Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems are on the frontline of providing behavioral health services to patients in Wisconsin, oftentimes creating access points for mental health and substance use disorders that otherwise would not exist. Wisconsin’s hospitals are a critical partner for government and law enforcement in taking care of patients in an emergency mental health crisis. Hospitals and health systems continue to deal with challenges, including government reimbursement, regulatory burden and workforce shortages, that make delivering behavioral health services even more difficult and sometimes impossible. WHA’s leadership in advocacy provides hospitals, health systems, policymakers, patients and families with changes in public policy that will better enable healthcare providers to treat patients in need of behavioral health services. WHA’s policy staff work closely with hospital and health system leadership to provide expert testimony to various audiences, including government task forces and workgroups. Enacted legislation aligning Wisconsin’s mental health records law with HIPAA is just one example of recent WHA-led legislative accomplishments in behavioral health.
Matthew StanfordGeneral Counsel608-274-1820EMAIL: Matthew Stanford