

"At a time when hospitals are being asked to do more with less reimbursement, it makes little sense to divert financial resources from patient care in order to satisfy administrative requirements," the American Hospital Association (AHA) told Congressional leaders considering the conference agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540). The legislation includes language clarifying that TRICARE network providers should not be considered subcontractors under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and other law. AHA, WHA, and other health care organizations strongly supported the clarification. Congress passed the conference agreement on December 15, 2011.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently took the position that hospitals and health systems that serve as TRICARE providers are federal subcontractors, imposing additional burdensome and costly requirements that apply to federal contractors and subcontractors. The OFCCP’s position is contrary to the position taken by the U.S. Department of Defense, the agency charged with administering TRICARE.

AHA reminded the members of Congress that hospitals are currently subjected to a myriad of laws and regulations, including anti-discrimination regulations, that are appropriately enforced by many agencies. Some hospitals that care for TRICARE patients reportedly have had to weigh whether to continue in the program because of the increased administrative costs associated with participation. As a consequence, without the recently passed legislation TRICARE patients might have had fewer health care options available to them. TRICARE provides health care coverage for uniformed service members and their families.

On December 21, 2011, Congress sent the bill to the President for his consideration. The President is expected to approve the legislation. A copy of the enrolled bill is available here (see Section 715): http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1540:

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Wisconsin Hospitals Community Benefits: Charity Care

Fear of a bill should never prevent a patient from seeking care at a Wisconsin hospital. Wisconsin hospital charity care programs provided $232 million to more than 700 patients each day in 2010. The stories that follow illustrate the deep commitment and continuing concern that hospitals have to their patients to ensure they receive the care they need regardless of their ability to pay.


Supporting the vulnerable during difficult times

Tim, a single male in his early 20s, found himself with some health issues that interfered with his ability to perform the requirements of his employment. He needed to leave his job until his medications could be regulated and managed well enough for him to return to work safely. This process was expected to take months and Tim’s employer could not wait; they needed to fill his position.

Tim had no choice but to return to his parents’ home to live until such time that he would again be gainfully employed and able to be self-sufficient. Tim did contribute $100 per month for room and board to his parents when he was able to during this time of extended illness and recuperation. Holy Family Memorial granted Tim 100 percent assistance for his medical bills through the Community Care Program. By doing so, Holy Family Memorial assisted him on his journey back to self-sufficiency and rejoining the workforce.

Holy Family Memorial, Inc., Manitowoc


A familiar face with an all-too familiar story

Most people who are uninsured wait too long – until their pain is unbearable. Then they go to the emergency department (ED) for treatment.

One familiar face to the staff in the ED at Aurora Medical Center of Manitowoc County was admitted four times within several months. That familiar face belonged to a young woman, age 23, whose first ED visit was for dental pain due to lack of oral hygiene – a condition that had progressed into upper respiratory infections and caused her severe difficulty breathing. She was well aware that her medical bills were piling up.

The patient met with a financial counselor and revealed that she was living on her own and working part-time for an employer who does not offer health insurance for part-time employees. Luckily, she enrolled in a government program called Foodshare, which provided food stamps. Her initial thought was to work out a payment plan with the financial counselor. At that point she was encouraged to apply for Aurora’s Helping Hand financial assistance program, which provides free or discounted care to those in need. Within weeks, the patient received news that she qualified for a 100 percent discount through the Helping Hand program. In addition, the financial counselor was able to link her with the local One-Stop Job Center case manager to work with her on seeking a full-time job with health benefits.

Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers


ThedaCare provides financial assistance

Brian Zenefski of Neenah always prided himself on paying bills on time. But when medical bills began to mount, the unemployed man worried about his future.

"More money going out than what was coming in," said Zenefski, 56, who lost his job in 2008.

Zenefski has numerous medical issues, such as a lung disease called sarcoidosis, and requires follow up treatments for asthma, his heart and prostate cancer, which was treated last year. With no money or insurance, Zenefski was not sure he could get the care he needed.

"It was getting to a point of just not go to the doctor and take my chances," he said.

ThedaCare’s Caring Hearts financial assistance program accepted Zenefski, providing $16,000 in medical assistance.

Having the assistance was a blessing, said Zenefski. "I was really happy," he said. "I did not know how I was going to take care of these bills."

Zenefski had been hesitant to accept assistance. But he knew there was no choice.

"I was just so overwhelmed," he said, noting he made as many cuts as he could to make ends meet. "I just pictured myself being out in the street. How can I get a job when my health is so lousy?"

ThedaCare, Appleton


The never-ending cycle

It was a never-ending cycle for a 54 year-old divorced female patient who was a frequent patient in the emergency department (ED) at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. She had 16 inpatient admissions and five ED visits in 2010, resulting from congestive heart failure and severe diabetes. The patient initially lived alone, but eventually moved in with her adult daughter as she was unable to keep a job due to her health issues.

A financial counselor met with the patient to provide a variety of assistance options, which included an application for Aurora’s Helping Hand program. The patient’s health had deteriorated to the point that the doctor declared her presumptively disabled, and Aurora Family Services assisted with a Title 19 application. Although the patient was approved for coverage in the future, all of her previous dates of service were not covered by Title 19. The patient was approved for 100 percent coverage through Aurora’s Helping Hand program for the dates of service not eligible for coverage by Title 19. The bills, a total of nearly $190,600, were covered by Aurora’s Helping Hand program.

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee


Once healthy Pewaukee resident caught off guard with serious infection

At age 31, Brian Matthews was young and healthy and didn’t worry much about not having health insurance. Between being in and out of work in a tough economy and trying to get a small business off the ground, the Pewaukee resident says he just couldn’t afford it. But in May 2011, Brian admits he was caught off guard when he developed a serious infection in his lower right leg. It was swollen to twice its normal size when he finally sought medical treatment at the Wheaton Franciscan – Elmbrook Memorial Emergency Department in Brookfield.

Quickly diagnosed with cellulitis, Brian was hospitalized for nearly two weeks while he underwent antibiotic treatment and two separate surgeries. He was told the condition could have been deadly at that point.

"It’s enough to be stressing over your health, and then I was worrying about the financial part and what I’d face later. I knew right away this would be expensive," Brian shared.

Fortunately, Brian was able to qualify for Wheaton’s Community Care program, which paid for 100 percent of his care. Cris Liebhauser is the Wheaton Franciscan financial counselor who assisted him with the application. She said, "When I walked into Brian’s room and saw how painful his leg looked, the first thing that came to mind was that I had to help him."

"I’m incredibly relieved and very grateful for the help. This was my first time ever needing to be in a hospital. In my case, the financial assistance really saved me. More than a month later, I’m still in outpatient treatment and I don’t know what I’d do without it."

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – Elmbrook Memorial, Brookfield


At the end of her rope?

Life can be challenging enough when you are unemployed and trying to make it through day by day, but imagine the struggle when a diagnosis of cancer is added to the equation.

One woman, who was unemployed and facing foreclosure on her home, had just sold valuable family memorabilia to try to save her home and also support the family. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with cancer at Aurora West Allis Medical Center. Her doctor ordered tests and procedures that needed to be done as soon as possible.

Through tears she told the financial counselor, "I am at the end of my rope."

The financial counselor guided her through the application process for the Aurora Helping Hand financial assistance program. The patient received wonderful news that she was eligible for a 100 percent discount for all the procedures she needed

The financial counselor said, "Just knowing that she had a light at the end of the tunnel, someone helping her and providing her guidance, is at least one less stress in her life. I am so glad to be able to help her concentrate on the most important thing, and that is for her to fight for her life and beat that cancer."

Aurora West Allis Medical Center


Submit community benefit stories to Mary Kay Grasmick, editor, at
mgrasmick@wha.org.

Read more about hospitals connecting with their communities at www.WiServePoint.org.

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