2 health topics making Wisconsin news in June


Every month, in addition to marketing and communications posts, we explore new issues impacting Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems. In partnership with the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), this blog will feature headlines and hot button issues concerning Wisconsin hospitals, clinics and organizations. Here, you’ll read about information on new legislation, hospital measurement and performance initiatives and the tools and resources you need to understand and manage today’s current, complex and controversial health care issues.

If you have other news to share, please comment below or email Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS, at trishskram@gmail.com.

24 health groups oppose flu shot mandate bill

After Republican lawmakers unveiled plans to draft legislation preventing employers from requiring staff flu shots, 24 health care organizations responded with a letter urging legislators to oppose the proposed bill.

Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt and Sen. Glenn Grothman, sent a memo attached to their proposal in May seeking co-sponsors for the bill to permit personal exemption from mandated influenza vaccinations.

The memo stated flu shots ensure patient safety and health care professionals must act in the best interest of patients and the vaccination is one of the most effective methods of preventing avoidable deaths caused by the flu.

The Wisconsin Medical Society was among the 24 health groups opposing the legislation. Chief medical officer Tim Bartholow said it is wise for employees to immunize themselves because it decreases the likelihood of getting sick or infecting nearby staff and patients. However, he acknowledged issues of infringing on individual rights make the vaccination requirement a controversial matter.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

JFC adds $30 million to assist hospitals with higher uncompensated care

On June 4, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) approved Governor Walker’s plan to expand BadgerCare to cover about 80,000 additional childless adults who are below the poverty level, which is financed primarily by making almost 90,000 parents over the poverty level ineligible for BadgerCare. However, Walker underfunded the plan, and the omnibus motion approved by JFC (by a party-line vote of 12-4) adds $106 million GPR to the bill.

Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA) executive vice president, Eric Borgerding says that amidst unprecedented uncertainty surrounding health care financing and delivery, it is essential to ensure stability for patients and providers while pursuing gradual and sound reform.

“To preserve a sound health care safety net, WHA supports setting Medicaid eligibility at 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) for adults. Despite the vote today, we believe this remains the best course for Wisconsin to ensure coverage for our lowest income populations while allowing for a cautious transition into reform,” Borgerding said in a press release. “This would also help ensure that those without readily‐accessible coverage options receive the care they need in the most appropriate setting, and do not exacerbate growing uncompensated care we are seeing in our hospital emergency rooms.”

To read WHA’s press release in full, CLICK HERE.

This post was researched and written by Trish Skram, blogger and research content specialist for WHPRMS. Trish also manages Mercy Health System’s public relations and social media efforts for its 3 hospitals and 68 facilities in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. To read more, CLICK HERE.

Leave a Reply