January 8, 2016
Volume 60, Issue 1

Group Insurance Board Takes Step Forward on RFP for Self-Funding

Wisconsin’s Group Insurance Board, the entity charged with making decisions regarding the state employee health insurance program, met in a special session January 7. The purpose of the meeting was to allow more time for the Board to review a study from the consulting firm Segal, which recommended the Board pursue a self-funded arrangement within the state employee health insurance program. Representatives from Segal briefed the Board on their report, which would recommend adopting a regionalized model for a limited number of fully insured health plan offerings along with a statewide self-insured option to be available in each region.

After reviewing the report for a little under two hours, Board Chairman Jon Litscher said the Board will consider at their February meeting whether or not the state should release a Request for Proposal (RFP) to self-insure state employee health insurance either at a statewide or regional level. Members of the Board, including Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dan Schwartzer and State Budget Director Michael Heifetz said that an RFP is necessary to provide actual figures from potential vendors on the costs or benefits of any self-funding arrangement.

A previous report provided to the Group Insurance Board by Deloitte Consulting estimated that a move to self-funding was risky and could cost the state up to $100 million.

In December, Governor Scott Walker signed into law Assembly Bill 394 as 2015 Wisconsin Act 119 which gave the state’s Joint Finance Committee the authority to approve or reject a proposed contract by the Group Insurance Board (GIB) to provide a self-funded group health plan to state employees.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Group Insurance Board will be on February 17.

Top of page (1/8/16)

Advocacy Day Makes a Difference
Register for 2016 Advocacy Day, March 30

Join 1,100 colleagues and peers from across the state at Advocacy Day 2016 on March 30. The day’s agenda and online registration are available at http://events.SignUp4.net/16AdvocacyDay0330.

Each year, the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day event grows both in number of attendees and impact. Last year we hit 1,100 registrations and over 650 attendees participating in legislative meetings. That’s more than a 138 percent increase in Advocacy Day attendance since 2005 and over a 333 percent increase in legislative visits during that same time period. These legislative meetings helped propel outcomes on priority hospital legislation, such as:

"It’s imperative that our elected officials hear from us on a regular basis," said Therese Pandl, WHA immediate past Board Chair and president/CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) Eastern Wisconsin Division. "It truly is impossible for them to be experts in all the matters that come before them, so we can be a valuable resource as they consider health care legislation. It also helps them to know that their constituents are passionate about health care issues."

WHA could not do this without the stellar support for Advocacy Day from our hospital leaders and staff, board members, volunteers and corporate members.

We’ll need you again this year at 2016 Advocacy Day. It’s one of the best ways hospital advocates can make an important, visible impact in the State Capitol. Make sure you are assembling your hospital groups now since 2016 Advocacy Day is a full month earlier than last year. This great event is set for March 30 at the Monona Terrace in Madison.

At 2016 Advocacy Day you will hear keynote Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA). He’s been a member of AHA’s advocacy team for the past 33 years and will share his Washington DC insider’s view of federal issues in a presidential election year. Our bipartisan legislative leaders’ panel will round out the morning session followed by a luncheon keynote address from Gov. Scott Walker (invited). Then it’s off to the State Capitol for legislative meetings. WHA provides an issues briefing and schedules all meetings for you.

"It’s pretty easy for me to persuade our leaders and volunteers to attend Advocacy Day," said Heidi Selberg, vice president of advocacy and community benefits at HSHS-Eastern Division, about the importance of legislative visits. "Everyone who’s gone for the first time has come back and told me how much they learned, and what a great experience it was. Then, word travels through the organization and builds momentum."

Register now at http://events.SignUp4.net/16AdvocacyDay0330. 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 (1/8/16)

New Legislator Profile: Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison)

A series of interviews with newly-elected legislators, by Mary Kay Grasmick, editor

Rep. Lisa Subeck may be new to the state Legislature, but she is no newcomer to politics. As a member of the Madison Common Council from 2011-2015, Subeck is well-versed in the political scene.

"Serving on local government helped me better connect in the Capitol right away," Subeck told Valued Voice Editor Mary Kay Grasmick in a recent interview. "That experience helped me look at issues that have a great impact on our cities, counties and local level. Working at the local level, I was able to look at legislation from more angles. It gave me a new lens to view the issues through."

Subeck’s past experience also included working as a social services case worker, which "opened my eyes to larger issues of access to mental health services." That is just one reason why she supports WHA-backed legislation that would implement two behavioral health care pilots in the Medicaid program and establish a mental health bed tracking program in Wisconsin.

"I am really excited about this. It is a great opportunity for our state to start expanding mental health care options and make sure that people have access," Subeck said. "When I was a YWCA case worker, I worked with a lot of women who lived in single women’s low-income housing and struggled to access care. For some it was an issue of cost and affordability, for others it was accessibility. They could pay for it—but they could not get access; they were on waiting lists. It was always crisis care. It is frustrating to have someone who was so need in of care. It is not a good system for care."

Reimbursement for mental health care is part of it, as is the need for more beds and a better way to connect to those beds, she said.

"If they have been untreated, but now are ready and finally at the point of seeking treatment, but you can’t get them in, it is just heartbreaking," according to Subeck. "We are taking some good steps to improve this, and I want to continue to do that work."

On another of WHA’s priority issues—worker’s compensation—Subeck said she was glad the latest proposal from the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council does not contain a fee schedule.

"A fee schedule poses an incredible challenge, so I think it is good news that what we are hearing from the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council is the new proposal does not have a fee schedule," she said. "We can now move forward and get something passed as a result."

While a shortage of physicians is not as big of issue in Subeck’s Madison-based district as it is in more rural or inner city areas of the state, she understood the importance of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and supported the bill that became law late in 2015.

"If there are ways we can make it easier to recruit and attract physicians to practice and provide care in our communities while maintaining our high standards of medical care, it is a good thing," she said. "The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact was a really great opportunity to do both of those things."

In the future, Subeck said she thinks the state could look for opportunities to attract more people to health professions through tuition assistance.

"We need to constantly show we value our high-quality health care and our physicians," Subeck said. "How do we encourage people to work in our state? I am always open to hearing from organizations such as WHA and your members who have expertise and ideas. I am here to listen and learn from you."

Top of page (1/8/16)

Early Bird Discount for WHA Physician Leadership Conference Ends January 15

Take advantage of the early bird discount by registering today for WHA’s annual Physician Leadership Development Conference, scheduled March 11-12, 2016, at The American Club in Kohler. Registration is now open at http://events.SignUp4.net/16PLD, and the rate increases for both physicians and hosts after January 15, so register today.

As a reminder, the special room rate at The American Club is only available until the room block fills or until February 18 (whichever occurs first), so plan to register and make your hotel reservations today. Room availability, even through the cutoff date, is not guaranteed by WHA nor by The American Club.

ACPE is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ACPE designates this live activity for a maximum of 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.TM Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Top of page (1/8/16)

2015 Fundraising Campaign Sets New Records Thanks to Supporters

The 2015 Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and Wisconsin Hospitals PAC Campaign set a new record by raising $272,440 and surpassing the goal to raise $270,300. The Wisconsin Hospitals PAC also hosted six candidate events in the 2015 non-election year and, through the achievement of the 2015 goal, will be well-positioned to host even more events beginning early in the 2016 election year.

This achievement was possible thanks to the 334 contributors in 2015 listed below alphabetically by contribution amount category. For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.

The 2016 Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and Wisconsin Hospitals PAC Campaign will officially kick off in the spring with the annual Contributor Recognition Breakfast March 30 at Monona Terrace.

Contributors Ranging from $1 - $499  
Aittama, Craig Ministry - St. Michael's Hospital
Alstad, Nancy Fort HealthCare
Anderson, Phil Sacred Heart Hospital
Appleby, Jane Aurora Health Care
Arnett, Eugene Aurora Health Care
Ballentine, Anne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Bayer, Tom St. Vincent Hospital
Bard, Jeffrey Aurora Medical Center - Oshkosh
Bisterfeldt, Joan Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Bollig, Dale SSM - St. Mary's Hospital
Braun, James Flambeau Hospital
Brisch, Donald Holy Family Memorial
Bunten, Sherry Aspirus Langlade Hospital
Cardinal, Lori Agnesian HealthCare
Carlson, Dan Aurora - Bay Area Medical Center
Carter, Shane Aurora Medical Center - Oshkosh
Clark, Julie HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Clark, Renee Fort HealthCare
Cliffe Kucharski, Elizabeth Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Collins, Sherry Wisconsin Hospital Association
Colman, Gerard Aurora Health Care
Coniff, Barbara HSHS - St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center
Coopman, Dianne St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Cormier, Laura Bellin Hospital
Culotta, Jennifer St. Clare Hospital & Health Svcs
Curran-Meuli, Jane Holy Family Memorial
Danner, Forrest Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Davidson, Lisa Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
Dettman, Amy Bellin Hospital
Donlon, Marcia Holy Family Memorial
Dube, Troy Chippewa Valley Hospital
Dufek, Nancy Memorial Medical Center, Ashland
Dux, Larry Froedtert & MCW Community Mem. Hosp
Dwyer, Maxine SSM - St. Mary's Hospital
Elliott, Erin UW Hospital & Clinics
Evans, Kim Bellin Hospital
Ewald, Sandra Aurora Health Care
Feeney, John Community Health Network, Inc.
Fielding, Laura Holy Family Memorial
Freitag, Vanessa                       Our Lady of Victory Hospital
Gagnon, Annette HSHS - Eastern Wisconsin Division
Gajeski, Lynn St. Vincent Hospital
Groskreutz, Kevin Sacred Heart Hospital
Grundstrom, David Flambeau Hospital
Gullicksrud, Lynn Sacred Heart Hospital
Gutsch, Mike Cumberland Healthcare
Hafeman, Paula St. Vincent Hospital
Halida, Cheryl HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Harasim, Edward Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Harrington, Kathleen Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Helgeson, Jason HSHS - Eastern Wisconsin Division
Hernandez, Terri HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Herzog, Sarah Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Hofer, John Bay Area Medical Center
Hupf, Angela Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Karow, Deb Ministry - Howard Young Medical Center
Kaufmann, Marilyn Holy Family Memorial
Kelsey Foley, Kathy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Kempen, Jacob Aspirus Wausau Hospital
King, Vivian Aurora Health Care
Klay, Chris HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Klay, Lois HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Knutzen, Barbara Agnesian HealthCare
Koebke, Troy Bellin Hospital
Krueger, Kari St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Kruse, Joe Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare La Crosse
LaBarge, Margie Ministry Health Care
Lampman, Sandra St. Mary's Hospital
Leschke, John Mercy Medical Center
Lineberry, Timothy Aurora BayCare Medical Center - Green Bay
Lynch, Sue Mayo Health System - Franciscan HC
Markgraf, Janelle Aspirus Langlade Hospital
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial
Mays, Laura Stoughton Hospital Association
McArdle, PeggyAnn Agnesian HealthCare
McMeans, Scott Holy Family Memorial
Mercer, Carla Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Merrick, Marianne SSM - St. Mary's Hospital
Miller, Thomas Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Monahan, Jane Monroe Clinic
Moon-Mogush, Cindy Aurora Health Care
Nevers, Rick Aspirus, Inc.
Nicklaus, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
Norell, Brett Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
O'Hara, Tiffanie Sundial Software
Olson, Bonnie Sacred Heart Hospital
Ordinans, Karen Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Ostrander, Gail HSHS - Eastern Wisconsin Division
Palecek, Steve HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Peck, Lori Aspirus, Inc.
Peiffer, Susan Sacred Heart Hospital
Pempek, Kalynn Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Penovich, Carrie Aurora Medical Center - Two Rivers
Pritchard, Paul Prevea Health/HSHS
Radke, Chad Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Range, Bonnie Holy Family Memorial
Revnew, Dorothy ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Richman, Tim Affinity Health - Calumet Medical Center
Riddle, Roberta Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Risley-Gray, Ruth Aspirus, Inc.
Rocheleau, John Bellin Health
Roethle, Linda Bellin Memorial Hospital
Roundy, Ann Columbus Community Hospital
Rudquist, Debra Amery Hospital & Clinic
Sanicola, Suzanne Columbia St. Mary's Inc.
Schaetzl, Ron SSM - St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Schneider, David Aspirus Langlade Hospital
Sciuti, Jennifer Aurora Health Care
Selle, Ginger St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Sheehan, Heather Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Sio, Tim Wheaton Franciscan - All Saints
Stamas, Peter Ministry Health Care
Statz, Darrell Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Stelzer, Jason St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Strobel, Victoria Marshfield Clinic
Sullivan, Anne Memorial Medical Center, Ashland
Swanson, Kaitlin HSHS - Eastern WI Division
Tandberg, Ann HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Tapper, Joy Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Theiler, Brian Gundersen Tri-County Hospitals & Clinics 
Thornton, Eric SSM - St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Van Abel, Lois Bellin Hospital
Vergos, Katherine Agnesian - Ripon Medical Center
Voelker, Thomas Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Waldoch, Timothy Columbia St. Mary's Inc.
Walker, Troy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Werkheiser, Cindy Monroe Clinic
Wheeler, Susan St. Nicholas Hospital
Whitinger, Margaret Agnesian HealthCare
Wipperfurth, Kay Fort HealthCare
Wold, Gwen Amery Regional Medical Center
Zeller, Brad Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $500 - $999  
Bagnall, Andrew St. Nicholas Hospital
Bailet, Jeffrey Aurora Health Care
Brenny, Terrence Stoughton Hospital
Busch, Rebbeca Spooner Health System
Byrne, Frank  
Cadieux, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Deich, Faye HSHS - Sacred Heart Hospital
Dexter, Donn Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Dicus-Johnson, Coreen Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Dietsche, James Bellin Hospital
Dolohanty, Naomi Aurora Health Care
Elmer, Paula Monroe Clinic
Ericson, Allen Froedtert & MCW HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital Campus
Ervin, Bradley Beloit Health System 
Frangesch, Wayne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital & Clinics
Gille, Larry HSHS - St. Vincent Hospital
Golanowski, Marie Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Goldberg, David Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital Campus
Gormican, John Agnesian HealthCare
Graebner, David Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center
Graul, Mark Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Gustafson, Andy SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Hamilton, Mark UW Hospitals and Clinics
Hartberg, David  Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital & Clinics
Heaney, Dwight Fort HealthCare 
Huys, Geoffrey Ministry Health Care
Jablonski, James Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Jacobson, Terry St. Mary’s Hospital of Superior
Jensema, Christine HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Joyner, Ken Bay Area Medical Center
Kersten, Juliet Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kingston, Mary Beth Aurora Health Care
Kirsch, Jennifer Gundersen Health System
Kluesner, Kevin Columbia St. Mary's
Kneiser, Patti Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Korom, Nancy Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kostroski, Sharon Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Krueger, Mary Ministry - St. Clare's Hospital
Lange, George Westgate Medical Group, CSMCP
Larson, Margaret Mercy Medical Center
Latta, Richard Godfrey & Kahn, SC 
Lindberg, Steve Mayo Clinic Health System - Red Cedar
Kellar, Rick Aurora Health Care
May, Carol Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital
McNally, Maureen Froedtert & MCW
Mugan, James Agnesian HealthCare
Mulder, Doris Beloit Health System 
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
O’Day, Thomas Godfrey & Kahn, SC
Oland, Charisse Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Ose, Peggy Riverview Hospital Association 
Ouimet, Mary Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Peterson, Douglas Chippewa Valley Hospital
Pollard, Dennis Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Quinn, George Wisconsin Hospital Association
Reardon, Brian Hospital Sisters Health System
Richards, Theresa Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Richardson, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
Rocole, Theresa Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Roesler, Bruce The Richland Hospital
Rohrbach, Dan Southwest Health Center
Rude, Nels The Kammer Group
Rutkowski, Jennifer Grant Regional Health Center
Schmitz, Bonnie Agnesian HealthCare
Schnedler, Lisa Upland Hills Health
Schubring, Randy Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Sczygelski, Sidney Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Seitz, Verna ProHealth Care, Inc.
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
Shorter, Tom Godfrey & Kahn, SC
Simaras, Jim Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sisney, Mary Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Smith, Gregory Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sohn, Jon Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Spencer, Paul Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Stern, Robert Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Strasser, Kathy Aspirus, Inc.
Stuart, Philip Tomah Memorial Hospital
Swiderski, Julie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Teigen, Seth St. Mary’s Hospital 
Thurmer, DeAnn Waupun Memorial Hospital
Van Court, Bernie Bay Area Medical Center
Van Meeteren, Bob Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Worrick, Jerry Ministry Door County Memorial Hospital
Yaron, Rachel Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital
Zenk, Ann Ministry St. Mary’s Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $1,000 - $1,499  
Ashenhurst, Karla Ministry Health Care
Bagemihl, Katherine Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Bakkum, Kyle Vernon Memorial Healthcare
Bedwell, Elizabeth Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Bowers, Brenda Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Brenton, Andrew Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Colpaert, Gary Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Connors, Larry St. Mary's & St. Vincent Hospital
Cullen-Schultz, Jeannie JP Cullen & Sons
Gallucci, Vince Ministry Health Care
Garcia Thomas, Cristy Aurora Health Care
Geraghty, Tricia Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gorelick, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Griffin, Greg  
Gullingsrud, Tim Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Nursing Home
Gunn, Veronica Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gutzeit, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hanus, Andrew Aurora Health Care
Hart, Shelly Aurora Health Care
Just, Lisa Aurora Health Care-South Region
Killoran, Carrie Aurora Health Care
Lentz, Darrell Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Lepore, Michael Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Lewis, Jonathan St. Mary's Hospital 
Lindberg, Steve Mayo Clinic Health System - Red Cedar
McCawley, Thomas Beloit Health System
McGowan, Kathryne Aspirus, Inc.
Nelson, David HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Punzenberger, Lindsay Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 
Radoszewksi, 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
Robertstad, John ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Roller, Rachel Aurora Health Care
Rush, Steven Wisconsin Hospital Association
Sanders, Robert Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Sato, Thomas Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Schafer, Michael Spooner Health System
Schmidt, Cheryl Affinity Health - St. Elizabeth Hospital
Shanahan, Thomas Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Simaras, Jim Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Swanson, Kerry St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital
White-Jacobs, Mary Beth          Black River Memorial Hospital
Woleske, Chris Bellin Hospital
Wolf, Edward Lakeview Medical Center
Zenk, Ann Ministry - Sacred Heart-St. Mary's Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $1,500 - $1,999  
Anderson, Layton Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Bloch, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
Buck, Cathy Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Clapp, Nicole Grant Regional Health Center 
Coffman, Joan HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Court, Kelly Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Decker, Michael Divine Savior Healthcare 
Dotson, Jason Beloit Health System
Frank, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Grasmick, Mary Kay Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Heywood, Matthew Aspirus, Inc.
Harding, Edward Bay Area Medical Center
Khare, Smriti Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Martin, Jeff Ministry - Saint Michael's Hospital
McKevett, Timothy Beloit Health System
Mohorek, Ronald Ministry Health Care
Natzke, Ryan Marshfield Clinic 
Nauman, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Olson, David Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Rozenfeld, Jon St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison
Russell, John Columbus Community Hospital 
Schulze, Connie Ministry Health Care 
Sexton, William Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center
Sheehan, John UW Hospitals and Clinics
Wallace, Michael Fort HealthCare
Contributors Ranging from $2,000 - $2,999  
Alig, Joanne Wisconsin Hospital Association
Andersen, Travis Columbia St. Mary's 
Anderson, Sandy Ministry Health Care
Boese, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Duncan, Robert Children's Hospital & Health System
Geboy, Scott Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman
Hanson, Gail Aurora Health Care
Herzog, Mark Holy Family Memorial
Hilt, Monica St. Elizabeth Hospital
Kachelski, Joe WI Statewide Health Info Network 
Kief, Brian Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Leitch, Laura Hall Render
Levin, Jeremy Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative 
Lewis, Gordon Burnett Medical Center 
Manas, Julie HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Meyer, Daniel Aurora BayCare Medical Ctr Green Bay
Oliverio, John Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Pandl, Therese HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Potter, Brian Wisconsin Hospital Association
Potts, Dennis Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Sanders, Michael Monroe Clinic 
Sliwinski, Ron UW Hospitals and Clinics
Stanford, Matthew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Troy, Peggy Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Contributors Ranging from $3,000 - $4,999  
Boatwright, Damond SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Jacobson, Catherine Froedtert & The MCW 
Kammer, Peter The Kammer Group
Kerwin, George Bellin Hospital
Little, Steve Agnesian Health Care
Mettner, Michelle Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 
Neufelder, Dan Ministry Health Care
Normington, Jeremy Mercy Medical Center
O’Brien, Kyle Wisconsin Hospital Association
Standridge, Deb Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Starmann-Harrison, Mary  Hospital Sisters Health System
Turkal, Nick Aurora Health Care
Contributors Ranging from $5,000 - $9,999  
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Size, Tim Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Contributors Ranging $10,000+  
Borgerding, Eric & Dana   Wisconsin Hospital Association
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc.

Top of page (1/8/16)

New Law Provides Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Flexibility

On December 28, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that gives providers more flexibility in applying for hardship exceptions from the meaningful use requirements of the EHR incentive program.

The provision, part of the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (Act), makes it easier for some hospitals and physicians to apply for, and for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to process, hardship exceptions for the 2015 EHR reporting period.

In addition to existing deadlines and guidance by CMS to apply to hardship exception applications, the new statute gives CMS authority to batch process such applications through April 1, 2016 for hospitals and through March 15, 2016 for physicians.

In a final rule published October 16 in the Federal Register, CMS changed the 2015 EHR reporting period for all providers to any continuous 90-day period within the 2015 calendar year.

For additional information, contact Andrew Brenton, WHA assistant general counsel, at abrenton@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

Top of page (1/8/16)

Guest Column: A Message from WHA’s 2016 Board Chair
Mike Wallace, President/CEO, Fort HealthCare

I am excited to begin my year-long tenure as the 2016 chair of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. It’s an honor to represent Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems. The dedication of our health care professionals to serve our patients, the commitment we make to provide top-quality care and the determination we all have to increase access and decrease cost are factors that contribute to our collective success.

Over the next few weeks, WHA staff will be developing and refining the Association’s 2016 goals. Arguably, the Association’s 2015 goals were aggressive in terms of what we wanted to accomplish last year. But by mid-December, we had met 13 of the 14, with one pending (see www.wha.org/pubArchive/special_reports/2015Results.pdf).

That level of accomplishment would not have been possible without member support.

You can optimize the value received from your organization’s WHA membership by participating on task forces, councils and work groups. Over the past eight years, I have served on several. It was time well spent with colleagues that I believe are some of the best health care thought leaders in the country. My participation helped ensure that any proposed solutions or responses included a discussion of the impact any actions would have on my organization.

If you signed up to serve on a council or task force, I encourage you to participate as much as possible. Your experience, education and expertise are assets to the WHA team when they are on the front line with legislators, regulators and policymakers. In return, you will likely gain a new perspective on old issues, and have a heads-up on what lies ahead in our industry.

WHA’s greatest strength and most valuable asset is its voluntary leaders. It is a resource that is never taken for granted by the WHA Board or staff.

It is not too late to sign up to serve on a WHA council or task force. Contact Sherry Collins at WHA, scollins@wha.org or 608-274-1820, to voice your interest. I assure you it will be time well spent personally and professionally.

I look forward to meeting as many of you over the next year as possible.

Happy New Year.

Top of page (1/8/16)

WHA Quality Launches New Year with Essential Safety Practices Webinar Series

The WHA quality team is offering a series of webinars dedicated to seven high reliability and safety practices that enhance a hospital’s culture of safety. In addition to offering content on the ten hospital-associated conditions (HACs), hospitals participating in WHA’s Partners for Patients Hospital Engagement Network (PfP-HEN) are encouraged to learn additional tools and techniques addressing several cross-discipline safety practices. A monthly series since 2010, the 2016 Improvement Forum will focus on these key practices.

The series launched December 17 with "A Patient’s Perspective on White Boards." Patient advocate Rosie Bartel, through a Q&A format, provided an assessment of several examples of white boards typically found in patient rooms. Suggestions included to avoid the use of medical abbreviations; staff should refer to and update the white board during the bedside shift changeover; and, clearly note on the board when the next physician visit will occur. In addition to white board examples that were lacking information, Bartel shared a good example of a white board that was more patient and family centered.

Bartel emphasized that a complete and current white board will help patients heal, and family members be supportive.

"When I see a white board that nurses and doctors are using to communicate with me, and my family members are welcome to add their questions and concerns, it really brings peace of mind that my care and well-being is number one for all staff that enter my room," according to Bartel. "It is very disheartening to see a blank and unused white board during a hospital stay."

Other topics slated for the 2016 Improvement Forum Essential Safety Practices are listed below. Hospitals are welcome to register for the webinars via the WHA Quality Center calendar at www.whaqualitycenter.org/Home/CalendarofEvents.aspx. A Quality Center account is required for access, and any WHA member hospital is welcome to set up an account.



A Patient’s Perspective on White Boards

December 17, 2015 (Recording Available on WHA Quality Center)

Daily Whole House Safety Huddle: What it could mean for your hospital

January 28, 2016 - Noon

Daily Whole House Safety Huddle: Becoming Standard Work

February 25, 2016 - Noon

Coaching Call for Hospitals: Implementing Safety Huddles

March 18 - TBD

The Structured Hand-off: Bedside Shift Report and Inter-facility Transfers

April 28, 2016 - Noon

Hardcoding Hand Hygiene

May 26, 2016 - Noon

Purposeful Rounding & HAC Prevention

August 25, 2016 - Noon

Multi-Disciplinary Patient Rounds - Part I

October 27, 2016 - Noon

Leaders on Deck: Leader Rounding as Standard Work

November 17, 2016

Multi-Disciplinary Patient Rounds - Part II

December 29, 2016 - Noon


Top of page (1/8/16)