June 14, 2016


Authorities: It's anyone's guess whether self-insuring state workers will pay off

By: David Wahlberg | Wisconsin State Journal | June 8, 2016

Self-insuring state workers could save money by reducing overhead, but it could increase costs by weakening a competitive insurance market that has kept costs low, authorities said Tuesday.

Health experts concerned state self-insurance a done deal

By: Bryna Godar, AP | Miami Herald | June 7, 2016

MADISON, WIS. - Wisconsin insurance industry leaders are worried a potential state move toward self-insurance is already on its way to a done deal.

State Continues To Seek Improvements To Opioid Monitoring Database

By: Shamane Mills | Wisconsin Public Radio | June 7, 2016

Wisconsin policymakers, law enforcement officials and health care providers gathered at a pain management conference in Brookfield Tuesday, using the opportunity to highlight continuing efforts to combat opioid abuse.

Scott Walker's administration drops plan to shift Family Care to for-profit insurers

By: Jason Stein and Guy Boulton | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | June 10, 2016

Under pressure from advocates for the elderly and disabled, Gov. Scott Walker's administration is dropping its plans for now to remake the state's two largest long-term care programs by contracting with private health insurers.

Mental health help on the horizon

By: Nathan Phelps, USA Today Network – Wisconsin | Green Bay Press-Gazette | June 10, 2016

GREEN BAY - A pair of new programs launching next summer aim to help address a shortage of psychiatrists that can often leave patients waiting months for care.

Medicaid Costs Are “Unsustainable”

By: Steven Walters | Urban Milwaukee | June 13, 2016

“Unsustainable.” That’s the word state government officials most often use to describe the soaring cost of Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, which will provide health care for 1.13 million poor, elderly and disabled individuals this year. One in five Wisconsin residents are helped by Medicaid.

Medicaid change could reduce Native American health gaps in Wisconsin

By: David Wahlberg | Wisconsin State Journal | June 13, 2016

A federal change to Medicaid funding for services at tribal clinics could help close significant health gaps for Native Americans in Wisconsin, advocates say.

Lawmakers Approve DOC Funding Request To Cover Inmate Medical Costs

By: Danielle Kaeding | WPR | June 13, 2016

The state Legislature's finance committee approved a Department of Corrections request Monday to transfer money earmarked for drunk driver treatment and monitoring to cover rising inmate healthcare costs.

La Crosse consortium gets $1.5 million for mental health initiative

By: Mike Tighe | La Crosse Tribune | June 7, 2016

The La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium has been awarded a $1.5 million grant spread over eight years to help ramp up and coordinate behavioral health services.


Uncompensated Hospital Care Fell by $6 Billion Nationally in 2014, Primarily in Medicaid Expansion States; However Many Hospitals Worry About Future Changes in Medicaid Supplemental Payments

By: Staff | Kaiser Family Foundation | June 9, 2016

The Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions have benefited hospitals financially, helping to produce an overall decline nationwide in uncompensated care from $34.9 billion to $28.9 billion in 2014, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Controversy erupts over Medicare observation care requirements

By: Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News | USA Today | June 11, 2016

In just two months, a federal law kicks in requiring hospitals to tell their Medicare patients if they have not been formally admitted and why.

Shrinking health insurance market could push up Minnesota premiums

By: Christopher Snowbeck | Star Tribune | June 7, 2016

Minnesota’s market for individuals and families to buy private health insurance has fallen far short of enrollment projections, and actually got smaller between December and March.

Which MACRA Track Makes Strategic Sense?

By: Maggie Van Dyke | H&HN | June 2, 2016

At the heart of the new Medicare physician payment plan, outlined in an April 27 proposed rule, is a key question for hospitals and physicians: “Which of the participation tracks makes the most strategic sense?” says AHA’s Akin Demehin, senior associate director of policy.

CMS plans grants to assist physicians with MACRA transition

By: Fred Bazzoli | HealthData Management | June 10, 2016

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is taking steps to advance its initiative to revamp the practice of medicine by physicians, announcing today the availability of as much as $10 million over the next three years to fund the second round of support networks for the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI).

Drug co-pay assistance programs facing increasing state, federal scrutiny

By: Jayne O’Donnell | USA Today | June 8, 2016

WASHINGTON — Charity-run funds to help patients pay high co-payments face new scrutiny by prosecutors in two states and increased federal oversight, amid increasing questions about how they mask high drug prices.

Why Do Health Costs Keep Rising? These People Know

By: Robert Pear | The New York Times | June 9, 2016

DANVILLE, Pa. — The Geisinger Health Plan, run by one of the nation’s top-rated health care organizations, foresees medical costs increasing next year by 7.5 percent for people buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

AN E.R. Kicks the Habit of Opioids for Pain

By: Jan Hoffman | The New York Times | June 10, 2016

Instead of opioids, an E.R. in New Jersey now treats many pain patients with alternatives like laughing gas, trigger-point injections and even a therapy harp.

Patients Often Prescribed Extra Painkillers, Many Share Them

By: Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter | U.S. News & World Report | June 13, 2016

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than half the patients prescribed opioid painkillers in a recent U.S. study received more than they needed. And many shared the drugs or failed to store them securely, a new survey indicates.

HIT Think How the Internet of Things will disrupt traditional healthcare

By: Kyle Huntley | HealthData Management | June 7, 2016

There are occasional moments in the evolution of business and technology that offer opportunities to re-think the status quo and fundamentally change the way business is done.

Should Pediatricians Refuse to Treat Patients Who Don’t Vaccinate?

By: Perri Klass, M.D. | The New York Times | June 13, 2016

Parents who don’t want to vaccinate their children are a perennial sore subject in my profession. The question bubbled up again this spring at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Annual Leadership Forum, where academy leaders vote on issues of concern to pediatricians across the country.


Aurora awards locals with scholarships

By: Staff | Herald Times Reporter | June 12, 2016

Aurora Health Care in Manitowoc County has awarded five local students with scholarships totaling $5,000.

Case Study: UnityPoint Health connects providers and hospitals with predictive analytics to improve patient care

By: Jessica Davis | Healthcare IT News | June 10, 2016

Matching the right patients with the right data, in real-time, is how UnityPoint Health is helping providers and hospitals in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin develop effective, quality care outcomes.

Mayo Clinic announces major investment in Rochester

By: Associated Press | La Crosse Tribune | June 9, 2016

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Mayo Clinic has announced plans to more than double its research capability in Rochester.