In a public hearing of the Joint Finance Committee held in Rhinelander, Ty Erickson, chief administrative officer at Marshfield Medical Center-Minocqua, testified to the need for lawmakers to reauthorize the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program in the upcoming state budget.
“The DSH program helped us weather tremendous financial strain under the public health emergency brought on by COVID-19,” said Erickson. “Outside of the pandemic, it also helps us deal with the everyday challenge of providing care here in rural Wisconsin, where we have some of the sickest patients and lowest incomes. Programs like DSH allow rural Wisconsinites to have access to the same level of care that you receive in any of the larger metropolitan areas across the state.”
Without reauthorization of the Medicaid DSH program, hospitals in Wisconsin will experience a collective $100 million cut in the next budget. Last week, 108 hospital leaders asked lawmakers to avoid this cut
by reauthorizing the DSH increase provided during the last state budget.
“For just Marshfield Clinic Health System, not reauthorizing the current level of DSH funding would result in a loss of $5 million in care-delivery services over the biennium,” said Erickson to the committee.
“On behalf of our nearly 400,000 patients in rural northern and central Wisconsin, we would respectfully ask you to support reauthorizing this investment in our communities’ health care and permanently fund the DSH program,” said Erickson.
The Joint Finance Committee will be holding two more public hearings before beginning executive action on the state budget.