December 28, 2012
Volume 56, Issue 52
Clear Path as Wisconsin Health Care Leaders Blaze New Trail
“Results” summarizes Association’s 2012 accomplishments
Wisconsin hospitals and health systems faced steep challenges in
2012, but that didn’t deter them from their missions to provide high-quality,
high-value, patient care in communities across the state.
Wisconsin hospitals and health systems faced steep challenges in 2012, but that didn’t deter them from their missions to provide high-quality, high-value, patient care in communities across the state.
The partnership between WHA and its members has grown and strengthened through
the years, which is one reason why the Association continues to be successful in
its advocacy efforts. Member participation on WHA councils, task forces, and
committees this year was at an all time high. The work products, recommendations
and motions that were acted upon by the WHA Board in 2012 generally began as
discussions that required expertise, experience, and vision—hallmarks of
Wisconsin’s health care leaders.
The partnership between WHA and its members has grown and strengthened through the years, which is one reason why the Association continues to be successful in its advocacy efforts. Member participation on WHA councils, task forces, and committees this year was at an all time high. The work products, recommendations and motions that were acted upon by the WHA Board in 2012 generally began as discussions that required expertise, experience, and vision—hallmarks of Wisconsin’s health care leaders.
“It is an honor to work with some of the country’s leading health care
innovators who are not waiting to see what the future brings, but rather, are
helping to shape it,” said WHA President Steve Brenton. “We are fortunate in
Wisconsin to have leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves and lend
their expertise to find solutions to the complex problems that are facing our
industry. We look forward to working with our members in the year ahead.”
“It is an honor to work with some of the country’s leading health care innovators who are not waiting to see what the future brings, but rather, are helping to shape it,” said WHA President Steve Brenton. “We are fortunate in Wisconsin to have leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves and lend their expertise to find solutions to the complex problems that are facing our industry. We look forward to working with our members in the year ahead.”
The 2012 WHA Results (www.wha.org/pubArchive/special_reports/2012Results.pdf) summarizes the Association’s major advocacy efforts, quality initiatives and program activities over the past year. If you would like copies of this publication, contact Mary Kay Grasmick at WHA, firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-274-1820.
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There is a common thread that binds Wisconsin’s health care community and that is their desire to deliver the best patient care in the country. And that dedication to excellence by health care professionals working in our hospitals and clinics has earned Wisconsin a reputation as a “leader state” for quality, value, innovation and population health improvement.
Wisconsin’s health care leaders are advocates for payment reform that rewards quality over quantity of services. As a state that is nationally-recognized for delivering high-value care, we should acknowledge and support the expectation that future payment will recognize and incent high value care that keeps people well.
Wisconsin is a leader when it comes to health care integration. And WHA is a trade association that focuses on issues beyond the traditional hospital “silo.” But community hospitals are, and will continue to be, at the center of our advocacy universe.
Please take a moment to review WHA’s 2012 Results. www.wha.org/pubArchive/special_reports/2012Results.pdf It is a testament to the success of YOUR Association as we start a new year of working together.
Thank you for your support and have a Happy New Year.
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Open for WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference
Early bird discount available; register today
Registration is now open for the eighth annual “WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference,” which will be held Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at the American Club in Kohler.
This year’s conference will include a full-day session focused on practical
ways that physician leaders can successfully engage their colleagues and create
buy-in for change, presented by Stephen Beeson, MD. Beeson is a
nationally-recognized speaker who has provided tools and tactics for engaging
and training physicians for hundreds of medical groups and hospitals throughout
This year’s conference will include a full-day session focused on practical ways that physician leaders can successfully engage their colleagues and create buy-in for change, presented by Stephen Beeson, MD. Beeson is a nationally-recognized speaker who has provided tools and tactics for engaging and training physicians for hundreds of medical groups and hospitals throughout the country.
Sarah Fontenot, BSN, JD, will focus on how the Affordable Care Act will impact physicians, individual patient care, and independent professional decision-making. Both Beeson and Fontenot are nationally-recognized faculty from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) and both will discuss important and practical leadership skills that will help physician leaders move beyond their clinical training and take a new approach to managerial decision-making and problem solving.
The full conference brochure with agenda, registration and resort information is available at: http://events.SignUp4.com/13PLD.
A discounted “early bird” registration fee is available to those registered by January 18. A “host” registration option is available to hospital representatives/management leaders who would like to accompany their physicians to the conference but do not need CME credit.
This year’s ACPE is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ACPE designates this live activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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Chemical Spill Activates Cumberland Hospital Disaster Plan
A chemical spill at a Turtle Lake business sent a dozen people to Cumberland Memorial Hospital for treatment for respiratory issues when three chemicals were inadvertently mixed together, creating a cloud of hydrochloric acid according to the Barron County Sheriff.
Todd Anderson, emergency services supervisor and emergency preparedness coordinator at Cumberland Memorial said the hospitals set up their decontamination tent a safe distance from the emergency department and patients were decontaminated before entering the ER.
“It was very cold so we were ready with warm towels for patients as they exited the tent and entered the ER,” according to Anderson. The hospital had just participated in regional training on decontamination led by Hilde Surbaugh Perala and Jim Monarski, who are regional project coordinators with the Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program (WHEPP).
Anderson said the incident helped the hospital and the region identify areas for improvement. None of the patients required hospitalization.
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your 2013 calendar for these important WHA event dates:
8-9: Physician Leadership Development Conference, The American Club, Kohler
23: Advocacy Day, Monona Terrace, Madison
26-28: Rural Health Conference,
Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells
September 19: WHA Leadership Summit, Country Springs, Pewaukee
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Hospitals Community Benefits:
Fear of a bill should never prevent a
patient from seeking care at a Wisconsin hospital.
Wisconsin hospital charity care programs provided $232 million to more
than 700 patients each day last year. The
stories that follow illustrate the deep commitment and continuing concern that
hospitals have to their patients to ensure they receive the care they need
regardless of their ability to pay.
Just ask Alice
just fallen on hard times,” Alice remarked when describing some of the
indignities she experienced after losing her job in 2011, and then losing her
“When you’re older and you lose everything, you don’t want to be a burden to others. But when you reach out for help, and people talk at you instead of to you, it makes you feel even worse,” Alice explained. “People I spoke with talked to me as if I were uneducated,” she continued, describing how she felt when applying for Food Stamps and other services.
Alice moved to a one-bedroom apartment
determined to begin the process of rebuilding her life.
But her will to be independent was compromised because of a recurrent and
excruciating pain in her leg.
So she made the effort to see her
family physician, Dr. Laroyce Chambers, who said, “Let’s do a complete
work-up.” Pleased, Alice did her best to get up on the examining table, but it
triggered the pain in a way that was so severe, she nearly fell down. Dr.
Chambers wasted no time in referring her to Aurora Sinai Medical Center (ASMC)
for an ultrasound.
That’s where Alice met Katie
Jackson, Aurora financial counselor, during the admitting process.
“Katie treated me like a person. She
was so compassionate and so nice to me,” Alice said. “It was very
The ultrasound revealed the source of
Alice’s pain was coming from her knee. She
had torn cartilage and other complicating factors.
It was clear that surgery was required.
Katie introduced Alice to Aurora’s
Helping Hand Patient Financial Assistance Program and assisted her in filling
out the application.
Shortly thereafter, Alice was approved
and covered so that the surgery could be scheduled.
Two weeks post-op, Alice was back at
ASMC getting physical therapy.
“I just know the outcome will be good,”
Alice remarked with absolute conviction.
Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Milwaukee
the calendar turns from November into December, it is usually a happy time of
anticipation for the holidays. But for Noreen Moore of Lancaster, the beginning
of December was instead of very difficult time. In fact, December 3rd brought
with it – the first true snow storm of the season which caused a serious car
accident for Noreen and her family. She was returning to Lancaster with her
daughter and two grandsons, when the truck in front of her braked suddenly and
her car slid to the left and slammed head-on into another truck in the oncoming
person in Noreen’s car was injured, but Noreen’s injuries were the most
serious. With a broken knee cap, four broken ribs, a collapsed lung and broken
tailbone – she was rushed to Grant Regional Health Center’s Emergency
Department and later her and a grandson were transferred to a Madison hospital.
Noreen recalls the excruciating pain she was in and yet all she could think
about were her other family members and how they were doing. And given the fact
that she did not have health insurance at the time, she was also concerned about
how she could afford the necessary emergency care she received. With the help of
Grant Regional’s Community Care Program, Noreen qualified for assistance and
thankfully her entire Emergency Room charges were forgiven.
for Noreen, three months following the car accident, she suffered another
setback when she injured her rotator cuff and required surgery. “After my
surgery, I needed physical therapy and ended up being off work for seven months
and five days,” recalls Noreen. Without health insurance and being off work,
Noreen was again eligible to receive assistance from Grant Regional Health
Center who covered her rehab charges. Including the earlier ER charges, her
total loan forgiveness came to approximately $30,000.
am so grateful to Grant Regional Health Center for the excellent care they
provided,” smiles Noreen. “It’s comforting to know we have such a great
hospital in our community…they are really here for us when we need them
Regional Health Center, Lancaster
Charity Care Story
last several years have proven to be quite a battle for Suzanne and Steven, a
Chilton couple. Between post-transplant care, post-polio care, hip replacements,
skin grafts, monthly labs and numerous other services, the bills began to add
Throughout all of this, Suzanne went uninsured for six years.
Care has been highly beneficial for Suzanne and Steven, who both have
fibromyalgia and various other medical ailments that require treatment.
made it a lot easier on us to have the majority of the expenses covered,”
Suzanne said. “We depend on it because we are on a very limited fixed
and Steven now have their medical care and bills covered 100 percent, thanks to
Charity Care. Calumet Medical Center has made things easier for them by
providing them with affordable, quality care.
pressure of our financial burden has been lifted,” Suzanne said. “It makes a
Care provides financial assistance to patients who are unable to pay for their
medical care. Through Charity Care, portions of medical bills are paid, and
payment plans are set up to cover the rest. This type of financial assistance,
provided by Affinity Health System, has helped many patients across northeast
Wisconsin – patients just like Suzanne and Steven.
Calumet Medical Center, Chilton
college can have a big impact on a person’s future. It can also have a big
impact on his or her wallet. It’s no surprise then that from time to time
someone facing the cost of college, dorms, and books, or someone in the midst of
paying back thousands of dollars in school loans may find him or herself unable
to afford the cost of health care. That’s where Memorial Health Center’s
Community Care program comes in. This program is devoted to providing
compassionate health care services of the highest quality to people who cannot
afford them otherwise.
the past year, Memorial Health Center has been pleased to assist a number of
future, current, and former college students in paying their medical bills.
following thank you messages come from a few such people.
patient’s grateful mom writes:
you so much for helping [our son] pay his bill [at Memorial Health Center]. We
did not have any more in our HSA account after paying [for his earlier bills at
another hospital]. We are grateful to you to have this paid in full, especially
as he enters college soon and [will] probably have more bills.” Her son adds:
“You have blessed my future with your kindness. Thank you so much!”
thankful Community Care recipient writes:
& Erin, I was worried this bill would drain me! Working with you ladies was
a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time and understanding. I can now focus
on paying off my student loans! You have no idea how this has helped! Your
kindness was an answer to my prayers.”
Memorial Health Center, Medford
Submit community benefit stories to Mary
Kay Grasmick, editor, at email@example.com.
Read more about hospitals connecting with
their communities at www.WiServePoint.org.
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