05.20.2011

Monroe Clinic Supporters Attend Hospital Advocacy Day in Madison

Talk To Legislators About Important Budget Issues

Hospital employees and volunteers from Monroe Clinic joined nearly 800 hospital supporters in Madison on April 27 to attend the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day. The annual event connects hospital supporters with their legislators in Madison so lawmakers can hear about what hospitals are doing to improve quality, increase transparency and expand access to care in their communities.

Advocacy Day attendees heard from keynote speaker Jim VandeHei, co-founder and executive editor of Politico, the highly influential national political media outlet. They also heard remarks from Governor Scott Walker, and a bipartisan panel of leading legislators debated important health care issues and answered questions submitted by attendees.
 
“With the state budget being debated in Madison, we wanted to make sure our legislators know how changes will impact our community hospital,” said Mike Sanders, President and CEO of Monroe Clinic. “Advocacy Day gives us the opportunity to meet with our legislators and reinforce the hospital message with them.” 

Advocacy Day attendees were most concerned about the impact the state budget may have on the Medicaid program. They asked legislators to keep two priorities in mind when debating and voting on the state budget:

  • Preserve the Medicaid safety net for the most vulnerable populations in Wisconsin
  • Minimize cost shifting to employers and employees from unreimbursed Medicaid costs and uncompensated care

Attendees provided information on the economic impact of hospitals in their communities. Hospitals are among some of the largest employers in many communities and annually employ more than 111,000 people statewide.

“Hospitals across the state provide $13.7 billion in goods and services and account for more than $28.3 billion in economic activity annually,” explained Sanders. “Hospitals are proud to be among the top 10 employers in well over half of Wisconsin counties and to provide many family-sustaining jobs.”

Legislators were also able to learn during their visits that hospitals provided almost $1.2 billion in community benefits, gave uncompensated health care services to 1.2 million patients, and participated or sponsored nearly 60 free community clinics across the state over the past year.