January 5, 2016


Jobs, interest rates key issues in 2016, trade group leaders say

By: Paul Gores | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | December 31, 2015

Workforce issues — not just creating jobs but finding qualified people to fill openings — and the pace of interest rate increases are among factors likely to determine how the state's economy fares in 2016, some Wisconsin trade association leaders say.

In Wisconsin 209,345 people are enrolled in Marketplace coverage

By: Staff | La Crosse Tribune | December 30, 2015

As of Dec. 19, the number of consumers signed up for Marketplace coverage surged to more than 8.2 million nationally, including 209,345 in Wisconsin. Those who selected a plan by Dec. 17, or were auto re-enrolled will have coverage effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Wisconsin grant takes aim at shortage of doctors

By: Jeremy Olson | Star Tribune | January 3, 2016

With a $750,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, HealthPartners is launching a residency program with a year in St. Louis Park and two in smaller Wisconsin towns.

Real cost of outrageous drug prices

By: Leah Dickstein, Rachel Kruzan and Annie Antar | Wausau Daily Herald | December 31, 2015

In 1996, Reva Jones’ daughter, Tonya, gave her the ultimate gift — a kidney that would save her life. Like all transplant recipients, Reva would have to take medications for the rest of her life to protect the transplanted kidney from her own immune system.

INISIGHT ON: Health & Wellness – Health for Hire

By: Andrew Schaick | Insight | January 1, 2016

With a new year comes new resolutions and many Northeast Wisconsin companies are finding ways to help employees stay on top of those resolutions to improve their health.


Big changes coming to Medicare in 2016

By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP | PBS NewsHour | January 4, 2016

WASHINGTON — Whether it’s coverage for end-of-life counseling or an experimental payment scheme for common surgeries, Medicare in 2016 is undergoing some of the biggest changes in its 50 years.

More Employers Offer Plans That Provide Lump Sums For Critical Illnesses

By: Michelle Andrews | Kaiser Health News | January 5, 2016

Insurance policies that pay a lump sum if workers get cancer or another serious illness are being offered in growing numbers by employers. Companies say they want to help protect their workers against the financial pain of increasingly high deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. But it’s important to understand the limitations of these plans before buying.

Nurses: Tele-ICU tools improve performance, communication

By: Katie Dvorak | FierceHealthIT | January 4, 2016

Tele-intensive care tools help nurses to conduct tasks more quickly, and improve performance and communication, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC).

Rural Healthcare’s Outlook is Heartening Despite Challenges

By: John Commins | HealthLeaders Media | December 30, 2015

Rural hospitals continue to close, and patients would be better served if Republicans would stop blocking Medicaid expansion. But constraints in rural healthcare can be overcome through innovation and collaboration.

MU Program Must Adjust to Support Changes in Healthcare

By: Fred Bazzoli | HealthData Management | January 4, 2016

Oh, we long-suffering Chicago Bears fans; we grasp at any fleeting ray of hope. Last year, the team’s coaches seemed incapable of making halftime adjustments.

What Will Be the Top Health IT Issues of 2016?

By: Greg Slabodkin | HealthData Management | January 4, 2016

The New Year begins where 2015 left off—with major health IT challenges, as the industry seeks to transform the quality and efficiency of healthcare as the industry makes its transition to new value-based payment models.

SGR Replacement Poses Daunting Challenges

By: Christopher Cheney | HealthLeaders Media | January 4, 2016

A new Medicare payment system for physicians and other frontline providers is slated to launch in January 2019. Given the difficulties involved in crafting the new rules, federal officials have a busy three years ahead of them.


Unity and Gundersen health plans seek merger

By: David Wahlberg | Wisconsin State Journal | January 5, 2016

Unity Health Insurance and Gundersen Health Plan have asked the state to let them merge. Unity, an affiliate of UW Health, and Gundersen, a non-profit subsidiary of La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, submitted a plan last month to the Office of the Commissioner on Insurance to form a formal partnership, Unity spokeswoman Jennifer Dinehart said Tuesday.

Wheaton opens new urgent care clinic in Franklin

By: Corrinne Hess | BizTimes | January 4, 2016

In response to growing volumes in the Franklin emergency department, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Franklin has opened a new Urgent Care clinic at its Medical Office Building, just north of the hospital.

Meriter is now UnityPoint Health-Meriter

By: David Wahlberg | Wisconsin State Journal | January 5, 2016

Meriter-UnityPoint Health is changing its name to UnityPoint Health-Meriter, the organization announced Tuesday.

Mayo Clinic to develop fifth floor

By: Elizabeth Dohms | Leader Telegram | January 5, 2016

Development of the vacant fifth floor in Mayo Clinic Health System’s newest building will begin in February for 40 patient rooms and rehabilitation space, according to a hospital statement.