December 5, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 39

·         Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and State PAC Campaign Sets New Records  
·         Transparency Advances in Wisconsin with New Hospital Quality Rating System
·         WHA “Results” Illustrate Legislative Impact, Expertise on Policy, Clinical Issues
·         2015 WHA Board Members Named
Guest Column: Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Combats Abuse
·         Governor Remains Committed to Health Care Workforce Investments, Creating Medical Residencies
·         WHA Physician Leadership Council Discusses Key Issues
·         DHS Hosting Conference Call for Wisconsin Well Woman Providers
·         WCMEW Approves 2015 Work Plan; Forms Team-Based Care Workgroup
UW-Madison Political Science Dept. Chair: Brenton Scholarship Sets New Standard



Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and State PAC Campaign Sets New Records

The 2014 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit campaign has exceeded the 2014 goal, raising over $267,000. This total reflects the financial contributions of 364 individuals who contributed an average of $690. This total is an increase of $10,000 over last year’s total and more than $16,000 over the 2012 election year total.

“Since 2001, more than $2.6 million has been raised with nearly that much contributed to campaigns from both parties through the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC and Conduit,” said WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding. “The growth of those efforts has helped elect candidates to office who understand the important work hospitals and health systems do, which in turn has been a key determinant in advancing positive health care policy in Wisconsin. We have come a long way since 2001 when a then record $60,000 was raised that year.”

Dan Neufelder, 2014 Advocacy Committee chair, said, “This continued advancement of the campaign in 2014 and over the past 12 years could not have been possible without such dedicated leaders who understand how critically important continued growth of the annual campaign is to the success of our political advocacy program. I would like to personally thank the individuals listed in this publication (below) who are the backbone of this successful campaign.”

In 2014, the campaign was able to support the campaigns of 109 candidates for office, disbursing a record $309,000 in 2014 alone to campaigns for both Democrats and Republicans, and more than $420,000 in the 2013-2014 election cycle, also a new record.  In the last four election cycles, the campaign has seen a 20 percent increase in the amount of candidate contributions. More than two thirds of the funds were disbursed to candidate campaigns for the Wisconsin Legislature.

The Wisconsin Hospitals PAC also hosted several candidate events this year. Of the 10 Wisconsin Hospitals PAC-sponsored candidate fundraisers around the state, all 10 emerged victorious on Election Day.

This year’s $690 average contribution to the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC or Conduit was an all-time high for the campaign. Driving this higher average is the continued growth in Platinum Club membership since its inception four years ago. The Platinum Club so far bests last year’s total by one member. This compares to 49 in 2011, 56 in 2012 and 69 last year. The Platinum Club recognizes those who have contributed $1,500 or more in a calendar year.

Next year’s campaign effort will continue to build upon the rebranding efforts of the campaign as well as expanding the number of participants in 2015. The 2015 Advocacy Committee, chaired by outgoing WHA President Ed Harding, will meet in early spring to help determine next year’s goal. If you would like to join the Advocacy Committee, please contact WHA’s Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508.  

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Ministry Door County 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
Decker, Michael Divine Savior Healthcare
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 (12/12/14)



Transparency Advances in Wisconsin with New Hospital Quality Rating System
CheckPoint adds “star ratings” to hospital-specific quality measures

Wisconsin hospitals were among the first in the country to voluntarily publicly report information related to the quality, safety and cost of care in their organizations. On December 9, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) released its latest version of CheckPoint, a web-based resource that provides hospital-specific quality and safety data related to the care that patients receive while in the hospital.

New to CheckPoint ( is a hospital-specific three-star quality rating system. The new rating system enables consumers to more quickly and easily interpret information related to hospital quality. The calculation that supports the system combines several individual, but related, quality measures into a single overall star rating to summarize the overall quality of care for a specific medical condition or service. Star ratings are displayed for conditions and procedures related to hip and knee surgery, heart conditions, pneumonia, surgery, patient satisfaction and 10 other dimensions of care.

Since 2004, CheckPoint has given consumers a snapshot of Wisconsin hospitals’ performance in key areas. Today, 127 acute care Wisconsin hospitals and some specialty hospitals are publicly reporting data on more than 90 measures to the CheckPoint program. This information can be used to see how often each hospital provides recommended care for patients with certain conditions or the progress hospitals have made toward national patient safety goals. Consumers can use the information to compare how different hospitals perform, while hospitals can use the data to benchmark their progress toward national quality and safety goals.

“Public reporting has advanced and accelerated quality improvement in Wisconsin. It is certainly a factor in Wisconsin being consistently ranked as one of the top states in the country based on the quality of our health care,” according to WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court. “The information on CheckPoint helps consumers make informed decisions about their hospital care and engages Wisconsin hospitals in early quality improvement.”

Wisconsin hospitals have led the country in their willingness to share information on the cost, quality and safety of the care they provide in their communities, which has made the state a national model for health care transparency. Wisconsin hospitals also share cost-related information online at

“Wisconsin’s health care is an economic development asset and a good reason to do business in our state,” WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding said. “As we focus on increasing quality and improving efficiency, we also see health care costs stabilizing. Quality is a key strategy used in our state to drive down health care costs, which is a benefit to our patients and employers.”

Data for the measures comes from multiple sources and is updated quarterly to ensure access to the most recent data available. Three other states currently work with WHA to support similar hospital quality public reporting programs in their states, including South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming.  

Top of page (12/12/14)



WHA “Results” Illustrate Legislative Impact, Expertise on Policy, Clinical Issues 
Medicaid is WHA top priority in upcoming State Budget

WHA Board members are seldom distracted during a Board meeting, but at the December 11 meeting in Madison, members of the Board could not help but page through the 2014 Results document that chronicled the past year’s successes.

“It was an incredible year, starting at the State Capitol shortly after the first of the year when an entire series of bills that WHA had been working on for a number of years were passed,” according to WHA President Steve Brenton. “We were successful not only on the proactive front—passing a bill that reformed hospital regulation—but also on the defensive front when we were successful in stopping a Worker’s Compensation bill that contained government-dictated price controls.”

Brenton said another highlight in 2014 was WHA receiving the AHA Dick Davidson award that recognized WHA’s leadership in the area of helping member hospitals improve quality.

“This is a coveted award that recognizes not only our Association, but also acknowledges the hard work of our members to improve the quality and safety of patient care,” Brenton added.

Brenton noted that WHA continues to expand its scope to address issues that affect physicians who are employed by a hospital or health system. The creation of the Physician Leadership Council in 2014 along with WHA’s continued involvement with the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW), are all are aimed at engaging physicians in policy issues and addressing the physician workforce issues.

“Every year I think we are too ambitious,” said WHA Past Chair Dan Neufelder. “Then, every year we accomplish so much.” 

The WHA 2015 goals are now being drafted by WHA staff and will be shared with Board members to gather feedback before they are approved by the full Board next February.

Brenton recognized Chair Ed Harding for his service to the Board, acknowledging Harding’s dedication to serve and his strong leadership of the largest health care advocacy organization in the state. In addition, Brenton recognized the following individuals who will be leaving the Board or retiring:

Brian Kief, President/CEO, Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield; Marian Furlong, President/CEO, Hudson Hospital; Mike Schafer, CEO/Administrator, Spooner Health System; Phil Stuart, CEO, Tomah Memorial Hospital; and two members who are retiring, Greg Britton, President/CEO, Beloit Health System, and Frank Byrne, President, St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison.

Medicaid: WHA’s Top Priority in State Budget

The 2015 state budget and legislative session may be two months away, but WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding said WHA staff and members have been working on it for several months. WHA’s top priority in the state budget is to improve BadgerCare reimbursement access statewide for those with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($11,600/year) in both urban and rural areas of the state. WHA formed a member work group early last fall that was tasked with developing a package of achievable initiatives that would be advanced during the 2015-2016 legislative session. 

The Medicaid legislative initiatives address four important areas:

·         Reimbursement. Wisconsin has the second lowest Medicaid reimbursement in the country—paying only 65 percent of costs. This leaves a shortfall that creates a cost shift to employers and private payers of $960 million, aka the “Wisconsin hidden health care tax.”

That tax stymies economic development in our state and creates yet another burden on Wisconsin employers. “Wisconsin’s hidden health care tax is as large as some of Wisconsin’s better-known taxes, including the corporate income tax and motor fuel tax,” Borgerding said. “When put into that context, the impact of BadgerCare cost shifting becomes more relevant for many.”

·         Primary Care Access. The additional federal Medicaid payment to primary care physicians will cease in 2015. Access to primary care reduces inappropriate emergency room (ER) utilization, which can decrease overall costs by coordinating and managing care.

·         Medicaid Managed Care. More than 80 percent of BadgerCare members in the state are enrolled in a Medicaid HMO. Changes in the contracting process and better oversight of the contracts would result in more transparency and increased efficiency. 

·         Behavioral Health Access. An adequate number of behavioral health professionals in all regions of the state is key to improving access to these services. The legislative package includes recommendations on how to attract and keep these professionals. System reform is necessary in how these services are delivered, along with better alignment of payment to care practices to cover, for example, the costs to manage care in the outpatient or ER settings.

“BadgerCare is our top priority in the upcoming state budget,” said Borgerding. “Only 54 percent of those disenrolled from BadgerCare this year have connected with other coverage. That means a large number of these former BadgerCare recipients are seeking care in the ER. That is creating a huge problem, especially for the inner-city hospitals.”

Borgerding said the state’s fiscal situation, and political forces, will complicate the budget process, which means grassroots support will be necessary and helpful. Fortunately, WHA members have fostered excellent relationships with their local legislators by hosting tours in their facilities that bring legislators together with front-line caregivers, as well as by sponsoring legislative roundtables in their communities.

WHA Quality Improvement Work Shows Positive Results

While the national Partnership for Patients program, funded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), officially ended December 8, WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court said WHA’s direct work with member hospitals will continue. She is optimistic that CMS will reinstate the national project for similar work that would continue in mid-2015. Court described a new initiative, the Practice Transformation Network, which is a joint effort with MetaStar and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) that is aimed at improving ambulatory care. Physician practices and health systems that would like more information about this project should contact Court at (See related article at

The newest version of CheckPoint ( was released this week (see related story above). Court said the new website received favorable reviews from WHA members and the press. The redesigned website is easier to navigate and features a three-star quality rating system that provides a better way for consumers to understand what can be complicated quality data.

On the Federal Front the Cry Goes Out: NO MORE CUTS!!!

Since 2009, Wisconsin hospitals have taken $4.5 billion in Medicare payment cuts to pay for coverage expansion in the Affordable Care Act, deficit reductions (the sequester), and cuts to pay for temporary patches to the system Medicare uses to pay physicians. Brenton said WHA supports fixing the chronic physician payment (SGR) problem and extending the rural hospital supplemental payment programs, both of which expire April 15, 2015.

“We cannot move away from our ‘no more cuts’ theme. There are so many bad ideas on the table in Washington,” said Brenton. “Our mantra will be no cuts, and from a proactive perspective, we need regulatory fixes to the two-midnight rule, the RACS, and to the 96-hour rule.” 

Brenton said after the first of year when he assumes a role at the Association as senior policy advisor, he will be working closely on federal issues with WHA staff to develop strategies to work with Wisconsin’s delegation on these and other issues.

Therese Pandl, WHA 2015 chair, voiced her concern over the American Medical Association’s (AMA) continued opposition to the implementation of ICD-10. Brenton said the AMA represents physicians who are more likely to be in solo practices with less access to the assistance available to practices and physicians who are aligned with an integrated health care system. Brenton said he expects the AMA will continue to ask Congress to delay implementation—but a coalition, including the AHA, has formed to support implementation and educate Congress on this issue.

In other business the Board:  

    ·         Approved the board members nominated to the WHA Foundation Board;  
    ·         Approved the WHA Information Center 2015 budget;  
    ·         Received a report from the WHA Audit and Investment Committee; and,  
    ·         Approved the nomination of Damond Boatwright, Regional President/CEO of Hospital Operations, SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, Inc., to replace retiring board member Frank Byrne on the WHA Board.

WHA Council and Task Force Reports

Workforce Development: Chair Nicole Clapp said the last meeting featured WHA’s Joanne Alig presenting on the network adequacy and exchange enrollment.

Finance & Payment: WHA’s Brian Potter said the Council heard a review of the elections, discussed the WHA Medicaid legislative package and provided feedback.

Public Policy: Chair Mike Wallace said a team from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau discussed the Medicaid budget and described the state budget process. He said the group also discussed Medicaid-related issues. Also discussed were activities around the physician interstate licensure compact and the move by advanced practice nurses to expand their scope.

Rural Health: Chair Bob Van Meeteren said his group reviewed the issues associated with network adequacy from a rural perspective and provided feedback to Alig. He also announced they are working on the Rural Conference, which will be held June 17-19 at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.  

Top of page (12/12/14)



2015 WHA Board Members Named

Several WHA regions voted and approved the following individuals to represent them on the WHA Board of Directors beginning January 1, 2015, serving three-year terms.


Southern Region

Terry Brenny, President/CEO, Stoughton Hospital Association 
     ·         WHA Southern Region Board Alternate, 2008-2014


West Central Region

Steve Lindberg, Chief Administrative Officer, Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Cedar Inc.

·         WHA West Central Region Board Alternate, 2009-2014

·         West Central Region President, 2011-2014


Western Region

Brian Theiler, Chief Executive Officer, Gundersen Tri County Hospital & Clinic

·         WHA Western Region Board Alternate, 2013-2014

·         Council on Rural Health, 2009-2014


North Central Region

Matt Heywood, President/CEO, Aspirus

The WHA Board of Directors approved the nomination of the following individual to serve as an At-Large Director to replace retiring board member Frank Byrne on the WHA Board:

Damond Boatwright, Regional President/CEO of Hospital Operations, SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, Inc.  

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Guest Column: Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Combats Abuse
By Chad Zadrazil, PDMP Program Director

The Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) is a powerful tool that can help combat prescription drug abuse by giving registered prescribers and pharmacists access to their patients’ controlled substance prescription histories. Currently, over 10,000 prescribers, pharmacists and other health care professionals have registered to access the PDMP database.


Registered health care users have performed over one million queries about their patients since the program became operational in June of 2013. Nearly 29,000 queries have been multiple-state searches, a type of search that allows providers to view their patients’ prescription histories from other states in addition to Wisconsin. Currently, providers in Wisconsin can receive data from 12 other states, including the neighboring states of Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota. PDMP users in Wisconsin will soon be able to access patient prescription histories from Iowa as well.


To make the PDMP data more readily accessible to providers at the point of care, the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is collaborating with the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN) to integrate PDMP data into the state health information exchange. Several successful integration pilots are in progress, and more PDMP data integration projects are in the works. Other ongoing system enhancements include proactive reports informing prescribers about high-risk patients who meet designated criteria for prescription activity, and a Public Health Portal that will make de-identified PDMP data more readily available for researchers and public health officials.


To register for access to the WI PDMP database, health care providers and their delegates should visit the registration site of the Prescriber and Pharmacist Database Access portal: When prompted, registrants must enter “newacct” as their username and “welcome” as their password before completing and submitting the online registration form. Users who experience problems or have questions while registering may contact DSPS staff at  

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Governor Remains Committed to Health Care Workforce Investments, Creating Medical Residencies


Gov. Scott Walker said he remains committed to investing in workforce development to train more physicians, nurses and other health care professionals.


Speaking at the Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit December 4 in Minocqua, the Governor said while roads and utilities are important, health care is also important to a community’s infrastructure when it comes to attracting economic development.


Here is a brief transcript of the Governor’s remarks:


“If you can come and say this is a place I want to be…what’s one of the big elements both to someone who is settling their family but also settling their business?…you want to have a compelling case to attract them. You want to have a world class health care system. If you don’t have that, again it’s just one of those fundamental things. Now in Wisconsin, we largely have that. But just as we have a challenge finding qualified welders to fill positions we have, increasingly we are going to have challenges in the future finding primary care physicians and other health care professionals.


We’ve made targeted investments and will in the future to not only train more physicians and nurses and other health care professionals in this state, but we put more incentives for them to do their residencies and to stay in rural and other areas across the state of Wisconsin, because we know there’s a quality health care system. That’s one of those magnets that will initially attract and ultimately keep some of the top talent to fill those positions out there.


We invested heavily into two new expansions of the Medical College of Wisconsin, which currently is based in Wauwatosa, where my home is, but one campus that’s going to be in Wausau, and the other in DePere, with the idea being that will help us not only train, but then disseminate more of those new medical professionals into this part of the state, which will have a positive impact going forward.”


To watch the Govenor’s full speech, go to:

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WHA Physician Leadership Council Discusses Key Issues

Clinic QI project, primary care reimbursement, physician leadership discussed


Health care in Wisconsin is delivered in one of the most highly-integrated models in the country. Over the past decade, the growth in physician integration has created an impetus for WHA to look beyond the traditional “walls” of the hospitals to evolve its focus beyond the hospital to that of the broader spectrum that encompasses its members’ presence as regional and local community health systems.

Formed as a natural response to the growing need to tap into the significant resources and perspectives that WHA member physician leaders bring to Wisconsin’s health and hospital systems, WHA’s Physician Leadership Committee finished its inaugural year when it met on December 9 at WHA headquarters in Madison.


WHA Chief Medical Officer Chuck Shabino, MD, chaired the meeting, which included an overview of and sought physician leaders’ input on issues impacting physicians and physician leaders:


Extension of the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) quality improvement model to outpatient clinics:  Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer, provided an overview of the CMS Innovation Center Practice Transformation Network project being pursued in Wisconsin. Built on CMS’s HEN project model for hospital improvement that WHA successfully guided in Wisconsin, WHA is pursuing with several other partners, including MetaStar and WCHQ, an award under the Practice Transformation Network to provide on-the-ground technical assistance to help primary and specialty care practices achieve the Triple Aim and thrive in the pay-for-value environment. Staff sought input from the physician leaders to help WHA strategize its proposal for this clinic-focused program.


State Budget Priorities: Joanne Alig, WHA senior vice president, policy and research, outlined WHA’s Medicaid advocacy priorities for the upcoming State Budget process. New to WHA’s Medicaid advocacy efforts for this year is a focus on primary care physician reimbursement; Alig specifically sought input from the physician leaders to help fine tune that proposal as a means to increase access to primary care services for Medicaid enrollees. Jenny Boese, WHA vice president for external relations and member advocacy also talked about the key role physician leaders can play in helping to achieve advocacy goals.


Physician Leadership Development: WHA’s Board has identified developing physician leadership within their organizations as an area of common interest among WHA members. Maintaining the successful WHA Physician Leadership Conference in Kohler was identified by the Board as a need as well as identifying additional opportunities for expanded and sustainable physician leadership programming. The Council discussed member needs and goals regarding physician leadership development, and helped to further identify what WHA capabilities and strengths could be best used to help systems meet those needs and goals.


The Physician Leadership Council will meet again in spring 2015.  


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DHS Hosting Conference Call for Wisconsin Well Woman Providers

State implementing new RFA process for the program’s providers


The Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP), which serves women in need of breast and cervical cancer screenings, is undergoing a redesign of their program. This redesign will require health care providers to apply with a Request for Application (RFA) to continue serving these patients. A link to the RFA can be found here:


If a hospital or health care system would like to continue serving patients in the WWWP screening program, they will need to complete the Wisconsin Well Woman Program RFA. Hospitals and health systems will not need to complete the RFA to serve women who are eligible for the Wisconsin Well Woman Medicaid program, which provides treatment services for women diagnosed through WWWP.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has indicated a health system would only need to complete one RFA for all of their locations within their health system. 


The Department of Health Services is hosting a “bidder’s call” on Monday, December 15, 2014 for all interested parties who are planning on filling out an RFA. Entities eligible to submit an RFA include a health system, a federally qualified health center (FQHC), a rural health clinical and hospital outpatient settings. The call will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. CST at 877-820-7831 with Passcode #635656. 


DHS is requesting that applicants fill out a non-binding Notice of Intent to Apply by December 17, 2014.  This is not a requirement for the RFA, but is highly recommended by DHS. Applications are due on January 26, 2015 by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. DHS expects this new provider network will be operating by April 1, 2015. Current WWWP agreements will end June 30, 2015, but providers could continue to bill for services per the WWWP provider agreement guidelines        


If you have questions, contact the state agency official designated in the RFA link above or Kyle O’Brien, WHA vice president of government relations at 608-274-1820 or


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WCMEW Approves 2015 Work Plan; Forms Team-Based Care Workgroup


At its December 3 meeting, the Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW) reviewed and approved a work plan outlining significant activities for 2015. WCMEW Executive Director George Quinn suggested tasks and activities that include:

“This plan, while ambitious, reflects the expanded mission of WCMEW while at the same time continuing the good work it has already done,” according to Quinn.


In another significant development, WCMEW approved the recommendation of Chair Charles Shabino, MD, WHA chief medical officer, to form a workgroup on team-based care. The workgroup would review developments surrounding team-based care and continue to help disseminate information, convene meetings where those involved in team-based care can share information, and begin addressing the health care education system’s impact on team-based care. 


“WCMEW’s 2014 team-based care conference was a good start,” said Shabino. “The workgroup will provide WCMEW with ongoing focus on this important issue.”  


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UW-Madison Political Science Dept. Chair: Brenton Scholarship Sets New Standard


UW-Madison Political Science Department Chair David Canon is clearly excited about a new scholarship in honor of Stephen Brenton (BA’76, Political Science), the outgoing president of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) that will support UW-Madison political science majors in the College of Letters & Science interested in health policy.


“This is the largest scholarship available to political science majors, and it will continue to support students and help educate health policy leaders for generations to come,” Canon told the WHA Board at its December 11 meeting in Madison. The endowment, at $238,000, will continue in perpetuity. Canon was joined by Katie Rather who is with the UW Foundation.


The scholarship was supported by hospitals across the state and Brenton’s friends and colleagues to celebrate his distinguished career by establishing an endowment that will cover a full year of in-state tuition for a UW-Madison student for years to come.


The Stephen F. Brenton Health Policy Scholar Award will be given to bright UW-Madison undergraduates who are Wisconsin residents, pursuing a degree in political science, and who have a demonstrated interest in health policy. The first award will be distributed in fall 2015.


Canon is also looking forward to expanding the current partnership between WHA and the UW-Madison Political Science Department. One example, said Canon, is the ongoing presence WHA will have on the UW-Political Science Department’s Board of Visitors. Brenton served on the Board for four years, and WHA’s Eric Borgerding (BA ’88, Political Science) will serve a three-year term on the Board beginning next April. Canon was appreciative of WHA’s ongoing relationship and encouraged even greater partnership through government relations internships and other shared learning opportunities.


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