Wisconsin Scores High on Commonwealth Report on Local Health System Performance

Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 575-7516

MADISON (July 22, 2016) ----- A newly released report by the Commonwealth Fund placed Wisconsin among the best states for local health system performance, with several communities here ranking in the top-quintile nationally.

Appleton ranked 5th highest in the nation among the 306 U.S. communities included in the report, with Madison (13th), La Crosse (15th) and Green Bay (19th) scoring in the top quintile. Wausau, Neenah, Marshfield and Milwaukee ranked in the top quartile. Milwaukee topped more than 231 health care markets across the country.

“Wisconsin’s excellent performance on this scorecard is not a surprise given the high degree of care integration in our state and the continuing commitment of our hospitals, health systems and care providers to quality improvement,” according to WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “Our hospitals and health systems are closely aligned with physicians, long-term care facilities, home health and often health plans to ensure that care is coordinated across settings.  This not only leads to better quality care, but also better outcomes and ultimately better value for the dollars we spend on health care.”

The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on Local Health System Performance ( assesses the state of health care from 2011 through 2014. Using the most recent data available, the Scorecard ranks 306 regional health care markets known as “hospital referral regions” on four main dimensions of performance encompassing 36 measures. There are five measures of hospital care and a mix that includes nursing home, ambulatory and population health.

“One measure that showed significant improvement was readmissions, which aligns to the work that WHA has been doing with members over the past four years through our Partners for Patients project,” according to Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer.

Court said readmissions and the hospital safety composite score, which was included in the Commonwealth Scorecard, are reported in WHA’s CheckPoint program. ( 

While the report speculates that federal and state policies may be required to “address socioeconomic inequities and ensure that all communities have equal opportunities to improve,” the report also says the Scorecard is an indication that “community and local delivery system leaders across the country are already demonstrating the power of innovation and collaboration to promote health.”

“Every hospital and health system in the state is collaborating with community partners to raise the health status of Wisconsin’s residents,” Borgerding said. “Wisconsin providers are not waiting for changes in the reimbursement system that recognize and pay for prevention, they are already helping people to stay well and avoid encounters with the health care system, which will create heathier communities that will attract economic development in our state, as well.”