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Rising hospice care concerns?Submitted: 02/19/2014
Story By Kalia Baker


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."








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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to the Vilas County Courthouse for day 3 of the trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at knife point in July 2015.

The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness wants to work with landlords to help people get back on their feet. We talk to the housing program team leader about a meeting coming up in Rhinelander that will allow landlords to share information that can help the homeless find places to rent.

And we talk with The Forest County Health Department director about a program that is encouraging people to limit their time with TV, computers, iPhones and other types of screens for a week.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WISCONSIN - Turkey season began last week and hunters have a new option for what they can do with the turkeys they shoot.

The DNR started a turkey donating program this year.

You can donate turkey's to three processors in the southern half of the state.

"A little bit further south of here in areas where there's usually a lot of deer donations and a lot of turkey shot so that we can try and get some good participation for the first year," said DNR's Wildlife Biologist, Jeremy Holtz.

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RHINELANDER -

Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.

The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.

"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.

Nearly 100 students participated from schools like Rhinelander, Lakeland Union and Mercer. They all had to work in groups which made the students come together.

"Yeah, it's a competition against each other but at the same time, a team competition which makes it fun," said Wilson.

Over in the cupcake making competition, students enjoyed getting hand on experience in the kitchen.

"I used to watch 'Cupcake Wars' all the time and I always wanted to try it and put my skills to work for once and see how it goes," said Lakeland Union senior, Lilith Schuman.

The students also had to present their projects, which were all timed. That's another way for them to learn throughout the day.

"We also get to make our own displays to show the judges. We have to describe what we're making and how we did it, all in an hour and a half," said Schuman.

The winners from each station won a trophy and a prize bucket donated by local businesses.


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MADISON - A Republican-backed proposal that would ban the coverage of abortions for Wisconsin state workers has cleared the state Assembly Health Committee.

The panel approved the bill Wednesday on a party-line vote, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.

It now heads to the full Assembly for consideration.

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LANSING, MI - Legislation changing the regulation of copper mines could soon become law.

Republican Sen. Tom Casperson's bill " which was enrolled Wednesday after being approved by the GOP-led House 74-35 Tuesday " would establish separate regulations for small native copper mines that developers are eyeing in the western Upper Peninsula. The bill would also not allow for local governments to regulate mining activities.



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LINCOLN COUNTY - WARNING: Some of the above video is disturbing

In late February, a Lincoln County Deputy shot and killed a man who was shooting at him.

On Tuesday, the Lincoln County District Attorney said Deputy Sam Steckbauer was justified to use deadly force.

The DA made this decision after an extensive investigation by the State's Department of Justice.

The DOJ released video taken from the squad car footage, police scanner traffic, and a 911 call that helps explain what happened that night.

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VILAS COUNTY - The trial for a Vilas County man accused of sexual assault entered its second day.

Thirty-six-year-old Rodney Teets faces three charges of first degree sexual assault.

The woman who accuses him of those crimes testified on the witness stand on Tuesday. Newswatch 12 is not identifying the woman.

The woman started telling her story, often through tears, of how the July 2015 night events unfolded. She testified while she was driving Teets to his home, she noticed he was holding a knife in his hand near his driver seat headrest. Then she started to describe the alleged assault, showing pictures of her car and identifying what she wore that night.

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