December 11, 2015
Volume 59, Issue 49

Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit & Wisconsin Hospitals PAC Campaign Update: $5,000 Left to Reach Year-End Goal

Since the end of November, $15,000 in contributions has come in from supporters across the state raising the total contributions to over $265,000. With just three weeks left in the calendar year of the Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit & Wisconsin Hospitals PAC Campaign, there is now under $5,000 to reach the finish line. The Campaign is at 98 percent of the annual goal to raise $270,300 by the end of the year.

The average contribution is $823. So far, 322 individuals have joined together to support this year’s annual campaign. Thank you to those who are listed below by name and affiliated organization in amount category. The final 2015 publication of the contributor list will be the last December edition of The Valued Voice. For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.


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
Arnett, Eugene 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 Flambeau 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
Dufek, Nancy Memorial Medical Center, Ashland
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 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
Hupf, Angela Aspirus Medford Hospital & Clinics, Inc.
Jelle, Laura St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Karow, Deb Ministry - Howard Young Medical Center
Kaufmann, Marilyn Holy Family Memorial
Kelsey Foley, Kathy Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Kempen, Jacob Aspirus Wausau Hospital
King, Vivian Aurora Health Care
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
Markgraf, Janelle Aspirus Langlade Hospital
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.
Norell, Brett Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
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
Risley-Gray, Ruth Aspirus, Inc.
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
Schnedler, Lisa Upland Hills Health
Schubring, Randy Mayo Health System - Eau Claire
Sciuti, Jennifer Aurora Health Care
Selle, Ginger St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Sheehan, Heather Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Sio, Tim Wheaton Franciscan - All Saints
Stamas, Peter Ministry Health Care
Statz, Darrell Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Stelzer, Jason St. Clare Hospital & Health Services
Strobel, Victoria Marshfield Clinic
Sullivan, Anne Memorial Medical Center, Ashland
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
Zeller, Brad Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $500 - $999  
Bagnall, Andrew St. Nicholas Hospital
Bailet, Jeffrey Aurora Health Care
Brenny, Terrence Stoughton Hospital
Busch, Rebbeca Spooner Health System
Byrne, Frank  
Cadieux, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
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
Ervin, Bradley Beloit Health System 
Frangesch, Wayne Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Freimund, Rooney Bay Area Medical Center
Furlong, Marian Hudson Hospital & Clinics
Gille, Larry HSHS - St. Vincent Hospital
Golanowski, Marie Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Goldberg, David Froedtert & MCW Community Memorial Hospital Campus
Gormican, John Agnesian HealthCare
Graebner, David Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center
Graul, Mark Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Gustafson, Andy SSM Health Care-Wisconsin
Hamilton, Mark UW Hospitals and Clinics
Heaney, Dwight Fort HealthCare 
Huys, Geoffrey Ministry Health Care
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
Kneiser, Patti Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Korom, Nancy Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Kostroski, Sharon Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Krueger, Mary Ministry - St. Clare'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
Kellar, Rick Aurora Health Care
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 
Ouimet, Mary Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
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
Rude, Nels The Kammer Group
Rutkowski, Jennifer Grant Regional Health Center
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
Spencer, Paul Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Stern, Robert Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Strasser, Kathy Aspirus, Inc.
Stuart, Philip Tomah Memorial Hospital
Swiderski, Julie Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
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
Bakkum, Kyle Vernon Memorial Healthcare
Bedwell, Elizabeth Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Bowers, Brenda Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
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
Gallucci, Vince Ministry Health Care
Garcia Thomas, Cristy Aurora Health Care
Geraghty, Tricia Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gorelick, Marc Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Griffin, Greg  
Gullingsrud, Tim Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Nursing Home
Gunn, Veronica Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Gutzeit, Michael Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Hanus, Andrew Aurora Health Care
Hart, Shelly Aurora Health Care
Just, Lisa Aurora Health Care-South Region
Killoran, Carrie Aurora Health Care
Lentz, Darrell Aspirus Wausau Hospital
Lepore, Michael Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Lewis, Jonathan St. Mary's Hospital 
Lindberg, Steve Mayo Clinic Health System - Red Cedar
McCawley, Thomas Beloit Health System
McGowan, Kathryne Aspirus, Inc.
Nelson, David HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
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
Simaras, Jim Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Swanson, Kerry St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital
White-Jacobs, Mary Beth          Black River Memorial Hospital
Woleske, Chris Bellin Hospital
Wolf, Edward Lakeview Medical Center
Zenk, Ann Ministry - Sacred Heart-St. Mary's Hospital
Contributors Ranging from $1,500 - $1,999  
Anderson, Layton Ministry - St. Joseph's Hospital
Bloch, Jodi Wisconsin Hospital Association
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
Rozenfeld, Jon St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison
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 Ministry Health Care
Boese, Jennifer Wisconsin Hospital Association 
Duncan, Robert Children's Hospital & Health System
Geboy, Scott Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman
Hanson, Gail Aurora Health Care
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 
Manas, Julie HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
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 Ranging $10,000+  
Tyre, Scott Capitol Navigators, Inc.

Top of page (12/11/15)

Bipartisan WHA Mental Health Bill Approved in Assembly Committee
Aurora’s Carlson: Pilot programs a “win-win-win”

Legislation authorizing over $2 million in investments to improve outcomes for individuals with mental illness in Wisconsin’s Medicaid program received a hearing and was unanimously approved by the Assembly Health Committee December 8. Assembly Bill 408, authored by a bipartisan group of four state lawmakers and co-sponsored by nearly 70 other legislators, would provide funding to test alternate payment models in the state Medicaid program that encourage mental health care coordination within an integrated health system and promote psychiatric consultations between providers. The bill is a product of recommendations from WHA’s 2014 Medicaid Work Group.

At a hearing before the Assembly Health Committee, Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma) testified in favor of the legislation. Czaja said the bill is a “three-part initiative that seeks to better coordinate mental health services and improve outcomes for Wisconsin Medicaid patients who are suffering from mental illness.” Czaja and Rep. Deb Kolste (D-Janesville) are the Assembly lead authors and Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) and Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) are the Senate lead authors of the legislation.

The bill creates two competitive Medicaid pilot programs to be developed and administered by DHS. 
One focuses on testing an additional care coordination payment for integrated health systems that focus on providing and coordinating the mental and physical health care of individuals with significant and chronic mental illness. The other focuses on extending psychiatric services into primary care by providing additional funds to incentivize the use of psychiatric consult models currently not reimbursed by Medicaid. Organizations seeking to participate in either of the competitive pilots will need to apply to DHS. 

The bill also seeks to reduce ER wait times for individuals who require an inpatient psychiatric bed by funding the creation and operation of an online database and tool that will enable ER staff to more quickly identify what hospitals have an available and appropriate psychiatric bed at a given time.

WHA General Counsel Matthew Stanford testified at the Committee hearing alongside Pete Carlson, president of behavioral health services for Aurora Health Care.

“WHA strongly supports this bipartisan legislation that we believe will demonstrate better patient outcomes, reduced Medicaid utilization and resulting Medicaid cost savings for Wisconsin,” said Stanford. “Our members are eager to try out new care delivery models for individuals with mental illness; however, unless the payment system keeps up and aligns with the new care models, these advances will not be sustainable.”

Carlson shared examples of how the pilot programs could be implemented to be a “win-win-win” for patients, payers, and providers, and the importance of developing new ways of providing care and payment that “not only meet a need now, but in the new health care paradigm to come.”

“In the development of new models of care, health care systems are sometimes providing services, such as case management, that are not traditionally reimbursed,” said Carlson. “It will be critical as the new care models are developed, tested and implemented, that the payer systems partner with the provider systems to develop ways to reimburse for non-traditional services that prove to be effective.”

Stanford pointed to a similar Medicaid integrated care coordination pilot for behavioral health in Moline, Illinois where the health system targeted 388 individuals with severe mental illness and provided additional care coordination services for those patients. In the target population, the Illinois project showed a 137 percent improvement in quality of life scores, a 49 percent reduction in emergency room utilization, a 54 percent reduction in psychiatric admissions and a savings of $8 million to the Illinois Medicaid program.

Assembly Bill 408 will now advance to the full Assembly, which will next convene in January. The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 293, passed the full Senate unanimously October 20.

If you have questions about the bill or the pilots, contact WHA’s Matthew Stanford at 608-274-1820 or

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New Legislator Profile: Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo)
WHA-Backed Mental Health Bills Moving in Right Direction

When you meet Rep. Dave Considine in person, look down and take note of his Chuck Taylor footwear. It’s his shoe of choice and probably the only one that can keep up with this busy gentleman, as he doesn’t spend a lot of time behind a desk anymore.

As representative of the 81st Assembly District, Considine can be found in school board and city council meetings across his district, learning about the issues his constituents face and meeting a lot of new people.

For decades, Considine taught students with special needs in isolated classrooms, so he didn’t get a chance to mingle much. But as his students were integrated into mainstream classrooms, Considine found he really enjoyed connecting with people. 

As a member of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health Reform, Considine was there when WHA presented testimony December 8 on a package of bills designed to reduce the cost of and increase access to behavioral health services. 

“I think it is moving in the right direction. We heard testimony from WHA and others, and I am excited about continuing to move it forward,” Considine said. “The bills have bipartisan support and half of the members of both Houses signed on as co-sponsors.” 

As a former educator, Considine is aware of the impact mental health issues have on youth, and he knows the importance of early intervention.

“We need to get more funding for mental health services for youth and coordinate services more smoothly between mental health professionals and the schools,” Considine said in an interview with Valued Voice Editor Mary Kay Grasmick. 

Shortages of psychiatrists and mental health professionals limit access, and Considine understands the critical importance of rural residencies as a way to attract and retain physicians.

Considine said there are still barriers to working across the aisle, but he sees hope on the horizon because “the intent of everyone here is to do good and make positive choices for the citizens of our state.” 

“Health issues lend themselves to bipartisan support. Money spent on health care is cost effective. That is the bottom line,” according to Considine. “Finances are tight and everybody is trying to make sure we have what we need; that can cause divisiveness. But health care has proven to be beneficial if we do it efficiently.” 

On worker’s compensation, Considine does not favor a fee schedule.

“We need to have balance. I don’t think the fee schedule gets the balance in the appropriate way,” he said. “I don’t think we should be playing around with worker’s compensation. It works. It works for management.”

As a “boots-on-the-ground” person, Considine said he makes it a point to personally visit hospitals in his district to learn firsthand the challenges providers face in the communities he represents. That is not surprising for either Considine the educator or the life-long-learner who is committed to serving the people of Wisconsin.

Top of page (12/11/15)

Worker’s Comp Council Amends Proposed Fee for Electronic Medical Records

On December 8, the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) met to review draft bill language that reflects the proposals agreed to by labor and management at their last meeting in November. This week, the Council agreed to increase their proposed fee for electronic medical records to $26 in response to a letter signed by WHA and the other health care liaisons, including the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association, Medical Society and Chiropractic Association. The initial Council proposal allowed for reimbursement of just $10 per electronic record.

Joanne Alig, WHA senior vice president, policy & research, attended the meeting and addressed the Council. Last session when the Council was debating their proposals, a flat fee of $20 had been proposed. Alig reminded the Council that the health care providers, as a compromise, suggested the $26 fee, to be consistent with medical record reimbursement from the state’s Disability Determination Bureau. The providers note there is a misperception that creating an electronic record is a simple task, when in fact it involves trained professionals to review the request and determine which portion of the record can be released to ensure compliance with various state and federal laws. In asking the Council to increase the fee included in their proposal, Alig noted, “this would at least provide administrative simplicity, even though the $26 is still a lesser amount compared to provider costs.” 

As previously reported in The Valued Voice (see, the agreed-to proposal is still expected to move forward without a fee schedule for medical services, and also without the labor-backed pilot for “directed care.” The Council is expected to meet again via teleconference December 22 to formally sign off on the proposed bill. The agreed-to bill will then be sent to the Legislature for consideration.

Top of page (12/11/15)

Commonwealth State Scorecard Places Wisconsin in Top Quartile Ranking 
Readmission and prevention rankings demonstrate focus on clinical excellence

Wisconsin kept its place in the top quartile for overall performance in Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 Scorecard on Healthcare Performance. The performance scorecard rated Wisconsin in the national top quartile across 42 measures related to health care delivery and outcomes. Wisconsin’s overall ranking was 11th best in the country. The measures are grouped into categories that include access and affordability, prevention and treatment, potentially avoidable hospital use and cost, healthy lives, and equity.

Overall, the highest-performing states were clustered in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

Wisconsin’s best performance was in the areas of readmissions and prevention. The results demonstrate the dedication and focus that hospitals and health systems have on clinical quality in the state. WHA Chief Quality Officer Kelly Court noted that it takes an entire health care team, working across the full continuum of care, to impact these results. 

“Nearly every hospital in our state has worked with WHA or another hospital engagement network to reduce readmissions. We are pleased that most hospitals have committed to continuing this work in 2016, which is what we need as a state to stay ahead of this curve.” 

Wisconsin’s scores for the measurement categories did not change significantly from last year; however, the overall ranking went down four points. Court said that is reminder that quality has to not only improve, but the gains must be sustained over time. 

“Our pace of improvement has to continuously increase, or we will risk falling behind as a state. Other states are beginning to pay close attention to these types of metrics,” said Court. “If Wisconsin becomes satisfied with our current levels of performance and we don’t improve at the same or faster pace as other states, our future rankings could continue to fall.”

Category Wisconsin Quartile Ranking Wisconsin National Ranking
Access and Affordability Second quartile 13
Prevention and Treatment Top quartile 4
Avoidable Hospital Use and Cost Second quartile 14
Healthy Lives Second quartile 18
Equity Third quartile 29

Wisconsin’s worst performance was in the area of health care equity. The first four measurement categories include 33 measures that were evaluated in relationship to patient income level, race or ethnicity. WHA will be working with hospitals and systems in the WHA Partners for Patients project in 2016 to produce hospital outcome measures by race and ethnicity and identify best practices to begin reducing identified disparities. 

A full copy of the report can be found at:

Top of page (12/11/15)

Walker Signs Narcan Legislation at Aurora BayCare

Legislation designed to make it easier to access the heroin and opioid-antagonist drug naloxone (narcan) was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker December 8 during a ceremony at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay. The legislation, Assembly Bill 427, was authored by Rep. John Nygren after pharmacies began to announce their willingness to make the drug available without a prescription. The legislation allows physicians to issue a standing order for a pharmacist to dispense and administer naloxone directly to an individual with a unique patient prescription.

The bill followed a recent announcement by CVS pharmacies that indicated the company would make the drug available to individuals without a prescription in Wisconsin. Subsequently, the state Attorney General stated he had concerns about the ability for CVS to offer narcan without a prescription, even though the Attorney General supported greater access to the drug for purposes of administering to an individual suffering from an overdose of heroin or opioids. Assembly Bill 427 was authored to provide further clarification to prescribers and pharmacists who are dispensing narcan.

To help members find the latest information on opioids, WHA created a new web-based resource. Visit:

Top of page (12/11/15)

2016 Advocacy Day: Register Today!
March 30, 2016 *** Monona Terrace, Madison

Make an impact in Madison for your hospital by attending Advocacy Day March 30, 2016. 
Register today at

Top of page (12/11/15)

Wisconsin Hospital Economic Impact Report in this Week’s Packet 

This week’s WHA packet mailing (which will be sent to all CEOs), will include a hard copy of the newly-released Wisconsin hospital economic impact report, “Healthy Hospitals. Healthy Communities.” The report by the University of Wisconsin/UW Extension and the Wisconsin Hospital Association found Wisconsin hospitals generate $26 billion annually in economic activity. For the first time, the report also included the impact patients from outside of Wisconsin who receive their health care here have on the state’s economy.

Nearly nine out of every ten counties have at least one hospital, and in many communities, particularly in the rural areas of the state, the hospital is one of the largest employers. Professor Steve Deller, who co-authored the report, said for every job created in a hospital, there are an additional 0.878 jobs created in the state. When the multiplier effect is considered, hospitals contribute a total of 201,187 jobs to the Wisconsin economy. 

Almost every business and industry located in Wisconsin is affected in some way by the operation of a hospital. The study calculated economic multipliers and estimated that hospitals indirectly account for nearly 115,000 additional jobs statewide because hospitals and their employees purchase goods, services and “bricks and mortar” from other businesses in their communities. 

“Wisconsin hospitals represent a significant and growing source of higher-paying employment opportunities in the future,” Deller noted. “A hospital also has positions that attract college-educated professionals, which helps avert a ‘brain drain’ and keeps graduates in our state.”

WHA members can create a customized economic impact report for their hospital by accessing the WHA toolkit: For more information contact Mary Kay Grasmick,, or Brian Potter,

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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. 
Rooms are extremely limited—call today.

Top of page (12/11/15)

CMS Joint Replacement Bundled Payment Model Focus of Dec. 15 Webinar

On December 15, WHA is offering a webinar to provide members an important overview of CMS’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, along with critical success factors to help hospitals prepare for its implementation. The webinar, titled “Implications of CMS’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Bundled Payment Model: What You Need to Know to Prepare Your Hospital,” is scheduled December 15 from 9 - 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit:

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Jami Erickson Joins WHA Quality Department

Jami Erickson joined the WHA quality department. As quality assistant, Erickson will coordinate activities related to the WHA Partners for Patients initiative and the Transforming Care at the Bedside project. 

Erickson has as extensive background working with associations, having served as director of member communications and associations at the Community Bankers of Wisconsin where she planned member events, managed website content, coordinated newsletters and provided a variety of direct member services. She is also familiar with the commercial insurance industry. 

As quality assistant, Erickson will have an important role with the quality team as the Partners for Patients collaborative continues serving 85 WHA member hospitals working on the 10 preventable harm initiatives.

“We are very excited to have Jami working with us,” said Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. “Her background will be an asset to our efforts to provide our members’ with the resources and support they need as they focus on their improvement projects.”

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Denise Anderson Joins WHA Finance Department

WHA is pleased to announce Denise Anderson has joined the WHA finance department as an administrative assistant. She joins us just in time to help with the many extra year-end procedures necessary to close 2015.

Anderson has an associate’s degree in finance from Madison Area Technical College and most recently was accounting coordinator at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, where she earned high recommendations from her co-workers.

Anderson will also be the friendly face at the reception desk you see as you walk into the WHA office two days a week, as WHA’s long-time receptionist, Pam Aud, moves to part-time work as she transitions to retirement.

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DHS Announces GME Grants for Hospitals in St. Croix Valley

The Department of Health Services (DHS) announced the latest grant to help establish a new graduate medical education (GME) program in the St. Croix Valley. The new family medicine GME program will be a partnership including three Wisconsin critical access hospitals—Amery Hospital and Clinic, Hudson Hospital and Clinics, and Westfields Hospital and Clinic in New Richmond—and HealthPartners.

This new initiative will help stem a projected future shortage of physicians in Northwest Wisconsin, an already underserved area of the state. The GME program will ultimately train three family physicians at locations in Polk and St. Croix counties. Residents will be recruited based on their affinity toward rural practice, and will be trained in a way that will “shape their skill sets to the needs of rural western Wisconsin”

“This makes a total of 10 new or expanded programs resulting from Act 20,” said George Quinn, executive director, Wisconsin Council on Medical Education and Workforce (WCMEW). 

Funding for Act 20, which was heavily supported by WHA when it passed in the 2013 state budget, provides $2.5 million per year in grants to be used to create or expand GME programs in primary care, psychiatry and general surgery in rural areas of Wisconsin. 

“WCMEW, along with its partners at WHA, the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, and our two world-class medical schools, was instrumental in the creation of this program,” according to Quinn. “More than 70 residents will be training in these programs, graduating more than 20 per year.”

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WHA Telemedicine Task Force Discusses MEB Rule

The WHA Task Force on Telemedicine met for a second time on December 7. The Task Force focused on the evaluation of the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board’s (MEB) proposed rule—MED 24—on physician use of telemedicine. The Task Force considered the need for a parallel set of rules governing physician practice and use of telemedicine, and considered a fundamental question: “Are existing rules, regulations, statutes and practice guidelines insufficient in addressing the practice of telemedicine?”

The Task Force was updated on the discussion that ensued when the same question was presented to WHA’s Physician Leadership Council at their December 2 meeting. At that meeting, Council members generally agreed that the differences between telemedicine and face-to-face medicine are narrowly different, and that existing rules and regulations are generally adequate in guiding telemedicine. MED 24 has the potential to address these narrow differences, but it should not be overly broad, and also not create areas that are different and in conflict with existing rules.

The proposed rule will have a public hearing January 20. With input from the WHA Telemedicine Task Force and the Physician Leaders Council, WHA will prepare written comment and testimony, and will be sharing that with interested members as they consider their own written comments for the MEB.

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