Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are well-known for providing high-quality and accessible care for Wisconsin citizens, according to a new study released Wednesday by HC Trends, a research affiliate of BSG Analytics (BSGA), Wisconsin enjoys high health care value when key indicators of cost and quality are measured.
"As Wisconsin residents face the upcoming election amid the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, health care and its associated costs are top of mind for residents of the Badger State," said Eric Borgerding, WHA President and CEO. "We are fortunate, as this report confirms, that Wisconsin has a stable, high quality, and accessible health care system that provides tremendous value to health care consumers."
The report aims to shed new light on health care costs in Wisconsin through a comprehensive analysis that goes beyond unit price to evaluate key indicators of overall health care value, including quality of care, access to care, and health care utilization (how efficiently providers give care).
The HC Trends report concludes that when using data that provides the most comprehensive statewide picture of health care:
Wisconsin is consistently in the top tier of states for the quality of health care delivered and access to care
Wisconsin's health systems use 6 to 10 percent fewer medical services than other states while consistently achieving some of the highest quality care in the country.
Wisconsin health care premiums, which can be used as a proxy for total health care costs since they account for both unit price and utilization, have improved over time and are now close to or at the national average.
In the analysis, the researchers at HC Trends and BSGA reviewed numerous studies that have compared health care costs in Wisconsin to other regions, drawing on 20 years of experience to evaluate the methodologies used in assessing Wisconsin's health care value.
They conclude that any credible study should be transparent, clearly defined and use data sets that are accessible, accurate, also clearly defined and properly segregated. In their review, BSGA found that unfortunately most studies that attempted to evaluate Wisconsin health care costs have neglected to include key factors in their analysis, and fail to arrive at an accurate conclusion regarding Wisconsin health care value.
"Businesses, consumers, and policy makers alike all want access to accurate data about the costs of health care," said Borgerding. "Here in Wisconsin, we have a long tradition of integrated care, which means care is better coordinated, aligned and efficient. Studies that only take into account isolated cost indicators fail to consider what is unique about Wisconsin and ultimately only serve to reduce transparency and clarity about the true value of health care in Wisconsin."
WASHINGTON - Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for "fair treatment" in the way the tech giants run their app stores.
MADISON - The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday appealed a federal court ruling that allows for absentee ballots to be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election in the battleground state.
- Park Falls Police Department is investigating two incidents when a man approached middle school boys earlier this month. It's an incident that the City of Park Falls Chief Jerome Ernst says he has not experienced in the last 30 years.
"This type of report is very rare for us, but you see these types of things happen. You now all over the place, Park Falls is not exempt.," Ernst said.
Ernst says back on September 8th, a middle school cross country runner was approached by a man after his practice near Chequamegon High School in Park Falls. The man told the boy that he was from 'Up North', and was asking for help to find the hospital. The second incident occurred on September 16th, when a man matching a similar description was seen on Saunders Avenue in Park Falls near Hines Park. When he approached two boys who were also in Middle School.
"The person only stated 'Do you want to race', and the kid just kinda ignored him, because he is a stranger, and he wasn't comfortable about it," Ernst said. "The other child however, tells us that the person said, 'Do you want to race me to my house. If you win I'll give you some prize or treats', Something like that," Ernst said. Then last Friday a man matching a similar description was also seen in Wausau. According to a Facebook post and video posted online, he was accused of watching a group of girls. "The description of the individual, looks a little bit like the person in the video. Although it's hard to tell because the videos are a little bit shaded and dark. The vehicle is definitely not the same like it is in Park Falls," Ernst said. However, Park Falls and Wausau Police Department are partnering up to see if the incidents may be connected. Even if the cases are not connected, Ernst says it's a good reminder of stranger danger. "If you are going out to play or do things or walk over to the park, stay in groups with your trusted friends or family. Talk to them about stranger danger. Not to immediately trust, a new person or strange person," Ernst said.
MADISON - On September 22nd the United States hit a staggering 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. Wisconsin alone has 100,000 cases. The high numbers of deaths and cases can be lowered by modifying our behaviors and by wearing a mask properly.
There have been revisions to the mask mandate. Originally, it was said that only people not feeling well are required to wear it. It was changed when it was discovered that just talking could cause an outbreak.
Dr. Jeff Pothof of UW Madison Health spoke about how not wearing a mask can affect your long term health.
"People who had no idea they were sick had enough virus where they could spread it and the only thing they needed to do to spread it was talk to someone else," said Pothof.
COVID-19 is all across the country and not wearing a mask is putting yourself and the people around you at risk.
"There is no way you can know. It is everywhere right now. To think that you live in a location where COVID-19 hasn't reached yet is just not true," said Pothof.
To ensure you're protected, wear a cloth mask that is two layers thick to prevent your droplets from escaping and to protect from other droplets.
Make sure to wash your cloth masks once a week and change paper masks once every three to 5 days.
"They need to cover your nose and your mouth. If you only cover your mouth, the mask is not effective. Those droplets are coming out your nose and it just doesn't work," said Pothof.
For those thinking there's no repercussions from catching COVID-19, there are health risks that can be long term and affect your everyday life.
"People who have had COVID-19 may not ever return to normal lung function and that can impact them in ways such as in physical exertion and their ability to do things. Their physical stamina may decreased because their lungs are no longer as effective as they were before they had COVID-19," said Pothof.
The other long term health risks of COVID-19 is an inflamed heart.
"Likewise people that have an inflamed heart muscle tissue their hearts don't pump as effectively. The more severe COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle. And we don't know how long that will last. The more severe the COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle," said Pothof.
In cities like Madison and Milwaukee, their hospitals are equipped to handle a large influx of people and have special wards to combat COVID-19--unlike the smaller hospitals in our communities.
"Even if you have a small outbreak , you're going to quickly strip the healthcare resources in your community and when that happens only bad things happen to those people," said Pothof.
Make sure to mask up properly, to keep your loved ones and your community safe. For more information, you can visit the CDC website.
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