Hospitals launch exchange enrollment drive

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) announced new efforts to assist in coverage enrollment as implementation of the Wisconsin federal exchange and changes to Medicaid coverage under the new state budget draw near.

 
As part of its focus on connecting low income individuals and families with Medicaid and exchange coverage, WHA announced the creation of the member Enrollment Action Council (EAC) that will be led by Mark Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Columbia St. Mary’s Inc., and Terese Pandl, president and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) in Eastern Wisconsin. 

The EAC’s goal will be to provide leadership for members around patient enrollment into new coverage options.

“The uncertainty and confusion about the changes that are just a few short months away has not been alleviated,” said Taylor. “We recognize that connecting low income individuals with coverage and maintaining that coverage will be a challenge, but we are committed to doing our part as we view patient assistance activities as integral to our mission.”

“There is a genuine urgency to these issues,” Pandl said. “Collaboration among hospitals and health systems, as well as with the state and other community partners will be essential to help reduce the number of uninsured in our state.”

Additionally, the WHA is coordinating seven regional meetings with the Department of Health Services (DHS) where members can learn more details from Brett Davis, the state’s Medicaid director, about the department’s plans for enrollment. The WHA is also offering webinars on exchange implementation, employer issues and enrollment plans, which will take place on July 25, Aug. 14, and Sept. 17.

“We remain very concerned about the ability of low income populations to connect to coverage, which is why we will remain highly engaged with our members, state agencies and others with respect to outreach, education and enrollment,” said Joanne Alig, the WHA’s senior vice president for policy and research.

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