Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), a member of the state’s Joint Finance Committee, met with hospital leaders from Aurora Health Care and Beloit Health System March 20 during a WHA HEAT Roundtable at Beloit Memorial Hospital. During the meeting, hospital leaders discussed the impact of Wisconsin’s low Medicaid reimbursement rates for Wisconsin hospitals, which amounts to $1 billion in uncovered costs statewide and millions of dollars in losses for hospitals in Rep. Loudenbeck’s district.
Beloit Health System CEO Tim McKevett discussed the Medicaid surplus that exists in the state’s current biennium, amounting to over $300 million, which is being swept into the general fund and not being used to increase Wisconsin’s low Medicaid payment rates for hospitals. McKevett asked Loudenbeck to use these funds to increase provider reimbursement rates, including the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program.
Hospital leaders also discussed the potential impacts of Congressional action to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, via the American Health Care Act and its impact on the state Republican plan for coverage passed in the 2013-15 biennial budget. Leaders from both Beloit and Aurora commended the “Wisconsin Model” for coverage, but said the bill currently before Congress conflicts with the Wisconsin Model. They raised concerns with changes to subsidies in the American Health Care Act that will, according to several analyses, increase premium costs for low-income individuals and result in additional uncompensated care for Wisconsin hospitals.