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Fewer Funds Leveraged by Hospital Tax; Hospital Payments Stable
The federal revenue generated by the hospital tax declined again in 2013, costing the state approximately $13 million in Medicaid funding. Payments to hospitals remained basically the same, however, due to language in the taxing legislation that guarantees hospitals statewide receive $1.62 in increased Medicaid payments for every $1 they are assessed for the hospital tax. The complete 2013 Hospital Tax Report, with hospital-by-hospital breakdown, is available in the featured resources section located on this web page.
Individual Policies Outpace Group Plans

Since 2008, the premium written for individual policies has grown three times faster than the premium written for group coverage, indicating that individual policies were an important source of growth for health insurers even before the Affordable Care Act. Individual policies now account for 30 percent of the total  health insurance premium written in Wisconsin, up from 14 percent in 2000. The complete article is in the March 2014 Edition of HCTrends.

Hospitals Improve Quality Scores; Efficiency Rankings in Most Markets Stable

Wisconsin hospitals improved their quality scores in 17 of 25 measures analyzed between 2011 and 2012. Eau Claire providers had the highest quality index of the six regions analyzed. Southeast Wisconsin had the lowest quality of the six regions analyzed, but showed improvement in more quality measures than the other regions in the state. The study also found that five major health care providers achieved both better-than-average cost efficiency and better-than-average quality in their respective markets. The complete study, "Measuring the Quality Achievements and Cost Efficiency of Wisconsin Hospitals in 2012"  is available in the featured resources library located on this web page.

Wisconsin Hospitals See Dramatic Shift in Business Since 2008

Between 2008 and 2012, the state’s hospitals experienced a 19-percent drop in inpatient commercial admissions and inpatient days, according to an analysis of fiscal surveys hospitals are required to file with the state.

Every region of the state experienced a decline – from a low of 15 percent in the Madison area to a high of 39 percent in rural northwestern and southwestern Wisconsin. Some of the inpatient loss was offset by an 11-percent increase in commercial outpatient procedures, but even with that gain, private-sector growth was overshadowed by increases in government-paid hospital services, particularly Medicaid.

“The decline in commercially insured business is significant for hospitals because insurance companies, self-funded employers and other private-sector purchasers pay more than government programs,” says Dave Jensen. “Since 2008, however, net revenue from commercial sources has grown by an average of less than 3 percent a year. That is less than one-half the growth rate of Medicare and one-eighth the growth rate of Medicaid reimbursements. These trends are likely to become more pronounced as Baby Boomers retire and Medicaid enrollment grows due to the Affordable Care Act.”

The complete article is in the March 2014 Edition of HCTrends.