December 24, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 51

WHA Shares Quality Transparency Message with more than 2,000 WI Employers
Direct mail piece encourages employers to help employees connect with quality, price info

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. For nearly a decade Wisconsin hospitals have shared information related to the quality of care on WHA’s website, CheckPoint, On December 19, WHA sent a direct mail piece to more than 2,000 employers in the state to build awareness of and

In a recent survey sponsored by WHA, only 35 percent of nearly 300 employers who responded were aware of CheckPoint or PricePoint. WHA’s goal is for employers to share these tools with their employees to help them become better informed health care consumers.

"The economic health and vitality of our communities is integrally tied to the success of our employers and on our ability as a state to attract new business," according to WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding."It is important that, just as our members have built strong relationships with employers in their local community, WHA facilitates an ongoing dialogue on the price, quality and accessibility of health care with the state’s business and manufacturing community. I believe we are moving in a direction that will help us meet that goal."

The latest version of CheckPoint incorporates 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.

"WHA and our member hospitals made a commitment more than a decade ago to increase health care transparency in our state. In 2014, we expanded and refined our public reporting of both price and quality information," said Borgerding. "As employees assume more responsibility for paying for their own health care, they need tools that will help them understand the importance of both quality and cost as they make health care decisions."

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U.S. Supreme Court Sets Date to Hear Case on Exchange Tax Subsidies

On Monday, December 22, the Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments March 4, 2015 in the case involving tax subsidies for coverage in the public insurance exchanges. The case, King v. Burwell, raises the question of whether consumers in the federally-facilitated Exchange marketplace operating in Wisconsin and 33 other states, are eligible to receive federally-funded tax subsidies. In 2014, about 140,000 people had enrolled in health coverage through the insurance exchange in Wisconsin, and about 90 percent of those individuals were eligible for tax subsidies. A ruling on the case is expected in June or early July.

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Legislative Leaders Vos, Shilling Featured in First WHN 2015 "Newsmaker" Event

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and incoming Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), will preview the upcoming legislative session at a Wisconsin Health News newsmaker event, Thursday, January 15 at the Madison Club in Madison.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association is one of several organizations sponsoring the 2015 newsmaker events with Wisconsin Health News.

Registration and networking start at 11:45 a.m. and the program begins promptly at 12:15 p.m. The event concludes at 1 p.m. Registration is now open at The price is $30 for Wisconsin Health News subscribers and $40 for non-subscribers.

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Advocacy Day 2015: Save The Date!
April 28 in Madison

Each year, the WHA Advocacy Day event grows both in the number of attendees and in the impact made on our legislators in Madison. With 1,000 attendees from 100 hospitals/systems plus dozens of corporate member organizations, you can help make the 2015 Advocacy Day event another huge success by marking your calendar now for Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Watch for additional information about Advocacy Day 2015. Make an impact in Madison on April 28. Plan now for both you and your hospital team—including senior leaders, trustees and volunteers—to attend this important event.

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Fast Facts from the WHA Information Center

ZERO in Wisconsin
482 have died on Wisconsin Roads; 45,762 seen in Emergency Rooms

To deliver the message that even one preventable death is one too many, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has launched the Zero In Wisconsin campaign (

The campaign is set to demonstrate clearly and intensely how simple changes in driving behavior and habits—changes we can all live with—will prevent motorists from injuring and killing themselves or others.

Simply put, in Wisconsin, the only acceptable number of traffic deaths is ZERO. As of December 24, 482 lives have been lost due to traffic accidents.

According to the WHA Information Center, between July, 2013 through June, 2014, there were 45,762 visits to the ER for automobile related accidents. Of those, 3,458 resulted in inpatient admission, 1,290 resulted in observation stay, and 208 resulted in outpatient surgery.

Be careful on the roads this holiday season. The staff of WHA and WHAIC hope you have a very Merry Christmas and safe New Year.

Data provided by the WHAIC (

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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Meriter-Unity Point Health Appoint Nizza as President/CEO

The Board of Directors of Meriter – UnityPoint Health has named Arthur Nizza, DSW, president/CEO, effective February 16, 2015.

Bill Leaver, president/CEO of UnityPoint Health said, "Art’s experience, knowledge of the health care world and business savvy make him an outstanding choice to lead Meriter. We welcome him to the organization and know he will bring Meriter to an even higher level of excellence."

Nizza is currently the president of MidHudson Regional of Westchester Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY where he successfully orchestrated the transition from a standalone entity to the regional hospital of an academic medical center. His focus has been on building collaborative relationships with community physicians, other local providers and faculty to further patient-centered care.

Prior to MidHudson, Nizza was president/CEO of Stellaris Health Network, a clinically-integrated network of community hospitals in a very competitive market near New York City. Nizza has considerable expertise in transitioning organizations to compete on value over market share.

Nizza has held previous executive leadership roles at academic medical centers like Mount Sinai and NYU in New York, and his experience includes direct patient care as a social worker and expertise with information technology in clinical practice.

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Ministry Names Hilt President, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Regional Vice President
Begins new role on January 11, 2015

Ministry Health Care, a member of Ascension, named Monica Hilt to the role of president for St. Elizabeth Hospital and regional vice president (RVP) for Ministry Health Care’s Eastern Region effective January 11, 2015. St. Elizabeth Hospital is part of Affinity Health System, which joined Ministry Health Care in 2012.

In her new role as eastern region vice president, Hilt will be responsible for directing the performance of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation (SEHF), Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, Mercy Health Foundation (MHF) and Calumet Medical Center in Chilton. Hilt will be located at St. Elizabeth Hospital where she will manage daily operations as hospital president.

"Monica is a talented and engaging leader who has been part of the Ministry Health Care organization for more than 20 years," stated Daniel Neufelder, Ministry Health Care president/CEO. "She has enjoyed great success with Ministry and is known for her strong associate engagement, excellent physician relations, exemplary financial skills and unwavering commitment to person-centered care."

Prior to this appointment, she was regional vice president of Ministry’s Northern Region. Before that, Hilt was president of Sacred Heart-Saint Mary’s Hospitals in Tomahawk and Rhinelander. She currently serves on the Wisconsin Hospital Association Board of Directors. Hilt holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Administration from the University of Wisconsin and is currently working on a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Ohio University.

Ann Zenk, who is vice president of patient care services for Sacred Heart-Saint Mary’s Hospitals in Tomahawk and Rhinelander, will become the interim regional vice president of the Northern Region as Hilt moves to the Fox Valley. A search for a new regional executive will be conducted to fill this important Northern Region leadership role for Ministry Health Care.

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Gundersen, Theda Commit to Build Climate Resilient Health System

At a senior-level White House event December 15, Health Care Without Harm and health executives from across the country called for an increased commitment from the health sector to take the significant and measurable actions that the mitigation of climate change demands.

The event launched the Department of Health and Human Services’ Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities Initiative. As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Initiative will produce tools and information to help health care facilities prepare for the impacts of climate change and increase their resilience.

Acknowledging their obligation and opportunity to minimize the health impacts of climate change, Gundersen Health System and ThedaCare joined health systems from across the country that are already making significant progress to enhance the resiliency of their facilities and communities.

As part of the new HHS initiative, the Administration also released a guide for health care providers, design professionals, and policymakers to promote continuity of care before, during, and after extreme weather events. Here is a link:

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Wisconsin ICD-10 Collaborative Discusses Stakeholder Readiness

Work continues at Wisconsin hospitals and health systems to transition to ICD-10 on October 1, 2015. Hospitals and health systems have made significant investments to prepare for the implementation, even before the most recent delay was enacted. In a December 17 letter sent to Wisconsin’s entire congressional delegation, WHA urged Congress to reject calls to once again delay implementation of ICD-10.

"ICD-10 implementation delays have been disruptive and costly for all of our member hospitals and health systems," WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding stated in the letter to Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. "Every day of delay costs our health care system a significant amount of resources that do not contribute to health care value."

WHA and the WHA Information Center staff have been working directly with members and participating on the Wisconsin ICD-10 Collaborative. At the December 19 Collaborative meeting, the group discussed stakeholder testing and readiness among Wisconsin providers, payers and health care consultants. Fifteen members of the Collaborative engaged in conversation nine days after the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Rules Committee jointly issued a statement on the implementation of ICD-10

Discussion topics included:

The next meeting is scheduled February 20, 2014. Anyone interested in participating in the Collaborative, contact Suzy Staudenmayer at


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