WHA Raises Concerns Over Hospital Mandate Proposal

September 17, 2019

The Wisconsin Hospital Association warned the State Legislature this afternoon that proposed legislation being pushed by AARP would saddle hospitals with unnecessary new regulatory burdens in a patient care area where Wisconsin is already a national leader. Dubbed by its proponents as the “Care Act,” the proposed bill would create state-level regulations dictating how hospitals designate and involve a caregiver during the hospital discharge process, despite the fact that according to the latest CMS release of Hospital Compare data, Wisconsin ranks second in the nation in patient satisfaction rates regarding post-discharge care and information.

A memo to all Wisconsin state legislators opposing the proposal pointed out that Wisconsin’s proactive innovation in this area coupled with existing federal requirements would make any state mandates unnecessary. In the memo, WHA discussed the impact of additional regulatory burden on hospitals and health care providers. Citing data from the American Hospital Association, WHA stated the average size hospital dedicates 59 FTEs to regulatory compliance, over one-quarter of which are physicians or nurses, resulting in a cost of $1,200 for every patient admission and contributing to provider burnout.

“We believe the work already being done . . . has successfully enabled Wisconsin hospitals to achieve some of the best care outcomes in the nation,” according to the memo. “This legislation will waste hospital resources on more regulatory compliance and distract from ongoing and effective quality improvement efforts.”

The bill was circulated for potential legislative cosponsors this afternoon by State Sen. Pat Testin (R-Stevens Point) and State Assembly Rep. Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin), both of whom appeared at the AARP press conference about the bill.

Stay tuned to future issues of The Valued Voice for more information as it develops.

This story originally appeared in the September 17, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter