WHA has been focused on gathering and sharing data to inform decisions in response to the global COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin. To help educate state policymakers on hospital and health system priorities, WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding sent this memo
to the Wisconsin State Legislature on March 31, along with this infographic
describing actions hospitals are taking to ensure citizens are cared for during this time.
Both communications pieces highlight the diligent efforts hospitals and systems have made to increase bed capacity, including postponing non-emergency elective surgeries and procedures. These postponements create increasingly difficult financial challenges for a growing number of hospitals, but the health care system takes very seriously the threat of a COVID-19 surge in their communities.
The memo emphasizes the continuing need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to help protect patients from further spread and protect our vital health care workforce from falling victim the virus. WHA also shared the continued lack of COVID-19 testing kits, including the special elements needed to process tests to determine positive or negative results. As the memo states, “Testing is critical
– it allows us to identify and quarantine those who are positive and contagious, communicate with personal contacts and thus mitigate spread.” Better identifying cases through testing also provides valuable data that can help gauge the size and growth of COVID-19 spread and the efficacy of mitigation strategies.
Both communications also emphasize the need for temporary regulatory flexibility to ensure that red tape doesn’t interfere with a hospital’s ability to provide necessary care in extraordinary times. WHA has already successfully received federal regulatory waivers and is pursuing important additional variances at the state level.
Stay tuned to future editions of The Valued Voice
for updates on these and other efforts related to WHA’s work supporting hospitals and systems during the current pandemic.