NEWS

WHA Praises Governor for Including Medicaid Disproportionate Share Program in State Budget

MADISON (January 28, 2015) ---- The Wisconsin Hospital Association praised Gov. Scott Walker today for including the reauthorization of the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program in the budget he will submit to the State Legislature next week. The Governor proposes to fund the program at its full amount ($30 million GPR) for the 2015-2017 biennium.

The DSH program was created in the 2013-15 budget to improve Medicaid reimbursement and help those hospitals that serve a large number of Medicaid patients. The DSH program was slated to end on June 30, 2015.

“We are very pleased that Governor Walker continues to recognize how critically important hospitals are to ensuring access to care for all Wisconsinites, including the growing number of Medicaid patients,” said WHA President Eric Borgerding. “This is welcome, ongoing acknowledgment of the challenges that confront Wisconsin’s hospitals, where care is provided to all who walk through their doors, every minute of every day of every year.”

Wisconsin's Medicaid program, also known as BadgerCare, reimburses hospitals just 65 percent of what it costs to care for Medicaid patients. In 2013, the shortfall between the cost to care for Medicaid patients in Wisconsin hospitals and the payment hospitals received totaled nearly $1 billion. Those unpaid costs must be recouped from others.

"We still have work to do when it comes to improving Wisconsin's historically inadequate hospital and physician Medicaid reimbursement, and making other reforms to the program, but today's announcement by Governor Walker is a very welcome step," Borgerding said.

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Contact: Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820