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HSHS St. Clare Hosts U.S. Rep. Gallagher for Health Care Roundtable

August 18, 2017

Over a dozen leaders from HSHS St. Clare Hospital in Oconto Falls and the Wisconsin Hospital Association participated in a roundtable discussion with freshman legislator, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, hosted at St. Clare Hospital.

“The opportunity for our leaders to spend quality time discussing the health care we deliver in Oconto Falls was important,” said HSHS St. Clare Chief Administrative Officer Dan DeGroot. “Federal policy decisions on health reform, Medicare and Medicaid have complex impacts on our hospital and community, and those impacts need to be raised with our elected officials. We appreciate Rep. Gallagher listening, learning and offering to help.” 

Topics discussed included the aftermath of failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and next steps Congress should take to stabilize the ACA federal exchange. The group told Gallagher that market instability is impacting the northeastern part of the state, citing research done by the Wisconsin Hospital Association on reduced coverage options on the exchange in 2018. Multiple insurers have indicated they are exiting the exchange market in Wisconsin, with many of Gallagher’s counties impacted by these announcements. As of today, only one insurer option will remain on the exchange in 2018 for Marinette, Oconto, Brown, Kewanee and Door Counties and no insurer options will be available in Menomonie County. (See WHA coverage maps.) 

Among other issues discussed, David Lally spoke of the importance of telehealth and how this could be utilized in rural communities if Medicare policies were more flexible and allowed for its reimbursement. HSHS Eastern Chief Nursing Officer Paula Hafeman highlighted the importance of Wisconsin’s medical liability system and the value of the “340 B” drug discount program. 


 

This story originally appeared in the August 18, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter