Kyle O’Brien, WHA senior vice president, government relations, and Ann Zenk, WHA vice president, workforce and clinical practice, provided the annual legislative update to hospital and health care human resources staff at the Wisconsin Healthcare Human Resources Association’s (WisHHRA’s) annual statewide conference in Sheboygan April 26.
“Health care policy change must support teams, technology and top-of-license practice, and reduce regulatory burden so we can continue to provide high-quality high-value health care in Wisconsin,” Zenk noted. Legislative accomplishments shared from Wisconsin’s recently completed legislative session include a WHA-championed 83 percent increase in the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program, WHA’s advocacy work to create a new Rural Critical Care supplement recognizing that hospitals without OB services still provide an essential safety net for Wisconsin citizens and communities, and the WHA-crafted Rural Wisconsin Initiative grants to grow clinical training opportunities for advanced practice clinicians and allied health professionals.
O’Brien described how WHA garners bipartisan support for important legislative action, such as defeat-ing a worker’s compensation fee schedule two times in the last three legislative sessions.
All of the activity seeking a government-imposed medical fee schedule by its proponents has distracted from the real work to be done to reform the worker’s compensation process in Wisconsin,” O’Brien said, noting that in the one legislative session where a fee schedule wasn’t proposed, the Legislature was able to adopt some of the best reforms to worker’s compensation in over two decades. “As HR professionals, you know that real work needs to be done on the obstacle course worker’s compensation currently creates for employees, employers and health care providers.”
Human resources leaders were encouraged to engage directly with WHA staff and their lawmakers on important human resources-related issues and many other issues that impact our ability to continue providing high-quality, high-value health care in Wisconsin. O’Brien and Zenk encouraged attendees to sign up for WHA’s free grassroots engagement program, called HEAT (www.wha.org/heat-grassroots-advocacy.aspx).
As one WisHHRA attendee noted, “WHA’s legislative updates keep us current on state and federal issues that affect health care, help us see where we need to lend our voice and show us how something simple, like joining HEAT, can make our voices heard.”
For more information on how a member hospital or health system can take advantage of training grant programs for advanced practice clinicians or allied health professionals, contact Zenk at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 274-1820.