December 29, 2016
Volume 60, Issue 52

President’s Column: WHA 2016 Results: Accountable to Our Members

It’s hard to believe that after years of massive realignment in health care, 2016 could become the year known as the calm before the (another) storm. After nearly a decade of continuous change, November’s elections are triggering another wave of uncertainty across the health care landscape. To quote one of my favorite writers: "No changes are permanent, but change is." So true!

While the future may be cloudy, what’s immensely clear is the critical role of advocacy in both Madison and Washington. The challenges faced by health care seem to proliferate and become more complex each year, and given this continuous state of change and angst comes an even greater need for WHA’s strong and expanding advocacy voice…and value.

Looking back at 2016 and ahead to the future, I believe there are five characteristics that will continue defining WHA’s value proposition for our members, partners and stakeholders: Responsive, Relevant, Influential, Impactful and Accountable. This week, all our senior executives received a hard copy of WHA’s 2016 Results. Our work in 2016 is highlighted by the successes we had in the state Legislature in passing legislation that continues to support the delivery of high-quality, high-value health care in Wisconsin, in influencing federal policy by directly meeting with our Congressional Delegation, and in the proactive policy and program activities the WHA staff led with the guidance of our volunteer leaders. Our Results show our team’s laser focus to deliver on the value definition that is the hallmark of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

But perhaps our best example of meeting and maybe exceeding our members’ expectations came at 8:05 a.m. November 9, just hours after the election, when WHA shared with members our initial insights. This was very quickly followed by a thorough analysis of the potential impact of repealing and replacing Obamacare in Wisconsin. And since election night we have been in frequent communication with our members and elected leaders at both the state and federal level, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker. This is what we do, and what you should expect from your WHA team.

Indeed, it was another remarkable year for WHA made possible by an exceptional team, which at its foundation includes our engaged members who participate in our councils and task forces, attend dozens of meetings with elected officials and comprise our incredibly supportive Board of Directors. Health care will remain in a continuous state of change, and it is because of this outstanding team that WHA is able to not only face these challenges but embrace them as opportunities to expand our value proposition—to lead.

Thank you for your support in 2016. The WHA team is looking forward to working with you in 2017.

Happy New Year!

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WI Hospitals State PAC & Conduit Surpass Disbursement Goal
$350,752 disbursed to candidates across Wisconsin in 2016

The Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit surpassed its 2016 fundraising goal of disbursing $350,000 to candidates of both parties who value the role of Wisconsin hospitals. This is the first year the Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC & Conduit had set an annual disbursement goal. All total in 2016, a record-setting $350,752 was disbursed to 155 candidates and committees across Wisconsin. For the 2015-16 election cycle, a total of $525,185 was disbursed to 230 candidates and committees from the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC & Conduit.

"Better candidates lead to better legislators who craft better laws. Contributions by individual Conduit members and by the Wisconsin Hospitals PAC to candidates who value the role of hospitals and health systems in Wisconsin is a critical component to achieving good health care policy in Wisconsin," said WHA Advocacy Committee Chair Therese Pandl. "Together we have made a difference."

Nearly half of the total disbursements, $172,000, was pushed out to campaigns in the three months before the November elections. The Wisconsin Hospitals State PAC also exceeded its goal of 12 events by hosting 14 PAC fundraisers for Democrats and Republicans in 2016. Events were held for six members of the State Assembly, five State Senators and three statewide offices (Supreme Court, Governor, Lieutenant Governor).

"Thank you to all those who personally contributed to candidates and committees on both sides of the aisle. Your individual engagement in the 2016 elections has a direct impact on who will be voting on public policy that impacts hospitals and health systems in the coming years," said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding.

Feel free to contact Nora Statsick, WHA political affairs, at or 608-239-4535 to check on your conduit balance or to discuss any specific plans you have for political contributions in 2017.

Thanks to all who participated in this combined effort. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

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Register Today for WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference
Early bird discount expires January 15

Take advantage of the Early Bird discount by registering for the 2017 WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference before January 15.

This year’s conference, scheduled March 10-11 at The American Club in Kohler, will include a full day with Kevin O’Connor focusing on the skills needed to elicit connection, communication and cooperation from fellow medical professionals, in a session titled "Emotional Intelligence: The Final Frontier." In addition, a half-day discussion led by Jennifer Grebenschikoff will focus on the physician leader’s role in strategic physician recruitment and retention. Continuing medical education credits are available again this year.

Online registration is available at or directly at

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Regulatory and Compliance Hot Topics Focus of WHA January/February Webinars

The final two sessions in WHA’s Legal & Regulatory Webinar Series will be featured in January and February. "Physicians and Advanced Practice Professionals: Litigation Update and Hot Regulatory Issues" is scheduled January 18, and will focus on a variety of litigation and regulatory issues related to physicians and advanced practice professionals (APPs), including contract litigation and recent employment trends; trends and update on discrimination and other statutory claims; changes in the NPDB Guidebook and the impact on medical staff decisions; as well as hurdles and strategies to address disruptive practitioners. Registration is available for this session at:

"Are You Keeping Your Medicare Managed Care Contract Promises? Understanding Federal ‘FDR’ Compliance Obligations" is scheduled February 9. This webinar will focus on explaining the Medicare managed care program compliance program requirements for "first tier," "downstream" and "related" entities (FDR); will share practical strategies for addressing compliance; and discuss strategies for effectively negotiating compliance program provisions in managed care agreements. Registration is available for this session at:

Registration is free for these webinars, however, pre-registration is required. The series is intended for WHA hospital and corporate members as a member benefit.

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