Grassroots Spotlight: Rep. Gallagher Attends WHA Medicare Roundtable

Door County Medical Center hosts a dozen hospital leaders at discussion

September 01, 2017

On August 25, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher joined more than a dozen hospital and health system leaders from his district at Door County Medical Center (DCMC) for a Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) roundtable discussion on Medicare.

“As a freshman legislator, our goal was to come together as health care leaders from across Representative Gallagher’s district and have a substantive discussion on Medicare regulations and reimbursement,” said DCMC’s President Jerry Worrick. “We appreciated his time and interest, and look forward to additional conversations on other topics.”

Participants provided a look at the origins of the Medicare system and then moved into a detailed conversation about the prospective payment system, critical access hospital designation, and accountable care organizations among other topics. Conversation centered around how various reimbursement mechanisms under Medicare operate and the mounting burden of Medicare regulations on hospitals, physicians and nurses.

With respect to Medicare’s regulatory burden, Jenny Boese, WHA vice president, federal affairs & advocacy, highlighted a recent document WHA submitted to the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee that included nine changes Congress and the administration can pursue to reduce Medicare’s burden (see article here). Gallagher expressed interest in utilizing WHA’s submission in his work in Congress.

“Congress should start from the paradigm of how to make health care better for people, not from the perspective of only cutting costs,” said Worrick in closing. “This ultimately leads to where we all want Medicare to go.”

Hospital, physician and nursing leaders from the following hospitals and health care systems participated in the Medicare roundtable: Door County Medical Center; HSHS Eastern Wisconsin; Bellin Health; Bellin Health Oconto Hospital; Ascension Calumet Medical Center; Ascension Wisconsin and Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

This story originally appeared in the September 01, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter