WHA Board Chair Jacobson Talks ACA Repeal in Modern Healthcare

March 10, 2017

The Trump Administration health care policy recommendations, along with the ACA repeal and replacement proposals, are triggering a lot of debate and discussions in the C-suite—conversations that reporters find intensely interesting these days. State and national media are reaching out more than ever to senior health care leaders to tap into their knowledge and opinions on a broad range of topics. That includes Modern Healthcare (MHC), a key source of news for many health care executives.

WHA Chair Cathy Jacobson, CEO, Froedtert Health, was among the health care leaders featured in a March 6 article in Modern Healthcare. Jacobson was one of the 110 CEOs participating on Modern Healthcare’s CEO Power Panel survey. She was later contacted for an interview. 

MHC reported their survey results confirmed that anxiety runs high among the CEOs that changes in the ACA will increase the number of uninsured, reduce Medicaid funding and drive up health systems’ uncompensated care costs. 

When asked for her opinion, Jacobson responded, “Any drop-off in coverage falls 100 percent on health systems, because we’re the ones who pay in terms of bad debt and charity care.” 

How Medicaid will be funded going forward is a great concern in Wisconsin and across the country. 
MHC reported from their survey that “CEOs are desperate for details on how the Republican plan would set the baseline for calculating annual increases in federal Medicaid payments, and how each state would be affected, whether or not it had expanded Medicaid.” 

Jacobson was asked for a reaction.

“How people will function under a block grant is entirely dependent on how much money they get,” Jacobson said during the interview. “What’s the base level of funding, and how is that indexed going forward? That’s the whole deal.”

On the topic of the CMS Innovation Center’s value-based pilot programs, Jacobson said while she would not voluntarily sign up for the orthopedic bundled-payment program, it’s now functioning fine, but she added, “If they want those programs to get traction, they have to make them mandatory.”

This story originally appeared in the March 10, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter