Wisconsin Hospitals Invested $193 million to Train Health Professionals
Madison (September 15, 2014) ------ Wisconsin hospitals invested more than $193 million in 2013 to support training for physicians, nurses and other health care and allied professionals according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) annual hospital community benefit survey.
On-site clinical training is an essential element in the education process for all health care professionals, but it requires a major commitment of time and financial resources from hospitals and clinics to implement and administer. Hospitals provide on-site clinical and education experiences ranging from a few weeks to several years for nurses, physicians, therapists, pharmacists, even dentists.
“The commitment our hospital and health system members have made to advance medical education across a broad spectrum of professions helps ensure access to quality health care in our state regardless of where you live,” according to WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding. “While they have voluntarily assumed the responsibility to serve as ‘learning labs’ for health professionals, the cost that is implicit in these types of programs must be a shared responsibility with state government. Hospitals can’t continue to bear the brunt of the costs for training health professionals who may not even seek employment in their organizations.”
WHA strongly supported initiatives in the last state budget that funded new graduate medical education (GME) initiatives. The new funding was a "good step," according to WHA, because it targeted dollars, much of which came in the form of matching grants, to create new specific high need residency positions in Wisconsin in primary care, including psychiatry and general surgery.
The state funding was helpful, but in 2013, Wisconsin hospitals provided:
- $153 million of their own funds, in addition to federal and state reimbursement, to support physician residencies and internships, and clinical education for medical students;
- $14 million to provide clinical settings for undergraduate and vocational education nursing students and support the faculty necessary to provide and oversee the training; and,
- $21 million to offer clinical and other types of education to other health professionals, such as dietitians, therapists, pharmacists, emergency medical technicians and other allied health professions that are an integral part of the health delivery system.
In addition, hospitals gave more than $1.4 million in scholarships and tuition payments to help nurses and other health professionals not employed in their organizations pay their education expenses.
“Investing now in our health care workforce means Wisconsin will have trained health care professionals to meet future demand,” Borgerding said. “These are also investments that produce great jobs and long-term careers that have a positive impact on Wisconsin’s economy.”
The Wisconsin Hospital Association represents more than 130 hospitals. WHA annually surveys its members to collect data related to the resources they provide that improve the health status of people living in the communities they serve.
Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 575-7516