January 16, 2015
Volume 58, Issue 2


Advocacy Day, April 28—Registration Now Open
Tucker Carlson to keynote

Each year the WHA Advocacy Day event grows both in the number of attendees and in the impact made on our legislators in Madison. Advocacy Day is one of the best ways your hospital employees, trustees and volunteers can make an important, visible impact in the State Capitol. Help make the 2015 Advocacy Day event a great success by assembling your hospital contingent now for 2015 Advocacy Day, set for April 28 at Monona Terrace in Madison. Registration is now open at http://events.SignUp4.net/15AdvocacyDay0428.

As always, Advocacy Day 2015 will have a great lineup of speakers, including morning keynote Tucker Carlson. Carlson is a nationally-known veteran journalist and political commentator who will share an insider’s view on Washington, D.C. and a look ahead to the 2016 elections. Carlson is currently the co-host of FOX and Friends Weekend and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller. Prior to joining FOX in 2009, Carlson hosted several nightly programs on MSNBC, as well as co-hosted Crossfire on CNN and a weekly public affairs program on PBS. A longtime writer, Carlson has reported from around the world and has been a columnist for New York magazine and Reader’s Digest. He currently writes for Esquire and The New York Times Magazine. His most recent book is entitled Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News.

The legislator panel discussion will round out the morning session, followed by a luncheon keynote address from Governor Scott Walker (invited).

The highlight of Advocacy Day is always the hundreds of attendees who take what they’ve learned during the day and then meet with their legislators in the State Capitol in the afternoon. The State Legislature will be in the midst of determining the State’s biennial budget bill, so you won’t want to miss the opportunity to make your voice heard with your legislators on important issues like Medicaid.

“WHA’s Advocacy Day continues to be a powerhouse event in Wisconsin’s State Capitol each year because of the commitment of our hospital leaders, staff, trustees and volunteers to this day,” said WHA President Eric Borgerding. “This year’s event is perfectly timed for attendees to have an impact on state budget issues like Medicaid reimbursement. We need every one of you to speak up for your community hospitals.”

WHA schedules all meetings, provides transportation to the State Capitol two blocks away, and prepares attendees for their visits. In addition to an issue briefing at Advocacy Day, WHA offers an optional webinar on legislative visits prior to Advocacy Day.

Join 900 of your peers from across the state at Advocacy Day 2015 on April 28. Register today. A complete program and online registration are available at http://events.SignUp4.net/15AdvocacyDay0428.

For Advocacy Day questions, contact Jenny Boese at 608-268-1816 or jboese@wha.org. For registration questions, contact Jenna Hanson at Jenna.hanson@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

Top of page (1/16/15)

Legislative Leaders Vos, Shilling Support Continuation of DSH Program
Vos: “It’s a critical part of the way we ensure that people get care”

Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos (R-Burlington) and Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) may not agree all the time, but both support reauthorizing the disproportionate share program (DSH) in the upcoming state budget.

Shilling said she knows how important the DSH program is after talking to health care leaders in her district.

“We will have disagreements (on the Joint Finance Committee); however, as we meet, I hope this is one area where we have common ground,” Shilling said at a Newsmaker event hosted by Wisconsin Health News (WHN) and co-sponsored by WHA. WHN Editor Tim Stumm moderated the discussion.

Vos agreed with Shilling about the importance of DSH payments to hospitals with high Medicaid volumes.

“I want to give credit to WHA. They were the leading advocates to make sure that DSH payment continued. I was supportive of that, and I hope we are able to do that again. It would have been my choice that we would have had it as a continuing appropriation in the last budget instead of a one-time thing,” Vos said. “We have to have it. It is a critical part of the way we ensure that people get care, especially in areas of poverty and for those with the greatest need.”

Another area of agreement between Vos and Shilling was their “wait and see” approach to the idea of self-funding state employee health insurance, both indicating a concern about the impact on the state and the overall health insurance market. Vos also expressed concern about possible unintended impacts similar to Medicaid’s hidden health care tax that could result in greater cost shifting.

An issue that Vos said likely won’t be in the budget, but could be worked on this session and taken up in the fall once the budget is passed, is worker’s compensation, which was tabled last session. Shilling said she saw some unique partnerships form as the worker’s compensation bill was debated in the Legislature in 2014.

“All (stakeholders) need to have a voice in the process,” according to Shilling. “There are serious concerns with establishing this without input from all of you, and it needs to include the people who are impacted by the decisions who are not on the Worker’s Compensation Council…it is a conversation about intended and unintended consequences.”

Similarly, Vos suggested that his preference is to get as much consensus as possible on an issue of concern to employers. While the system works well and Wisconsin gets injured employees back to work quickly, Vos is interested in finding a long-term solution to controlling costs. 

Vos and Shilling said they are committed to working to address mental health-related issues in the next state budget. Vos credited the work of the Speaker’s Task Force on Mental Health for facilitating a statewide dialogue that helped identify issues and solutions to some of the care delivery and access issues that create challenges to providers, patients and families.

“If you catch it early, it is better for everyone. Access to primary care is the first step in getting help,” Vos said. Vos also noted the end to a temporary ACA payment increase for Medicaid primary care services is a critical issue. 

As the country awaits the Supreme Court decision on King v. Burwell, Stumm asked Vos and Shilling how Wisconsin will address the issue here if the subsidies are found unconstitutional in states that have a federally-subsidized exchange.

Vos said it is a federal program and, therefore, it should be up to the federal government to fix the problem if the subsidies are overturned. Both legislators said there would be disruption in the marketplace if the subsidies are not available. Vos said the discussions on whether the state would run an exchange have not taken place, and while he indicated support for the state standing up its own exchange would be problematic, he did not rule out the possibility altogether.

To watch this WHN Newsmaker program on WisconsinEye, go to: www.wiseye.org/Programming/VideoArchive/EventDetail.aspx?evhdid=9487.

The Wisconsin Health News Newsmaker series will continue through 2015. In addition to WHA, Newsmaker sponsors include Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin, Mayo Clinic Health System, Godfrey and Kahn, Humana and AARP. Watch for information on upcoming programs in The Valued Voice and at www.wisconsinhealthnews.com.

Top of page (1/16/15)


2014 WI Hospitals PAC and Conduit Campaign Sets New Records Thanks to Supporters

This past year the Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and State PAC Campaign set a new record raising $268,680 and surpassing the goal to raise at least $265,000. This total is more than $10,000 above the previous year’s record.

In 2014, the campaign was able to support the campaigns of 109 candidates for office, disbursing a record $331,500 to campaigns for both Democrats and Republicans and more than $443,000 in the 2013-2014 election cycle, also a new record. In the last four election cycles, the campaign has seen a 21 percent increase in the amount of disbursements to candidate contributions. 

The campaign was also busy this year hosting various candidate events. The Wisconsin Hospitals PAC sponsored 11 candidate fundraisers around the state where all the candidates emerged victorious on Election Day.

These milestones were possible thanks to the 375 contributors in 2014 listed below. They are listed alphabetically by contribution amount category.

For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.

Contributors ranging from $1 to $499
Aittama, Craig Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Alstad, Nancy Fort HealthCare
Anderson, Phil Sacred Heart Hospital
Anich, Matthew Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Appleby, Jane Aurora Health Care
Arnett, James Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Babbitts, Jamie St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center
Bagnall, Andrew St. Nicholas Hospital
Bair, Barbara St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Ballentine, Anne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Bayer, Tom St. Vincent Hospital
Becker, Kathleen Aurora Health Care
Brenholt, Craig St. Joseph's Hospital
Brenny, Terrence Stoughton Hospital Association
Buser, Kenneth Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Campau, Patricia Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Capelli, A.J. Aurora Health Care
Cardinal, Lori Agnesian HealthCare
Ceelen, John Ministry Health Care
Censky, Bill Holy Family Memorial
Clark, Julie St. Joseph's Hospital
Clark, Renee Fort HealthCare
Cliffe Kucharski, Elizabeth Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Collins, Sherry Wisconsin Hospital Association
Connor, Michael Aurora Health Care
Coopman, Dianne St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Cormier, Laura Bellin Hospital
Courtney, Chip Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Dalebroux, Steve St. Mary's Hospital
Danner, Forrest Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Decker, Michael Divine Savior Healthcare
Donlon, Marcia Holy Family Memorial
Duda, Carrie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Dux, Larry Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Dwyer, Maxine St. Mary's Hospital
Erickson, Susan Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Ewald, Sandra Aurora Health Care
Ferrigno, Sandra St. Mary's Hospital
Fielding, Laura Holy Family Memorial
Fields, Mary Aurora Health Care
Freitag, Vanessa Ministry Our Lady of Victory Hospital
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital & Clinics
Gagnon, Annette HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Gajeski, Lynn St. Vincent Hospital
Goldberg, David Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Gormican, John J. Agnesian HealthCare
Grasmick, Michael  
Graul, Mark Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Groskreutz, Kevin St. Joseph's Hospital
Gruber, Richard Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center
Gulan, Maria Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Gullicksrud, Lynn Sacred Heart Hospital
Gustafson, Andy SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Gutsch, Mike Cumberland Health Care
Hafeman, Paula St. Vincent Hospital
Halida, Cheryl St. Joseph's Hospital
Hamilton, Mark  
Harrington, Kathleen Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Hattem, Marita Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Heaney, Dwight Fort HealthCare
Helgeson, Jason HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Henricks, William Rogers Memorial Hospital
Hieb, Laura Bellin Hospital
Hill, Juliet Sacred Heart Hospital
Hockin, Jennifer Aspirus, Inc.
Hofer, John Bay Area Medical Center
Holub, Gregory Ministry Door County Medical Center
Huber, Mark Aurora Health Care
Hueller, Julie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Hughes, Peter Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Jensen, Russell St. Mary's Hospital
Jermstad, Raymond St. Vincent Hospital
Johnson, Tim Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Jones, Mary Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Jurenec, Anne Select Specialty Hospital - Milwaukee - St Luke's
Karow, Deborah Ministry Health Care's Howard Young Medical Center
Kaufmann, Marilyn Holy Family Memorial
Kelsey Foley, Kathy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Kempen, Jacob Aspirus Wausau Hospital
King, Steve St. Mary's Hospital
Kinney, Aric Aurora Medical Center Summit
Kirsch, Jennifer Gundersen Health System
Klay, Chris St. Joseph's Hospital
Klay, Lois St. Joseph's Hospital
Koch, Mark Mayo Clinic Health System
Kocken, Christine St. Vincent Hospital
Koebke, Troy Bellin Hospital
Koran, Zeb Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Kowske, Steve Aurora Health Care
Kruse, Joe Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Kuehni-Flanagan, Tracy St. Joseph's Hospital
LaBarge, Margie Ministry Health Care
Lakey, Sandy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Lambrecht, Randy Aurora Health Care
Lange, George Westgate Medical Group, CSMCP
Larson, William St. Joseph's Hospital
Leonard, Mary Kay St. Mary's Hospital
Luehring, Sally St. Vincent Hospital
Lynch, Sue Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Maciver, Carolyn Aurora Health Care
Majewski, Joe Aurora Health Care-South Region
Marquardt, Amy Hospital Sisters Health System
Mason, Paul Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial
Mays, Laura Stoughton Hospital Association
McCarthy, Bruce Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
McMeans, Scott Holy Family Memorial
Meicher, John St. Mary's Hospital
Mercer, Carla Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Mohr, Carol Sacred Heart Hospital
Moon-Mogush, Cindy Aurora Health Care
Muzi, Titus Aurora Health Care
Neikirk, Jon Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Nevers, Rick Aspirus, Inc.
Newberry-Ferguson, Linda ProHealth Care - Rehabilitation Hospital of WI
Nickerson, Brian Aurora Health Care
Nicklaus, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
O'Brien, Laura  
O'Hara, Tiffanie Wisconsin Hospital Association
Ortiz, Jose Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Ostrander, Gail HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Ott, Virginia St. Joseph's Hospital
Oungst, Laurie Ministry Health Care's Howard Young Medical Center
Palecek, Steve St. Joseph's Hospital
Pavelec-Marti, Cheryl Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Peck, Lori Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Peiffer, Susan Sacred Heart Hospital
Pempek, Kalynn Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Penczykowski, James St. Mary's Hospital
Penovich, Carrie Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers
Prunty, Brian Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Revnew, Dorothy ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Richman, Tim Calumet Medical Center
Riddle, Roberta Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Risley-Gray, Ruth Aspirus, Inc.
Ross, Daniel Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Roundy, Ann Columbus Community Hospital
Sanicola, Suzanne Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Schaetzl, Ron St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Schneider, David Langlade Hospital - An Aspirus Partner
Schubring, Randy Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Schulze, Connie Ministry Health Care
Schweitzer, Susan Columbus Community Hospital
Sciuti, Jennifer Aurora Health Care
Selle, Ginger St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Shear, Jim  
Sheehan, Heather Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Sio, Tim Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Slomczewski, Constance Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Smith, Melanie Aurora Health Care-South Region
Sommers, Craig St. Mary's Hospital
Sparacino, Gloria Aurora West Allis Medical Center
Steines, Sara Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Stelzer, Jason St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Stephens, Brian Ministry Door County Medical Center
Stranberg, Kevin Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Strasser, Kathy Aspirus, Inc.
Sullivan, Anne Memorial Medical Center - Ashland
Tapper, Joy Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Teigen, Seth St. Mary's Hospital
Theiler, Brian Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics
Thornton, Eric St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Turtenwald, Robyn Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Van Meeteren, Bob Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Vanevenhoven, Joseph Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Vergos, Katherine Ripon Medical Center
Voelker, Thomas Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Walczak, Laura St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Waldoch, Timothy Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Walker, Troy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Washburn, Juliane Bay Area Medical Center
Werkheiser, Cindy Monroe Clinic
Westbrook, Diane River Falls Area Hospital
Westrick, Paul Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Hospital
Wetenkamp, Vicki Holy Family Memorial
Wheeler, Susan St. Nicholas Hospital
White, Pamela Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Whitinger, Margaret Agnesian HealthCare
Woleske, Chris Bellin Hospital
Wymelenberg, Tracy Aurora Health Care
Ziebarth, Laura St. Mary's Hospital
Contributors ranging from $500 to $999
Anderson, Layton Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Behl, Kevin Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Hospital
Bergmann, Michael Aurora Medical Center Summit
Borgerding, Dana  
Brenton, Andrew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Busch, Rebecca Spooner Health System
Cadieux, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Carlson, Dan Bay Area Medical Center
Carlson, Peter Aurora Psychiatric Hospital
Connors, Lawrence St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center
Deich, Faye Sacred Heart Hospital
Dexter, Donn Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Dietsche, James Bellin Hospital
Dolohanty, Naomi Aurora Health Care
Eckels, Timothy Hospital Sisters Health System
Ericson, Allen Froedtert & MCW St. Joseph's Hospital campus
Frangesch, Wayne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Graebner, David Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center
Granger, Lorna Aurora Health Care
Gullingsrud, Tim Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home
Hart, William Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Hospital
Huettl, Patricia Holy Family Memorial
Hyland, Carol Agnesian HealthCare
Jacobson, Terry St. Mary's Hospital of Superior
Jensema, Christine HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Kellar, Richard Aurora West Allis Medical Center
Kersten, Juliet Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kerwin, Kathleen  
Kingston, Mary Beth Aurora Health Care
Kocourek, Cathie Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers
Korom, Nancy Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Larson, Margaret Mercy Medical Center
Lentz, Darrell Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Logemann, Cari Aspirus, Inc.
Malone, Virginia St. Mary's Hospital
Mantei, Mary Jo Bay Area Medical Center
May, Carol Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital
McNally, Maureen Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Miller, Clint Spooner Health System
Mueller, Joan Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
Mugan, James Agnesian HealthCare
Mulder, Doris Beloit Health System
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
Nesse, Robert Mayo Clinic Health System
O'Keefe, James Mile Bluff Medical Center
Oland, Charisse Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Ordinans, Karen Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Ose, Peggy Riverview Hospital Association
Ouimet, Mary Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Peterson, Douglas Chippewa Valley Hospital
Pollard, Dennis Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital campus
Quinn, George Wisconsin Hospital Association
Richards, Theresa Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Richardson, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
Rocole, Theresa Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Rohrbach, Dan Southwest Health Center
Rutkowski, Jennifer Grant Regional Health Center
Schmitz, Bonnie Agnesian HealthCare
Schnedler, Lisa Upland Hills Health
Sczygelski, Sidney Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
Simaras, James Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Smith, Gregory Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sobal, Larry Ministry Health Care
Sohn, Jonathan Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sprecher, Lon  
Staffileno, Gerri Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee
Stuart, Philip Tomah Memorial Hospital
Swanson, Kerry St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Thoreen, Peter Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Thurmer, DeAnn Waupun Memorial Hospital
VanCourt, Bernie Bay Area Medical Center
Wessels, Bill Aspirus, Inc.
White-Jacobs, Mary Beth Black River Memorial Hospital
Worrick, Gerald Lakeview Medical Center
Yaron, Rachel Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital
Contributors ranging from $1,000 to $1,499
Ashenhurst, Karla Ministry Health Care
Bablitch, Steve Aurora Health Care
Bagemihl, Katherine Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Bailet, Jeffrey Aurora Health Care
Bakkum, Kyle Vernon Memorial Healthcare
Bard, Jeffrey Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh
Bedwell, Elizabeth Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Bowers, Brenda Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Garcia-Thomas, Cristy Aurora Health Care
Geboy, Scott Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman
Geraghty, Tricia Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gunn, Veronica Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gutzeit, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hart, Shelly Aurora Health Care
Hayden, Kevin  
Herzog, Sarah Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Janis, Gerald Aurora Health Care
Johnson, Jodi Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Just, Lisa Aurora Health Care
Kosanovich, John Watertown Regional Medical Center
Kostroski, Sharon Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Lappin, Michael Aurora Health Care
Lewis, Jonathan St. Mary's Hospital
Loftus, Philip Aurora Health Care
McDonald, Mary Beth Aurora Health Care
McKevett, Timothy Beloit Health System
Mohorek, Ronald Ministry Health Care
Natzke, Ryan Marshfield Clinic
Nauman, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Nelson, Dave HSHS-Western Wisconsin Division
Norbin Killoran, Carrie Aurora Health Care
Potts, Dennis Aurora Health Care
Priest, Geoffrey Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Radoszewski, Pat Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Rakowski, Mark Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Reynolds, Sheila Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Rickelman, Debbie WHA Information Center
Rislov, Amy Aurora Health Care
Sanders, Robert Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Schafer, Michael Spooner Health System
Schmidt, Cheryl St. Elizabeth Hospital
Shanahan, Thomas Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Stamas, Peter Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Wolf, Edward Lakeview Medical Center
Contributors ranging from $1,500 to $1,999
Anderson, Sandy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Bloch, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
Boatwright, Damond SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Boese, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Boland, Susan Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints
Buck, Catherine Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Byrne, Frank St. Mary's Hospital
Coffman, Joan St. Joseph's Hospital
Court, Kelly Wisconsin Hospital Association
Duncan, Robert Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Falvey, Patrick Aurora Health Care
Francis, Jeff Ministry Health Care
Frank, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association
Grasmick, Mary Kay Wisconsin Hospital Association
Harding, Edward Bay Area Medical Center
Herzog, Mark Holy Family Memorial
Heywood, Matthew Aspirus, Inc.
Hilt, Monica Ministry Saint Mary's Hospital
Kretschman, Robin Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Lepore, Michael Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Lewis, Gordon Burnett Medical Center
Martin, Jeff Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital
Meyer, Daniel Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay
Oliverio, John Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Olson, David Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Robertstad, John ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Roller, Rachel Aurora Health Care
Russell, John Columbus Community Hospital
Sexton, William Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital
Sheehan, John  
Stanford, Matthew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Wallace, Michael Fort HealthCare
Contributors ranging from $2,000 to $2,999
Alig, Joanne Wisconsin Hospital Association
Andersen, Travis Columbia St. Mary's, Inc.
Brenton, Mary E.  
Brooks, Alenia Aurora Health Care
Brophy, Michael Aurora Health Care
Clapp, Nicole Grant Regional Health Center
Colman, Gerard Aurora Health Care
Desien, Nicholas Ministry Health Care
Gage, Weldon Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gorelick, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hanson, Gail Aurora Health Care
Kachelski, Joe Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network
Kelch, Elaine
Kief, Brian Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Leitch, Laura Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman
Levin, Jeremy Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Normington, Jeremy Moundview Memorial Hospital & Clinics
O'Brien, Kyle Wisconsin Hospital Association
Pandl, Therese HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Potter, Brian Wisconsin Hospital Association
Sanders, Michael Monroe Clinic
Standridge, Debra Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Starmann-Harrison, Mary Hospital Sisters Health System
Troy, Peggy Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Contributors ranging from $3,000 to $4,999
Jacobson, Catherine Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Kammer, Peter The Kammer Group
Katen-Bahensky, Donna  
Kerwin, George Bellin Hospital
Little, Steven Agnesian HealthCare
Mettner, Michelle Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Neufelder, Daniel Ministry Health Care
Turkal, Nick Aurora Health Care
Contributors ranging from $5,000 to $9,999
Borgerding, Eric Wisconsin Hospital Association
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Size, Tim Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Contributors $10,000 and above
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc


Top of page (1/16/15)

WHA Seeks Applicants for Vice President, Workforce and Clinical Practice 

This position is a key part of the WHA advocacy team, leading the Association’s proactive workforce efforts and serving as the in-house and public expert on clinical care-related policy development and advocacy. 

The ideal candidate would have experience in a clinical leadership role in a health care facility, have policy-related work experience and be a confident writer and public speaker. This candidate would be self-directed, but would have an experienced team of content experts to assist him or her.

This position works closely with WHA members, policymakers and many community institutions and groups. It is an opportunity to impact health and health policy in Wisconsin.

The ad is posted at www.wha.org/pdf/2015vpWorkforce.pdf.

Qualified applicants who are looking to be a part of a highly-collaborative, results-oriented, impactful and proactive team should contact Mandy Ayers, WHA at 608-274-1820 or mayers@wha.org.

Top of page (1/16/15)

President’s Column: U.S. Supreme Court Could Thwart WI’s Hybrid Approach to Coverage Expansion


In less than two months, the U.S. Supreme Court will again hear arguments on a key element of Obamacare. The case is King v. Burwell. The question is whether federal subsidies to assist some with purchasing health insurance are available in a federally-run exchange. The ruling, expected in June, could immediately redefine state and federal health care politics. That’s because 27 states, including Wisconsin, chose to allow the federal government to run its exchange.

Politics aside, the fact is Wisconsin’s unique, and positive, approach to coverage expansion relies on a federal exchange and the health insurance purchase subsidies that go with it. Of the 170,000 people across Wisconsin now enrolled in coverage via our federal exchange, about 150,000 qualify for a subsidy to help pay their insurance premiums. That’s hundreds, if not thousands, of people in every legislative district.

A key reason many Wisconsin lawmakers rejected Medicaid expansion and reduced Medicaid eligibility down to 100 percent FPL ($11,670/year) is because those coming off Medicaid would have an alternative—obtaining affordable health insurance on a federal exchange. Indeed, a subsidized $19/mo. health insurance premium on the exchange was an acknowledged and enabling component of Wisconsin’s plan. If that goes away, it removes a good portion of Wisconsin’s unique approach to reducing the number of uninsured, including providing the 60,000 disenrolled from Medicaid on April 1, 2014 with an affordable alternative. Absent a fix, thousands will likely become uninsured, the exact opposite of what was intended in Wisconsin.

To varying degrees, the same scenario is playing out in 27 states across the country. The unfolding King v. Burwell saga is shaping up to be an ironic and unforeseen Obamacare complication that’s indirectly putting some philosophical allies at odds with each other.

Some believe only the feds can address the confusion and likely massive loss of coverage a ruling for the plaintiff could bring. But I wouldn’t bet on expeditious solutions coming out of Washington, where “fixing” Obamacare in the next five months is even less likely than the Chicago Bears appearing in the Super Bowl next season (or in the next decade). More likely are solutions coming from the 27 states, led by both Democrats and Republicans, which opted for the federal exchange.

The implications of King v. Burwell are a giant “what if,” but June is not far away and there are plausible contingency options emerging. In separate meetings this week with Governor Walker and legislative leaders, WHA pledged its full resources and support to help craft a Wisconsin solution should King v. Burwell go what would be the wrong way right now for our state.

Eric Borgerding,
WHA President

Top of page (1/16/15)

Hospital Leaders Learn About New Statewide Emergency Preparedness Model

Nationally, federally grant-funded state hospital emergency preparedness programs, including the Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program (WHEPP), are being pressured by adjustments to the grant guidelines to expand the role of regional health care coalitions (HCCs) in emergency preparedness capabilities, including disaster response and recovery, monitoring and management of resources, and coordination of emergency medical care.

In December 2014, hospital leaders joined WHA staff, the Department of Health Services (DHS), and other health care partners at the 2014 National Healthcare Coalition Conference to learn best practices as Wisconsin, building off the decades-long success of WHEPP and continuing its tradition of collaboration, further develops HCCs. An HCC is a group of health care, public health, and public safety organizations that has come together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other adverse events in the community.

The Wisconsin conference delegation included Susan Huerta, vice president of quality, patient safety & performance improvement at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Polly Groshens, CNO of Burnett Medical Center, Grantsburg; and Andrew Brenton, WHA assistant general counsel. This was the second year WHA attended this conference with hospital leaders. Last year, the conference took place in New Orleans, and the Wisconsin hospital community was represented by Gordon Lewis, CEO, Burnett Medical Center and WHA Board Member; Darrell Lentz, president, Aspirus Wausau Hospital; and David Hartberg, CEO, Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital & Clinics.

“As the recent readiness and mobilization efforts surrounding Ebola have reminded us, the ability of a community’s health care system to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency incidents that have a public health and medical impact is of vital importance,” said Huerta. “The coalition model for emergency response works because it gets everyone who has a stake in community emergency response in the same room and on the same page. The Conference offered insight as to how to better build these coalitions.”

Notwithstanding the pressure being exerted nationally by the federal government through adjustments to its grant guidelines, there may be further reasons for the hospital community to participate actively in the development of HCCs, including the enhanced response and treatment resources that the HCC model may provide before, during and after an adverse event. The HCC model will assist in coordinating regional health care plans for large-scale disasters and will streamline information flow and promote uniform messaging within and across regions. Further, the HCC model will allow for a coordinated distribution of patients to reduce the chance of disproportionate surges falling on any single provider. Stakeholders have been meeting over the last year to develop regional HCC governance structures and to better flesh out the contours and the role of the statewide body that will be advising DHS on HCC issues. This is a stimulating time, and many unknowns still exist.

WHA has created a new webpage devoted to HCCs: www.wha.org/HealthcareCoalitions.aspx. This webpage contains valuable information related to the HCC model of preparing for emergencies and will be updated as new information becomes available.

If you have questions, contact Andrew Brenton at 608-274-1820 or abrenton@wha.org.  

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Fast Facts from the WHA Information Center: January is Cervical Cancer Screening Month

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015 about 12,900 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 4,100 women will die from the disease. The WHA Information Center reported between July 2013 and June 2014 there were 123 inpatient visits, 950 outpatient surgical procedures, and 2,358 hospital outpatient clinic visits in Wisconsin related to treatment for cervical cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer of the cervix (also called cervical cancer) begins in the cells lining the cervix. These cells do not suddenly change into cancer. Instead, the normal cells of the cervix first slowly change into pre-cancer cells that can then turn into cancer. These changes may be called dysplasia. The change can take many years, but sometimes happen faster. These changes can be found by the Pap test and treated to prevent cancer.

Cervical cancer risk factors include:

Data provided by the WHAIC (www.whainfocenter.com)

The WHA Information Center is dedicated to collecting, analyzing and disseminating complete, accurate and timely data and reports about charges, utilization, quality and efficiency provided by Wisconsin hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other health care providers.

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WHA Education: Webinar Focuses on Labor Law Issues and Compliance, January 23

On January 23, WHA is offering the first of a three-part webinar series focused on timely and relevant labor and employment issues for all health care providers. The first session will focus on wage and hour litigation, current labor law issues and tips to ensure ADA and FMLA compliance. The session will be presented by attorneys from the labor & employment practice of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. 

Additional webinars focusing on other labor and employment issues will be offered February 20 and March 20. Webinars can be taken as a full series or individually. Full descriptions of each session, as well as online registration, can be found at: http://events.SignUp4.net/2015LaborEmployWebSeries.

Health care human resources professionals, hospital and health system in-house counsel and others interested in learning more about these important labor and employment issues should plan to participate. Attendees are encouraged to participate in this webinar series as a team, to gather and learn together through one, low-cost registration. While attendees are encouraged to attend all three sessions, the option exists to register for individual sessions as well.

Each session has been approved through the HR Certification Institute for 1.5 HR general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification.  

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Member News: Long-time Gundersen Health System CEO to step down in 2015


Jeff Thompson, MD, has announced his intent to step down as chief executive officer (CEO) of La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Gundersen Health System in 2015.

“The timing is right for Gundersen, right for the community and right for me personally,” Thompson says. “I have talked to our governing boards and senior leadership, and we think now is a good time to make this important transition.”

“We have many very smart people, very caring people, people who are really focused on our mission. So, I think the time to step down is when we have strength, momentum and staff to continue to do great work,” explains Thompson.

“Jeff Thompson’s extraordinary leadership and vision has guided Gundersen Health System to national acclaim in the health care industry and beyond,” says Greg Prairie, Gundersen Health System Board vice president. “Dr. Thompson’s countless contributions to Gundersen’s success, his inspiration to an immensely dedicated, innovative and hardworking team of employees, and his drive to improve the health of the communities in which Gundersen serves will be his lasting legacy.”

Recently celebrating 30 years with Gundersen, Thompson served as executive vice president from 1995 to 2001, and has been CEO for the last 14 years. Thompson is also an accomplished physician. He has been board certified in Pediatric Critical Care, Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine, and Pediatrics. He received his medical training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, University of California-Davis and Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. Thompson received WHA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

A committee of Gundersen’s governing boards will be formalized to begin the process of selecting the next CEO. Thompson will remain CEO during this process.  

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