WHA Response to Greater Milwaukee Business
Foundation on Health Report

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

Attribute this statement to WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding

“Prices are just one of several issues impacting overall health care costs in southeast
Wisconsin. Other important factors unaddressed by the study include utilization, efficiency,
cost, quality and patient outcomes – all areas in which we know southeast Wisconsin’s
integrated health systems excel and are delivering quantifiable results. Over the past ten years,
these efforts to reduce cost and improve outcomes have led to dramatic and continuing
improvements in southeast Wisconsin health insurance premiums compared to the Midwest
average and better overall value for employers’ health care dollars.

Unfortunately, as the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health report notes, cost
shifting from government programs continues to be a drag on the progress being made in
overall health care costs and prices. According to a 2012 study from the Milwaukee Business
Foundation on Health, recouping unpaid costs from Medicare and Medicaid accounts for 23
cents of every commercial dollar paid to southeast Wisconsin hospitals. Unpaid costs from
Wisconsin’s Medicaid program alone added $205 million to southeast Wisconsin employer
health care costs in 2011.”