Recently appointed Assembly Health, Aging & Long-Term Care Committee Chairman Rep. Clint Moses (R-Menomonie) was a guest speaker at WHA’s Public Policy Council meeting on March 1. In his discussion with council members, Moses focused on challenges that are impacting all industries, but are uniquely impacting health care because of the inability to raise revenues to make up for increased expenses.
“I see this in my own practice,” said Rep. Moses, who owns a chiropractic clinic with his wife. “Unfortunately, we recently had to raise our own rates to make up for increased labor expenses, but rates don’t just increase for patients that are covered through insurance plans.”
Public Policy Council Chair Luke Beirl, CEO of Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Water’s Edge, reiterated this point and said rate increases are not matching the expense increases that hospitals are experiencing right now. “It’s not even keeping up,” said Beirl as he thanked Rep. Moses for understanding the importance of increased funding through hospital reimbursement in this upcoming session.
Moses told the Public Policy Council that he recently held a public informational hearing in his committee on the state’s long-term care system, focusing on the need to create more bed capacity and challenges surrounding the existing nursing home bed cap. He understands that hospitals have significant challenges transitioning patients to post-acute care settings, one of the reasons Rep. Moses hosted this hearing.
During discussion, Director of State Affairs for Aurora Healthcare Andrew Hanus said that the last time he checked, Aurora Healthcare had 175 patients at a given time who were medically cleared for discharge but were waiting on a skilled nursing facility placement.
Moses also understands the workforce challenges hospitals and health systems, like many other industries, face. He said he expects there to be “a lot of bipartisan agreement” on workforce-related issues in this upcoming session.
Stoughton Health President and CEO Dan DeGroot discussed the commitment his organization, like many others across the state, make toward training our future workforce. “Frankly, we are doing more now than ever before,” said DeGroot. “We have increased partnerships with our academic institutions, now working with four different schools to expand clinical rotations in our facilities.” DeGroot and others on the council also discussed the challenges associated with adding training capacity, as that takes time away from staff who are also carrying a full patient load.
Moses said he appreciated the opportunity to speak with the Public Policy Council and looks forward to working with WHA this session in his new role as Health, Aging and Long-Term Care Committee chair.