November 6, 2015
Volume 59, Issue 44

Physician Licensure Compact, State Health Plan Oversight Bills up in Senate
WHA legislative priorities expected to move forward in extraordinary session

The Wisconsin State Senate will meet in extraordinary session November 6 to take up nearly 40 bills, including two pieces of legislation that have an impact on Wisconsin hospitals and health systems. The Senate is expected to take up and pass legislation that would make Wisconsin the 12th state to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (AB 253) and a bill that would require that the Joint Finance Committee have a role in reviewing changes to the state employee health insurance program (AB 394).

Breaking News: Around 2:00 p.m. today, the Senate passed the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Look for a full update in next week's Valued Voice.
Assembly Bill 253, which adopts the Compact into law in Wisconsin, passed the state Assembly on a vote of 95-1 and passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee November 5 with a vote of 5-0. The legislation was amended in the Senate Committee by Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa). Vukmir’s amendment would require that the Compact be reauthorized by the Legislature four years after the effective date of the bill. 

The Senate will also be taking up Assembly Bill 394, legislation that would require the Joint Finance Committee review actions taken by the Group Insurance Board (GIB) impacting the state employee health insurance program. The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee included a similar provision in the biennial budget bill passed by the legislature this summer. The Governor, who holds strong line-item veto power, removed this GIB oversight provision from the enacted version of the bill with his veto pen.

Following the budget, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) introduced standalone legislation to provide this oversight but in front of the state’s budget committee. The GIB has looked at moving from a fully-insured to a self-insured health insurance program, which could have significant repercussions on the state budget. Nygren and Darling, the co-chairs of the state’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, wanted to ensure their Committee had the ability to review this type of change and argued that the potential impact to the state budget necessitated JFC’s review of any proposed change.

WHA’s government relations team expects the Senate to pass AB 394 November 6, but with an amendment negotiated between the authors of the bill and Governor Walker to ensure that the Governor will not veto this legislation. The WHA-backed amendment will provide the JFC with authority to reject a contract related to self-funding the state employee health plan, essentially giving the Committee the final say.

Both pieces of legislation will have to be sent back to the Assembly for concurrence. The Assembly is expected to come back into session on November 16 to take up actions from the Senate’s November 6 meeting.

Top of page (11/6/15)

Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit Campaign Update: Clock is Ticking … $39,000 Left to Reach Year End Goal

Contributions continue to come in with just under two months left in the calendar year of the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit Campaign. In the last two weeks, the 2015 Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit Campaign has added another 13 contributors and raised an additional $13,000, putting the campaign’s total at $230,559. The Campaign is now at 86 percent of the goal to raise $270,300 by the end of the year.

The average contribution is $815. So far 283 individuals have joined together to support this year’s annual campaign. Last year at this time the annual campaign had raised $244,771 from 333 participants and finished out at $268,680 from 375 individuals at year end. 

Thank you to those who are listed below by name and affiliated organization by amount category. The next publication of the contributor list will be in the November 20 edition of The Valued Voice. For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.

Top of page (11/6/15)

Contributors Ranging from $1 - $499  
Aittama, Craig Ministry - St. Michael's Hospital
Alstad, Nancy Fort HealthCare
Anderson, Phil Sacred Heart Hospital
Appleby, Jane Aurora Health Care
Ballentine, Anne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Bayer, Tom St. Vincent Hospital
Bard, Jeffrey Aurora Medical Center - Oshkosh
Bisterfeldt, Joan Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Bollig, Dale SSM - St. Mary's Hospital
Braun, James Ministry - Flambeau Hospital
Brenny, Terrence Stoughton Hospital
Brisch, Donald Holy Family Memorial
Bunten, Sherry Aspirus Langlade Hospital
Cardinal, Lori Agnesian HealthCare
Carlson, Dan Aurora - Bay Area Medical Center
Carter, Shane Aurora Medical Center - Oshkosh
Clark, Julie HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Clark, Renee Fort HealthCare
Cliffe Kucharski, Elizabeth Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Collins, Sherry Wisconsin Hospital Association
Colman, Gerard Aurora Health Care
Coniff, Barbara HSHS - St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center
Coopman, Dianne St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Cormier, Laura Bellin Hospital
Culotta, Jennifer St. Clare Hospital & Health Svcs
Curran-Meuli, Jane Holy Family Memorial
Danner, Forrest Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Davidson, Lisa Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
Dettman, Amy Bellin Hospital
Donlon, Marcia Holy Family Memorial
Dube, Troy Chippewa Valley Hospital
Dux, Larry Froedtert & MCW Community Mem. Hosp
Dwyer, Maxine SSM - St. Mary's Hospital
Evans, Kim Bellin Hospital
Ewald, Sandra Aurora Health Care
Feeney, John Community Health Network, Inc.
Fielding, Laura Holy Family Memorial
Freitag, Vanessa                       Our Lady of Victory Hospital
Gagnon, Annette HSHS - Eastern Wisconsin Division
Grundstrom, David Ministry - Flambeau Hospital
Gullicksrud, Lynn Sacred Heart Hospital
Gutsch, Mike Cumberland Healthcare
Hafeman, Paula St. Vincent Hospital
Halida, Cheryl HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Harasim, Edward Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Harrington, Kathleen Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Helgeson, Jason HSHS - Eastern Wisconsin Division
Hernandez, Terri HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Herzog, Sarah Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Hofer, John Bay Area Medical Center
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Kaufmann, Marilyn Holy Family Memorial
Kelsey Foley, Kathy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Kempen, Jacob Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Klay, Chris HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Klay, Lois HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Knutzen, Barbara Agnesian HealthCare
Koebke, Troy Bellin Hospital
Krueger, Kari St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Kruse, Joe Mayo Health System - Franciscan Healthcare La Crosse
LaBarge, Margie Ministry Health Care
Lampman, Sandra St. Mary's Hospital
Leschke, John Mercy Medical Center
Lineberry, Timothy Aurora BayCare Medical Center - Green Bay
Lynch, Sue Mayo Health System - Franciscan HC
Maurer, Mary Holy Family Memorial
Mays, Laura Stoughton Hospital Association
McArdle, PeggyAnn Agnesian HealthCare
McMeans, Scott Holy Family Memorial
Mercer, Carla Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Merrick, Marianne SSM - St. Mary's Hospital
Miller, Thomas Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Monahan, Jane Monroe Clinic
Nevers, Rick Aspirus, Inc.
Nicklaus, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
O'Hara, Tiffanie Sundial Software
Olson, Bonnie Sacred Heart Hospital
Ordinans, Karen Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Ostrander, Gail HSHS - Eastern Wisconsin Division
Palecek, Steve HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Peck, Lori Aspirus, Inc.
Peiffer, Susan Sacred Heart Hospital
Pempek, Kalynn Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Penovich, Carrie Aurora Medical Center - Two Rivers
Pritchard, Paul Prevea Health/HSHS
Radke, Chad Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Range, Bonnie Holy Family Memorial
Revnew, Dorothy ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Richman, Tim Affinity Health - Calumet Medical Center
Riddle, Roberta Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Rocheleau, John Bellin Health
Roethle, Linda Bellin Memorial Hospital
Roundy, Ann Columbus Community Hospital
Rudquist, Debra Amery Hospital & Clinic
Schaetzl, Ron SSM - St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Schneider, David Aspirus Langlade Hospital
Schubring, Randy Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Sciuti, Jennifer Aurora Health Care
Selle, Ginger St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Sio, Tim Wheaton Franciscan - All Saints
Statz, Darrell Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Stelzer, Jason St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Strasser, Kathy Aspirus, Inc.
Strobel, Victoria Marshfield Clinic
Swanson, Kaitlin HSHS - Eastern WI Division
Tandberg, Ann HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Tapper, Joy Milwaukee Health Care Partnership
Theiler, Brian Gundersen Tri-County Hospitals & Clinics 
Thornton, Eric SSM - St. Mary's Janesville Hospital
Van Abel, Lois Bellin Hospital
Vergos, Katherine Agnesian - Ripon Medical Center
Voelker, Thomas Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Waldoch, Timothy Columbia St. Mary's Inc.
Walker, Troy St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Werkheiser, Cindy Monroe Clinic
Wheeler, Susan St. Nicholas Hospital
Whitinger, Margaret Agnesian HealthCare
Wipperfurth, Kay Fort HealthCare
Wold, Gwen Amery Regional Medical Center
Contributors Ranging from $500 - $999
Anderson, Layton Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Bagnall, Andrew St. Nicholas Hospital
Bailet, Jeffrey Aurora Health Care
Deich, Faye HSHS - Sacred Heart Hospital
Dexter, Donn Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Dicus-Johnson, Coreen Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Dietsche, James Bellin Hospital
Dolohanty, Naomi Aurora Health Care
Elmer, Paula Monroe Clinic
Ericson, Allen Froedtert & MCW HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital Campus
Frangesch, Wayne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital & Clinics
Golanowski, Marie Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Goldberg, David Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital Campus
Graul, Mark Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Gullingsrud, Tim Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Nursing Home
Gustafson, Andy SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Hamilton, Mark UW Hospitals and Clinics
Hanson, Gail Aurora Health Care
Heaney, Dwight Fort HealthCare 
Jablonski, James Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Jacobson, Terry St. Mary’s Hospital of Superior
Jensema, Christine HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Kersten, Juliet Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kingston, Mary Beth Aurora Health Care
Kirsch, Jennifer Gundersen Health System
Korom, Nancy Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kostroski, Sharon Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Lange, George Westgate Medical Group, CSMCP
Larson, Margaret Mercy Medical Center
Latta, Richard Godfrey & Kahn, SC 
Lindberg, Steve Mayo Clinic Health System - Red Cedar
May, Carol Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital
McNally, Maureen Froedtert & MCW
Mugan, James Agnesian HealthCare
Mulder, Doris Beloit Health System 
Nelson, James Fort HealthCare
O’Day, Thomas Godfrey & Kahn, SC
Oland, Charisse Rusk County Memorial Hospital
Ose, Peggy Riverview Hospital Association 
Peterson, Douglas Chippewa Valley Hospital
Pollard, Dennis Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Quinn, George Wisconsin Hospital Association
Reardon, Brian Hospital Sisters Health System
Richards, Theresa Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Richardson, Todd Aspirus, Inc.
Rocole, Theresa Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Roesler, Bruce The Richland Hospital
Rohrbach, Dan Southwest Health Center
Rozenfeld, Jon St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison
Rude, Nels The Kammer Group
Sczygelski, Sidney Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Seitz, Verna ProHealth Care, Inc.
Selberg, Heidi HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Shabino, Charles Wisconsin Hospital Association
Shorter, Tom Godfrey & Kahn, SC
Simaras, Jim Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Sisney, Mary Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Smith, Gregory Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Stern, Robert Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Stuart, Philip Tomah Memorial Hospital
Teigen, Seth St. Mary’s Hospital 
Thurmer, DeAnn Waupun Memorial Hospital
Van Court, Bernie Bay Area Medical Center
Van Meeteren, Bob Reedsburg Area Medical Center
Yaron, Rachel Ministry St. Clare’s Hospital
Zenk, Ann Ministry St. Mary’s Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $1,000 - $1,499
Ashenhurst, Karla Ministry Health Care
Bagemihl, Katherine Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Bedwell, Elizabeth Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Bloch, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
Brenton, Andrew Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Colpaert, Gary Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Connors, Larry St. Mary's & St. Vincent Hospital
Cullen-Schultz, Jeannie JP Cullen & Sons
Geboy, Scott Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman
Geraghty, Tricia Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gorelick, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gunn, Veronica Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gutzeit, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hanus, Andrew Aurora Health Care
Just, Lisa Aurora Health Care-South Region
Killoran, Carrie Aurora Health Care
Lentz, Darrell Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Lewis, Jonathan St. Mary's Hospital 
McCawley, Thomas Beloit Health System
McGowan, Kathryne Aspirus, Inc.
Punzenberger, Lindsay Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 
Radoszewksi, Pat Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Rakowski, Mark Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Reynolds, Sheila Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 
Rickelman, Debbie WHA Information Center
Robertstad, John ProHealth Care - Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital
Roller, Rachel Aurora Health Care
Rush, Steven Wisconsin Hospital Association
Sanders, Robert Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Sato, Thomas Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Schafer, Michael Spooner Health System
Schmidt, Cheryl Affinity Health - St. Elizabeth Hospital
Shanahan, Thomas Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Swanson, Kerry St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital
White-Jacobs, Mary Beth          Black River Memorial Hospital
Wolf, Edward Lakeview Medical Center
Zenk, Ann Ministry - Sacred Heart-St. Mary's Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $1,500 - $1,999
Clapp, Nicole Grant Regional Health Center 
Coffman, Joan HSHS - St. Joseph's Hospital
Court, Kelly Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Decker, Michael Divine Savior Healthcare 
Dotson, Jason Beloit Health System
Frank, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Grasmick, Mary Kay Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Heywood, Matthew Aspirus, Inc.
Harding, Edward Bay Area Medical Center
Martin, Jeff Ministry - Saint Michael's Hospital
McKevett, Timothy Beloit Health System
Mohorek, Ronald Ministry Health Care
Natzke, Ryan Marshfield Clinic 
Nauman, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Olson, David Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Russell, John Columbus Community Hospital 
Schulze, Connie Ministry Health Care 
Sexton, William Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center
Sheehan, John UW Hospitals and Clinics
Wallace, Michael Fort HealthCare
Contributors Ranging from $2,000 - $2,999
Alig, Joanne Wisconsin Hospital Association
Andersen, Travis Columbia St. Mary's 
Anderson, Sandy St. Clare Hospital & Health Svcs
Boese, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Duncan, Robert Children's Hospital & Health System
Herzog, Mark Holy Family Memorial
Hilt, Monica St. Elizabeth Hospital
Kachelski, Joe WI Statewide Health Info Network 
Kief, Brian Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Leitch, Laura Hall Render
Levin, Jeremy Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative 
Lewis, Gordon Burnett Medical Center 
Meyer, Daniel Aurora BayCare Medical Ctr Green Bay
Oliverio, John Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Pandl, Therese HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division
Potter, Brian Wisconsin Hospital Association
Potts, Dennis Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Sanders, Michael Monroe Clinic 
Sliwinski, Ron UW Hospitals and Clinics
Stanford, Matthew Wisconsin Hospital Association
Troy, Peggy Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Contributors Ranging from $3,000 - $4,999
Boatwright, Damond SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Jacobson, Catherine Froedtert & The MCW 
Kammer, Peter The Kammer Group
Kerwin, George Bellin Hospital
Little, Steve Agnesian Health Care
Mettner, Michelle Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 
Neufelder, Dan Ministry Health Care
Normington, Jeremy Mercy Medical Center
O’Brien, Kyle Wisconsin Hospital Association
Standridge, Deb Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Starmann-Harrison, Mary  Hospital Sisters Health System
Turkal, Nick Aurora Health Care
Contributors Ranging from $5,000 - $9,999
Borgerding, Eric & Dana   Wisconsin Hospital Association
Brenton, Stephen Wisconsin Hospital Association
Size, Tim Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Contributors $10,000+
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc.

Top of page (11/6/15)

WHA Shares Health Care Value Message with 2,800 Wisconsin Employers
WI high-quality care, delivered efficiently, is an asset to employers

Wisconsin ranks among the top states for quality and efficiency, a position that can be achieved and sustained only when hospitals and health systems are committed to consistently delivering top-notch patient care. 

The week of November 9, 2,800 employers in Wisconsin will receive a letter and issue brief, “Employer Perspectives,” from WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding that will help them better understand how hospitals’ and health systems’ attention to high quality, efficiently delivered care is an asset to their business.

In the letter, Borgerding states, “Improvements in how efficiently resources are used impact overall health care costs. Inputs such as cost are only half of the challenge in creating efficient health care systems. Good health outcomes are the key output and help ensure employees return to work and productivity sooner. Efficiently delivered care, coupled with superior outcomes, means better value for Wisconsin health care dollars.” 

Wisconsin hospitals and health systems take their role in fostering local economic development and helping the non-health care sector grow seriously. Borgerding points out in the letter, “Partnerships between employers and health care providers are being created every day in Wisconsin. I believe that, together, we will make progress on all fronts regarding access to services and cost of care. I invite you to join us on that journey.”

Throughout 2015, WHA has released a series of direct mail pieces to Wisconsin employers, along with several new studies and reports, that reinforce the themes of access, quality and value. This campaign aligns with WHA’s goal to support Wisconsin’s status as being among the very best states for health care, with the finest hospitals and health systems in the nation.

For more information on the Wisconsin Health Care: Ahead of the Curve campaign, contact Mary Kay Grasmick,, or 608-274-1820.

Top of page (11/6/15)

Spooner Health System Trustees Honored with WHA Awards
Johnson, Van Etten receive WHA’s 2015 Trustee of the Year Awards

Sheldon Johnson and Mark Van Etten, MD, were recognized by the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) November 4 for their service to the Spooner Health System Board of Directors. Board members Johnson and Van Etten were nominated by Mike Schafer, CEO of Spooner Health System. WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding presented the awards. 

Johnson has served on the Spooner Board for the past 11 years, while Van Etten has been a member of the Board for the past 12 years, including four as secretary. Both gentlemen have been jointly involved, and assumed leadership roles, in every major initiative the Board has been involved with over the past few years, according to Schafer. 

“Dr. Van Etten and Sheldon have excelled in their leadership roles and are very deserving of this recognition from the Wisconsin Hospital Association,” according to Schafer. “Both gentleman are deeply committed to the success of the hospital and to the health of the community. I truly don’t believe we would be where we are today without their extraordinary leadership.”

Top of page (11/6/15)

Self-Funding State Employee Health Insurance: “The jury is still out.”

At a roundtable discussion sponsored by Wisconsin Health News held November 3 in Madison, WHN editor Tim Stumm asked Mark Moody, CEO, WEA Trust, and Mark Huth, MD, Interim CEO, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, to comment on the state’s proposal to self-fund the state employee health insurance program. 

“The jury is still out. Just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean we should. It is ambiguous whether there will be savings,” according to Moody. “I have said at a WHN forum a year ago, the state self-funding a health insurance plan will be more destructive on health care in Wisconsin than Obamacare was. I still stand by that.”

Moody added that there are some interesting wrinkles. Self-funding would leave all local municipal governments participating in the state plan in a lurch. It would also, according to Moody, accelerate the trend toward consolidation certainly on the payer side. 

“If they put all the state employees within one self-funded carrier, that would have a significant impact on the competitiveness of the insurance market in Wisconsin and on a number of other carriers,” Moody said. “Somebody would be a big winner and there would be a lot of losers of various sizes.”

Huth said the Employee Trust Fund (ETF) puts pressure on the 18 regional plans to keep premiums as low as possible and to drive health care improvement. 

“If you look at the cost of care for state workers, it has driven high value; it would be hard to make the case that another system, like self-funding, would lead to significant improvement,” according to Huth. “The truth is only 10 percent of the cost is in the administrative realm—that is where you are talking about improvement. Ninety percent is the medical cost of care. The ugly secret of self-funding is you are putting the state on the hook for that 90 percent. Right now the other insurers are sharing that cost and risk and we are working really hard to keep the medical costs down.”

Top of page (11/6/15)

Health Insurance Execs Say Move to Value-Based Purchasing Coming—but Slowly
Unity’s Bolz: Health systems focused on quality…winners will be those creating value”

Five Wisconsin insurance executives shared their perspectives on the impact of the Affordable Care Act and other changes in the health care landscape that have affected the health insurance and health care industries at a roundtable discussion sponsored by Wisconsin Health News November 3 in Madison. 

Terry Bolz, CEO, Unity Health Insurance, said the ACA has stimulated some pretty significant changes in health care and health insurance. Providers have made a decision to improve quality, increase value and take out cost. 

“I think the integrated delivery systems in Wisconsin have focused on value; they are interested in taking on risk, and they are far more interested in global capitation and in incentives around quality,” according to Bolz, “It won’t happen overnight. It took us 30 years to create a fee-for-service system. It will be an evolution with the winners being successful at creating value.”

Mark Huth, MD, interim CEO at Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, said there are still a lot of unknowns, but the right conversations are happening. 

“People are talking about how do we drive value? How do we reward higher value care and lower cost?” according to Huth. “There are sticking points as to what data do you use to define value so there are a lot of clinical measures, lots of things you can get in your claims data—which may or may not actually equal value. So a lot of times what we call value actually ends up being utilization control. There is still a lot of work to be done on what measures to use and what will really help drive improvement in value-based care.” 

Molina Healthcare is moving toward value-based payments (VBP) across the country. Some states are further along, but providers are open to it, according to Molina President Scott Johnson. One of Molina’s main blocks of business in Wisconsin is the Medicaid program. Johnson said it is difficult to manage because members are not locked into a primary care provider, which makes it difficult to start up a VBP system. 

“The provider business model of health care by and large is based on ala carte. It’s like buying a car part-by-part,” according to Mark Moody, CEO, WEA Trust. He said there are some bundled payment programs, but it is a small fraction of the total health care spending. It is directionally correct, but it covers such a small part of health care because so much of care is not elective.

Moody said the competitive insurance market by and large is a good thing. He noted it is unfortunate that consolidations are reducing the competitiveness of the insurance market in Wisconsin and across the country. 

“Wisconsin is competitive because of the number of players it has, but it is also unique for the kinds of players, which includes not-for profit, provider-owned, and traditional investor-owned plans. I think fundamentally that is a good thing,” Moody said. “I also think competition is better on the health care side. Less consolidation among insurers is good, and less consolidation in health care is also good. The most competitive health care market is along the east side of the state and I think, based on what we pay, we see that is good for cost.”

While Unity’s Bolz said he thinks competition is good and will spur innovation, Michael Hamerlik, CEO WPS Health Solutions, took a different view. Hamerlik asserted there is a difference between a “competitive market and a fragmented market,” and he believes Wisconsin is a “fragmented” market that makes it difficult to manage. 

Bolz said he believes a mistake the insurance industry made early on was “we tried to micromanage health care from the outside. We have to get out of the way of doctors and hospitals—they are going to have to reengineer how they do business, and that’s going to take a fundamental change in the way we pay them.”

Top of page (11/6/15) 

Be Involved—Join a WHA Council or Committee

WHA is currently soliciting appointment requests from WHA members to participate in WHA councils and subcommittees. Now is your opportunity to participate on the councils that are at the forefront of identifying key policy issues for the membership and making recommendations on positions to the WHA Board.

There are six councils and one committee seeking member participation: 

Additional information, including council responsibilities and current member information is located at Direct questions to Sherry Collins at or (608) 274-1820.

Top of page (11/6/15)

Payer/Provider ICD-10 Exchange Forum, December 14 in Madison

Join the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Group Management Association, Wisconsin Medical Society, and Wisconsin payers on December 14 for the “Payer/Provider ICD-10 Exchange Forum.” This one-day event will bring Wisconsin providers and major Wisconsin payers together to discuss common issues related to the recent ICD-10 implementation. 

Attendees are encouraged to submit questions prior to the conference, as part of the registration process, to ensure the day’s discussions focus on the greatest needs. Facilitated discussions will focus on topics such as prior authorizations, translation tools, unspecified code issues, inpatient issues like PCS and DRG shifts, and more.

Hospital and health system billing and coding managers, revenue cycle managers, health information managers, and CFOs, as well as clinical managers, will benefit most from attending this event. The one-day event will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison. To view the full day’s agenda and to register for this event, visit:

Top of page (11/6/15)

WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference
The American Club, Kohler *** March 11-12, 2016

Early Bird Registration: Register by January 15 to qualify
More information and online registration can be found at:

Need Hotel Reservations? Contact The American Club at 800-344-2838 ASAP.

Top of page (11/6/15)

WCMEW Identified as Statewide Health Care Workforce Coordinator

Wisconsin has completed its National Governors Association Health Workforce Policy Academy project and developed a health care workforce strategic plan, which identifies WCMEW as the entity that will implement the plan. The plan includes three core areas: workforce data collection and analysis, work redesign, and a pipeline providing adequate numbers and geographic distribution of providers. 

“We are pleased that the Governor has affirmed WCMEW’s role as the statewide entity coordinating provider workforce analysis and planning,” according to WCMEW Chair Charles Shabino, MD, WHA chief medical officer. 

The Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) asked WCMEW to review and provide feedback on a Wisconsin-centric definition and conceptual model of team-based care developed under a state grant to WNA. The model will be presented at the WCMEW Team-Based Care Summit November 12, 2015.

George Quinn, WCMEW executive director, outlined the plan for a 2016 report assessing the current and future adequacy of the provider workforce in Wisconsin. The report is intended to identify progress as well as continued challenges since the publication of the 2011 “100 New Physicians a Year” report. Focus will include the impact of new delivery models, including team-based care, and on future projections of provider workforce needs.

William Hueston, MD, senior associate dean, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), outlined the progress of the MCW new community campuses. Green Bay has enrolled 26 students, 23 of which are Wisconsin residents. The core didactic courses are originated on the Milwaukee campus with bi-directional/interactive connection with Green Bay campus. The curriculum is designed to be inter-professional and includes medical student interaction with nursing and pharmacy students. Hueston indicated that student performance of Milwaukee and Green Bay participants have been found to be identical. The Central Wisconsin Campus in Wausau will admit its first class in July 2016.

Top of page (11/6/15)

WHA’s Rush Named to Gov. Council on Workforce Investment Committee

Steven Rush, WHA vice president for workforce and clinical practice has been named to the Talent Development and Planning Committee of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment (CWI). CWI is the federally-mandated entity under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that assists Governor Scott Walker in developing innovative and dynamic approaches to develop Wisconsin’s workforce.

The Council is charged with aiding Wisconsin employers in finding the workers they need and providing resources to enable workers to access training for in-demand careers with the ultimate goal of moving Wisconsin’s economy forward. Members include a majority of business leaders, as well as state legislators and local elected officials, representatives from educational institutions, community-based organizations, and labor representatives from throughout the state. 

The Talent Development & Planning Committee is a CWI working committee charged with recommending WIOA state plan components to Council members for consideration. It fulfills federally mandated state workforce board requirements, as well as reviews outcomes, assesses opportunities, and recommends modifications to the CWI Strategic Plan.

Top of page (11/6/15)

Last Chance to Register for Nov. 12 Team-Based Care Summit

The Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW) is hosting a one-day event focused on designing and advancing team-based care. Team-Based Care Summit 2015: Transforming Concepts into Reality will be held November 12 in Appleton. Registration is open through November 9, and you can register now at

The Summit will include plenary sessions on improving population health through team-based care and examining payer perspectives on team-based care. Breakout sessions will focus on using metrics as a guide for team-based care; provide a how-to guide to managing workflows, protocols and team member roles; ways to leverage learners in existing or developing teams; and measuring the outcomes of a team’s impact. 

For information, including the day’s agenda, visit: Registration questions can be directed to Jenna Hanson at or at 608-274-1820.

Top of page (11/6/15)

WHA Member Forum: New EHR Meaningful Use Requirements for 2015 & Beyond
November 11, 10-11 a.m.

On November 11, WHA is offering a complimentary Member Forum webinar to discuss important provisions of a joint rule that finalizes proposals made in two separate 2015 proposed rules regarding the meaningful use requirements of the EHR Incentive Program. The webinar will also highlight new compliance provisions for meaningful use “modified Stage 2” (2015 through 2017) and meaningful use “Stage 3” (beginning in 2018). While the joint rule provides some flexibility for hospitals and physicians in 2015 and 2016, other aspects of the joint rule may raise the bar for provider performance starting in 2015 and may result in health care providers incurring Medicare penalties for failure to meet reporting objectives that are unnecessarily difficult to achieve without significant expense or disruption to patient care workflow. 

There is no fee for WHA hospital and corporate members to participate, but pre-registration is required. This WHA Member Forum webinar series is intended for and limited to staff of WHA hospital and WHA corporate members only, as a benefit of membership. To register, visit

Top of page (11/6/15) 

Member News: Desien Announces Retirement

Longtime health care leader Nick Desien will retire from his role as senior vice president, Ascension Health/Wisconsin Ministry Market Executive effective December 31, 2015. Desien has been with Ministry Health Care and then Ascension for nearly 30 years, serving first as Ministry’s chief financial officer and for 16 years as president and chief executive officer before assuming an executive role with Ascension when Ministry joined the national health system in 2013.

Under Desien’s leadership Ministry grew to be one of the largest health care delivery systems in Wisconsin, with 15 hospitals, 46 clinic sites and over 10,000 associates. During his tenure, Ministry acquired Howard Young Health Care in Woodruff and Eagle River and Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill, built Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston, and assumed sole sponsorship of Affinity Health System, having jointly sponsored it for a number of years with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

In 2013 Desien led the process for Ministry Health Care and Affinity Health System to join Ascension. Most recently in his role as Wisconsin Ministry Market Executive, Desien was instrumental in the effort to execute a Letter of Intent for Wisconsin-based Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare hospitals to join Ascension in early 2016.

“Nick is a highly-respected health care leader who has helped guide the development of policies and initiatives that have facilitated Wisconsin’s position as a leader state,” according to Wisconsin Hospital Association President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “Nick’s commitment to the industry through his service to the Wisconsin Hospital Association has been an asset to all hospitals and health systems in our state.”

Desien currently serves on WHA’s Board of Directors and has served on numerous WHA councils and task forces. 

“My 30 years in Wisconsin have been a wonderful and fulfilling journey and my time with Ascension over these last few years has offered me the opportunity to work with incredibly bright, talented, caring and committed leaders from across the country,” Desien said.

A national search for his replacement as Ascension Ministry market executive for Wisconsin is under way, and an interim leader will be named in December.

Top of page (11/6/15)