May 11, 2018

Volume 62-Issue 19

WHA Praises Grant Program Addressing Wisconsin Physician Shortage

Estimated 133 additional physicians enrolled in WI-based residency programs by July 2020

As the population ages and demand for health care continues to grow, new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) shows Wisconsin’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program is gaining traction in heading off a projected Wisconsin primary care physician shortage. 

By 2030, Wisconsin’s population over the age of 65 is expected to double, increasing demand for primary care physician services. At the same time, almost 400 physicians per year leave the practice of medicine or reduce their hours in preparation for retirement. A 2011 study by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) predicted a shortfall in Wisconsin of over 2,000 physicians by 2030 and recommended increasing Wisconsin-based physician post-graduate training programs (GME) to help address the gap. 

Today, a $13 million grant program championed by WHA and enacted with bipartisan support from Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature has led to the creation of 10 new Wisconsin GME programs and the expansion of nine existing programs. Hospitals provide dollar-for-dollar matching funding for the program and as a result, more primary care physicians will be ready to practice in Wisconsin this spring, and estimates show there will be up to 133 additional physicians enrolled in Wisconsin-based residency programs by July 2020.

WHA worked with the Legislature to secure additional funding for the program, which is proving a successful part of Wisconsin’s “grow our own” strategy of training more physicians who will practice in Wisconsin.

“It is rewarding to see the GME grant program, a public-private partnership crafted between Wisconsin hospitals and state policymakers, moving forward toward fulfillment of our mutual objectives of expanding the number of primary care physicians, psychiatrists and other needed physicians in Wisconsin,” said Eric Borgerding, WHA president and CEO.

The same 2011 WHA study also predicted that if a medical student is from Wisconsin, attends medical school in Wisconsin and completes residency (GME) training in Wisconsin, there is an 86 percent chance they will practice medicine in Wisconsin. 

“The bottom line is more medical students completing their graduate training in Wisconsin means more physicians practicing in Wisconsin, and in critically needed specialties,” Borgerding said. “These matching grants are a textbook example of identifying a problem and then working with hospitals, health systems, medical schools, physician leaders, state agencies and elected officials to craft solutions.”

Since the inception of the DHS GME grant program in 2013, three-year grants were awarded to support development of new GME programs at:

  • Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital, Stevens Point – Family Medicine
  • Health Sisters Health System (HSHS) St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, Green Bay – Family Medicine
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship
  • Gundersen Medical Foundation, La Crosse – Family Medicine
  • Monroe Clinic, Monroe – Family Medicine
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin, Wausau/Central Wisconsin – Psychiatry
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin, Green Bay/Northeast Wisconsin – Psychiatry
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison – General Surgery
  • Mayo Clinic Health System, Northwest Wisconsin - Family Medicine
  • Health Partners, St. Croix Valley – Family Medicine

Existing accredited GME programs receiving new funding for new resident positions for the length of the residency are:

  • Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center Family Medicine Resident Training Program
  • SSM Health Monroe Clinic Hospital Rural Family Medicine Resident Training Program
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Psychiatry Resident Training Program (initial & continuation grants)
  • St. Mary’s Hospital/University of Wisconsin Family Medicine Resident Training Program
  • ThedaCare Regional Medical Center/The Medical College of Wisconsin, Fox Valley Family Medicine Training Program (initial and continuation grants)
  • Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center General Surgery Resident Training Program
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison General Surgery Resident Training Program
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin General Surgery Resident Training Program

For additional information about the DHS GME Grant Program, contact Ann Zenk, WHA vice president, workforce and clinical practice, at azenk@wha.org.

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Will You Be on the First Contributor List for 2018?

Contribute to the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit before May 25

The 2018 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit campaign is revving up to full gear. To date almost $88,000 has been raised from 88 contributors. Is your name among them? Help the 2018 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit campaign rocket past the $100,000 mark with your contribution. Make your contribution before May 25 to be included on our first contributor listing which will be published in the May 25 edition of WHA’s Valued Voice newsletter.

The Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit campaign 2018 goal is to raise $312,500. “Participating in elections is fundamental to our democracy,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “Just like voting, supporting the campaigns of candidates that help craft and carry forward good health care policy is another way those of us in the health care industry can engage in our democratic process, and the best way to do that is through a personal contribution to the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC and Conduit.”

Supporting candidates to serve in Wisconsin’s Capitol who understand the importance of health care to our state is a critical component of WHA’s three-pronged advocacy approach. Please help lay the groundwork for success by contributing to the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC and Conduit today. Contribute easily online at www.whconduit.com or contact Kari Hofer, WHA vice president, advocacy, at 608-268-1816 or khofer@wha.org

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WHA and Members Travel to DC to Meet with Congressional Delegation

Discuss 340B, Stark Law reform, opioid treatment legislation

WHA and members meeting with Rep. Ron Kind

The Wisconsin Hospital Association and leaders from hospitals and health systems from across the state traveled to Washington, D.C. May 8 to visit with Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation. The theme of the day was regulatory relief for hospitals and health systems. Among the key issues discussed were the 340B drug discount program, the opioid relief packages making their way through Congress and Stark Law relief.

WHA and members meeting with Rep. Gallagher

WHA’s new Director of Federal and State Relations, Jon Hoelter, organized an effective trip to Capitol Hill that saw WHA staff and members engaging in substantive and productive conversations. 

“This was a great opportunity to let our leaders in Washington know how regulatory barriers can get in the way of advancements that hospitals and health systems stand ready to implement,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “It was great to hear that we have willing partners in Congress who agree that we need to reduce the number of resources devoted to regulatory compliance so our hospitals can focus on what they do best, providing the best quality care to patients.”

Among the highlights of the trip were meetings with U.S. Reps. Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher, who have both been strong supporters of reversing the cuts to the 340B prescription drug discount program. With some members of Congress issuing calls for more program transparency, WHA explained the importance of ensuring that any calls for transparency do not add to the already complex regulatory burden. Jerry Worrick, president/CEO, Door County Medical Center, and David Lally, director of business development for HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, gave examples of how savings from the 340B program help stretch scarce federal resources in order to fund other essential services like free dental clinics and remote pharmacy dispensing sites.

WHA and members meeting with Sen. Tammy Baldwin

WHA and its members also met with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who shared her personal story about her late mother’s battle with opioids and how it has helped her relate to the many stories she has heard from people all over Wisconsin. John Russell, president/CEO, Columbus Community Hospital, spoke about their advanced drug tapering program that reduces the likelihood of someone being sent home with more pain medications than they need. WHA also shared examples of proposals going through the House and Senate that would make it easier for medical records to share patient history of substance use treatment, remove the prohibition on Medicaid reimbursing sites with 16 or more treatment beds, and removing arcane restrictions that prevent Medicare from reimbursing for telehealth.

WHA and members meeting with Sen. Ron Johnson

The trip concluded with a visit with Sen. Ron Johnson who voiced his support for examining outdated regulations like the Stark Law that is preventing some hospitals and systems from embracing new value-based payment reforms due to the fear that providers might be exposed to millions of dollars in repayments and penalties even for unintentional violations of the law.

“We appreciate Sen. Johnson’s willingness to work with our members on reviewing this outdated law so we can get government out of the way and allow us to continue our reputation as a national leader in health care quality,” concluded Borgerding.

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WHA Touts Quality and Safety at Hospital Week Kickoff

Beth Dibbert

Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) Chief Quality Officer Beth Dibbert says Wisconsin’s status as #1 in the nation for health care quality—as acclaimed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)—is the result of a team effort by facilities across the state.

Dibbert touted the work by rural hospitals during a kick-off to National Hospital Week festivities at Tomah Memorial Hospital May 7.

“This number one designation indicates a statewide commitment to delivering quality care for your patients,” Dibbert said.

In 2017, Wisconsin received the #1 ranking by AHRQ, and has consistently ranked among the top five states since 2010. Also in 2017, Wisconsin’s critical access hospitals were ranked #1 in their peer group by the Health Resources and Services Administration for quality reporting and levels of improvement.

Dibbert said the recognition of rural hospitals demonstrates how committed all providers in Wisconsin are to measure, improve and achieve high quality.

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Just Culture – The Foundation of Trust & Transparency, September 26

Hospitals have been working hard to reduce preventable readmissions and hospital-acquired harm while integrating high reliability and person and family engagement principles into the culture. WHA invites hospital leaders and improvement staff to attend an event featuring Outcome Engenuity CEO David Marx. 

Marx wrote a seminal paper in 2001 describing the concept of Just Culture, which became a focal point for efforts to reconcile notions of “no blame” and “accountability.” He went on to form the Just Culture Community, which follows a “fix the process” theory at institutions around the country. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with other hospital and patient safety leaders and collaborate on improvement opportunities for the upcoming year.

Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Build a culture of trust for caregivers;
  • Acquire specific strategies for implementing and sustaining a Just Culture from hospital leaders;
  • Understand how physicians use the Just Culture algorithm in peer review; and,
  • Discover tools for achieving a Just Culture and high reliability through case studies.

The event will take place September 26, 2018 from 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. To register or for additional event details, go to www.cvent.com/d/kgqm94.

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Include Your Hospital Trustees at This Year’s Rural Health Conference

Each year, the Wisconsin Rural Health Conference attracts nearly 100 hospital trustees from rural communities throughout the state, many of whom attend year after year. Those who attend find a wide range of education topics, as well as several targeted specifically at governance issues they deal with in their own organizations.

The 2018 Wisconsin Rural Health Conference will include the governance-specific topics of new ways to approach strategic planning; essential components of a successful and sustainable hospital philanthropy program; and understanding future health care reimbursement models. The 2018 agenda will also include a luncheon specifically for hospital trustees, as a venue to network with other trustees.

As you register yourself and your senior staff for this year’s conference, consider inviting your board of trustee members to attend as well. It’s a great way to expose them to national speakers, provide them targeted education, and spend time with them away from your hospital, all at a reasonable cost. This year’s conference is scheduled June 27-29 at The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. Online registration and a conference agenda are now available at www.cvent.com/d/3gqkxj.

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Member News: Mayo Clinic Health System Expands Psychiatry Residencies in NW Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and state lawmakers joined leaders from Mayo Clinic Health System May 8 to announce the expansion of Mayo’s psychiatry residency program in northwest Wisconsin. This expansion will include two new residents per training year, which may result in as many as eight new practicing clinicians in Eau Claire at one time.

“Across the nation, there is significant need for more psychiatric care providers. It is a critically important area of health care,” said Richard Helmers, MD, regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. “Increasing access to mental health care is vitally important to our patients and the overall health of the communities we live in.”

Also this week, WHA sent out a press release announcing new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program. The release stated that this program, initiated by WHA and championed by Gov. Walker and the state Legislature, will fund 133 additional Wisconsin-based residencies by July 2020. (To read more about this announcement, see story above.)

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