The Week in Review
This week, Gov. Walker delivered his annual
State of the State Address before a joint session of the Wisconsin State
Legislature. As Gov. Walker said during his speech, the state of our state
is historically strong.
Not only is the unemployment rate at a record low, jobs continue to pour in
from around the country and we continue to lower taxes all while making
historic investments in K12 education. Not to mention, due to our bold
reforms the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced the state will
end the biennium with a significant budget surplus that is going back to
hard working taxpayers.
But we’re not done yet. Gov. Walker unveiled plans to address healthcare
including a permanent waiver to secure SeniorCare and encouraging the Senate
to pass legislation that will protect people with pre-existing conditions.
The Assembly passed the proposal last fall.
I’m excited to continue working on reforms that improve access to
healthcare, promote job growth and help working families across Wisconsin.
Together, we will continue moving Wisconsin Forward.
Have a terrific weekend!
Intensive Care Coordination
On Thursday, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo and I
testified in the Health Committee on
legislation that will create an innovative intensive care coordination
The program encourages hospitals to provide intensive care coordination for
Medicaid patients that are high users of emergency room services. These
patients will work with social workers and healthcare professionals to
address their complex health needs by connecting the patient with a primary
doctor, working with a health care provider and developing a support system
outside of the hospital.
Last year, more than 10,000 people in Wisconsin visited an emergency room
seven or more times at a cost of more than $50 million. This small group of
patients, known as high utilizers, accounted for 111,000 emergency
department encounters last year. Using emergency departments for primary
care is a costly and inefficient use of Medicaid dollars and reduces access
to emergency care for those who truly need it.
Wisconsin has been a leader in developing innovative programs that improve
access to care while controlling costs. The intensive care coordination
program is another innovative approach that continues this longstanding