Jon Hoelter, who recently joined WHA as director of federal and state relations, traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation. The visit was an opportunity for introductions with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation staff as well as several key committee staff. Among the many topics discussed were current federal issues like 340B, opioid treatment, health care workforce, hospital reimbursement and health insurance market stability. As a testament to the hard work WHA and its members have done over the years advocating for our issues at the federal level, staff were well versed on issues important to Wisconsin hospitals and expressed a desire to continue their strong working relationship with WHA.
Hoelter also met with committee staff that work on a variety of key health care packages introduced by the Congress. Carla DiBlasio, a staffer for the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee described her previous experience working for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as an asset in her new role. She said her time there gave her a better appreciation of the burdens hospitals face due to CMS’s reporting and compliance requirements, and she referenced CMS’s recent “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative aimed at examining that. One of challenges she recognized during her time at CMS was that they often lacked statutory authority to make some of the reforms they were interested in pursuing. She also mentioned that she was particularly interested in hearing feedback from WHA and its members on any of the opioid treatment legislation Congress is currently working on.
WHA will be back in Washington, D.C. in a few weeks to lead Capitol Hill visits for the AHA Annual Membership Meeting, May 6-9. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to email Hoelter at email@example.com.