August 29, 2014

State’s hospitals moving forward with reform

Wisconsin hospitals will move forward with health care reforms, despite the uncertainty between now and November. Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton said the state’s hospitals have working on ways to improve quality, and innovating on delivery of and payment for, health care. He said despite the certainty of continued political rhetoric surrounding the health care reform law, there’s a “glide path” towards implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“I think most of our members have moved beyond the political rhetoric. I think most of them realize that in the future, they’re going to have to do more for patients with fewer resources. Which means they’re going to have to be more efficient tomorrow than they are today,” said Brenton. “There will be real challenges in part because to fund the coverage expansions that are important, and that are contained in the legislation, there are very significant Medicare payment cuts on the horizon for the next ten years.” He said Wisconsin providers will have to face at least $2.6 billion in cuts over the next several years, while caring for a growing Medicare population.

Brenton said the state’s hospitals would have continued on this course of action, regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled last week. “I believe that because of our investments in technology and the way we have organized delivery in this state, that we are positioned to get the job done in our communities.”