Hot topics in health care • July highlights

  • Supreme Court upholds Obama’s health care law
  • Wisconsin ranks high in health care quality
  • WISHIN selects Medicity for new EMR system
  • 25 new medical students admitted to WARM

July Hot Topics - photo of doctor with paper and penSupreme Court upholds Obama’s health care law

On June 28, the Supreme Court ruled the federal health reform law’s individual mandate to now require nearly all Americans to secure insurance permissible under Congress’s taxing authority. While the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is getting a lot of attention, health reform is not new in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin hospitals have been quietly transforming health care by focusing on quality improvement and making innovative changes in both the delivery of, and payment for, health care here, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA),” WHA declared in a written statement.

“Health reform is already well underway in Wisconsin, and our journey down this path will continue, and would have continued, regardless of how the Court ruled today,” said WHA President Steve Brenton. “Health care leaders have been reforming care in our state to improve quality, moderate costs, expand access and raise the value of health care in Wisconsin.”

To read WHA’s statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling, CLICK HERE.

“Patients can be glad they live in Wisconsin”

Wisconsin ranks high in health care quality

The Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released data on June 22 confirming Wisconsin’s reputation as a leader in health care quality. Wisconsin ranked second highest in the nation in overall health care quality scores based on 171 measures that AHRQ used to evaluate health care performance.

AHRQ ranks the quality of a state’s health care system from weak to very strong. Wisconsin’s strongest performance measures are related to care provided by hospitals, home care agencies and in physician clinics. Patients in Wisconsin who are being treated for cancer, respiratory disease or chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are getting better care here than they would receive in other parts of the country.

To read the press announcement, CLICK HERE.

WISHIN selects Medicity for new patient information system

In the beginning of July, the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network signed a contract with Medicity to implement a new service called WISHIN Pulse. The new program will allow providers to view a community health record that provides an aggregated view of a patient’s health information from all providers that have seen the patient – regardless of health system affiliation or EMR system.

This partnership is the result of a planning process initiated by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. The Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data for Health (WIRED for Health) Board developed a plan for a statewide health information network that would allow hospitals, clinics and other health care stakeholders to securely share information to improve the quality of care and reduce clinical and administrative costs. As part of the planning process, the WIRED for Health Board selected WISHIN to be the state-designated policy and governance entity to develop health information exchange capacity in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association and other providers are working to garner support for legislation that would allow treating providers to share records for mental health patients, other than psychotherapy notes, with other treating providers.

To read the news release, CLICK HERE.

25 new medical students admitted to WARM; Program total at 105

Since 2007, the Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine (WARM) has admitted 80 students. By all measures, the program has been successful in recruiting students that are more likely to establish a rural medicine practice when they complete their training.

“The admissions process used to select the WARM students has been very effective in selecting students committed to rural Wisconsin as reflected in their biographies,” says WARM program director Byron Crouse, MD. “More importantly, their commitment to practice in rural Wisconsin remains high when they matriculate, and it is evident throughout their medical school experience. With our first two graduating WARM groups, 70 percent (or about twice the number in the regular program) are staying in Wisconsin for their residency education, and the others are doing their residencies in border states.”

The WHA GME Task Force continues its work on developing strategies to expand the number of residency training positions in our state and connect medical students, including those in the WARM program, with Wisconsin-based residency training programs.

For more information about WARM, CLICK HERE.

This post was researched and written by Trish Skram. Feel free to connect with Trish Skram on her Facebook page at Trish Skram “PR Gal” or on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply