WOODRUFF - By 2015, 3 out of 10 people in Wisconsin will be considered part of the aging population.
But the issue of whether or not hospice facilities are draining Medicare for a profit is a nationwide issue.
"When those articles came out, those national articles, we were upset and hurt," said Leslie Schmidt, admissions coordinator at Seasons of Life Hospice Care. Unfortunately, our agency gets lumped into and we are very proud of what we do here at Ministry [Health Care]."
Schmidt is talking about a recent Wsshington Post article that states, "the number of "hospice survivors" in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren't actually dying."
Schmidt believes that accusation spoils the benefit of hospice care.
"It creates an inherit distrust for the services that are provided, that are legitimate, caring services that are provided by people who do good work, said Schmidt."
Some hospice patients are sent home because their Medicare benefits are revoked.
"That's why Medicare has very clearly defined guidelines of what the last six months of someone's life looks like."
Schmidt doesn't deny that Medicare fraud in the hospice care industry exists, but she doesn't want that to take away from good work that hospice care providers do.
"[Those] kinds of stories in particular are stories of interest. In that story, the people and the agencies that do good work, which are following the rules of Medicare, and other insurance programs get lost."
It's possible that the meaning of hospice is changing. Fewer people are dying in hospice care, but more people are relying on it.
"The biggest misconception is that hospice is a place that people go to at the end of life," said Melissa Salaam, who is the patience care supervisor at Ministry. Really, what it is, is the hospice teams comes to them, wherever they call home."
For registered nurse Chris Reed-Roeser, being a hospice caregiver is a dignified job to have.
"There are two things that I feel are the best part of my job. One being; that I work with an awesome group of people. I work with people who feel the same passion about end of life care as I do," said Reed-Roeser. "Secondly, going home at night and just knowing that you made a difference."
ANTIGO - People around the country will see just how much a police officer killed in the line of duty meant to his family and community.
Karl's Transport in Antigo revealed its newest semi-trailer design Tuesday afternoon. The trailer features Everest Metro Detective Jason Weiland. Weiland, 40, was shot and killed in a shooting rampage around the Wausau area on March 22, 2017.
EAGLE RIVER - Several Northwoods schools wanted to make it clear to their students Wednesday, there's always someone there to talk to. Anti-Bullying and suicide prevention speaker Bob Lenz spoke at Three Lakes and Northland Pines high schools Wednesday. Northland Pines Dean of Students Josh Tilley said he hopes students walk away from the talk knowing they can reach out to at least one person when they feel alone.
"Over the last few years, we've been bringing speakers in, national, local and state speakers so that we can really help our students understand that if they feel different they have the opportunity to be an individual, but if it's hurting them they can get help," said Tilley. Northland Pines staff members recently looked closely at their relationships with students by reviewing class rosters. They want to make sure all students have support.
MARATHON COUNTY - Two important Wisconsin products won't benefit from a possible trade war. It will likely hurt them. Last month President Trump placed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports. China came back and slapped tariffs on more than 100 U.S. products. The motives are political. But the effects trickle down to hurt local economies.
When it comes to growing ginseng, nobody does it quite like Marathon County.
"Wisconsin ginseng is sort of the cream of the crop when it comes to American ginseng," said Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises Director of Operations Mike Klemp-North.
Ninety percent of the U.S.'s ginseng crop is grown in Wisconsin. Ninety-five percent of that crop is grown in Marathon County.
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