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Froedtert Today

January 2012 Volume 17, Issue 1 FROEDTERT HOSPITAL CEO

William D. Petasnick EDITOR


Kathleen Bechtel, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Cathy Buck, MSN John Charlson, MD Michael Cinquegrani, MD David Cronin II, MD, PhD, FACS Barb Fagan, MS Samer Gawrieh, MD Julie Gruver, BSN, RN Michael Guralnick, MD Robert A. Hieb, MD, FSIR

Christopher Johnson, MD Donna Johnson, BSN, RN Olga Kozlova, MA, MBA Shekar Kurpad, MD, PhD Claudius Mahr, DO Dennis Maiman, MD, PhD Alfred Nicolosi, MD Jon Pryor, MD, MBA Jay Sandlow, MD John Weigelt, MD

Froedtert Today is published by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53226-3596. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Letters to the editor are welcomed.


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IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: All research and clinical material published by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin in this publication is for informational purposes only. This publication is not designed to, and does not provide medical advice and does not substitute for a health care provider’s own clinical judgment. Do not disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this publication. Please consult your own physician with respect to your own symptoms or medical conditions as diseases commonly present with variable symptoms. As always, it is the responsibility of the health care provider treating an individual to determine the appropriateness of any given course of treatment in light of that individual’s unique clinical situation and the provider’s own expertise. The procedures or treatments mentioned in this publication may or may not be considered covered benefits by your insurance. You are encouraged to consider a conversation with your insurance representative as part of your decision-making process before having any medical procedure. January 2012.

f rom the ceo Health Care Transformation Focused on the Right Issues

WILLIAM D. PETASNICK CEO, Froedtert Hospital

the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “Super Committee”) announced it could not reach agreement on how to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. As a result, automatic spending cuts will begin in January 2013, including more Medicare payment cuts, on the heels of $155 billion in hospital payment reductions included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or national health reform. Medicare payments have been less than the cost of providing care for several years, and these latest cuts widen the gap. While payments are cut, quality and service standards are climbing and the health care providers face significant uncertainty.

L The American Hospital Association’s Task Force on Hospitals and

Health Care Systems of the Future has been analyzing the environmental changes and identifying critical factors for success. The task force predicts dramatic changes. Future providers will be rewarded more for delivering quality and managing patient health and less on the volume of care delivered. These changes may be expedited by the ACA, but would have occurred even without the law.

The Supreme Court’s decision to review the ACA will have implications too. The Court will review these four key questions:

• Is the individual mandate, requiring individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, constitutional?

• If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, is it severable from the rest of the law? In other words, can the other provisions be implemented without the mandate?

• Can the court consider the constitutionality of the individual mandate and related penalties before the penalties are collected?

• Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority by expanding the Medicaid program?

While the fate of the law is unclear, providers must move ahead with

the difficult but necessary steps needed to make our health care system more consistent, more patient-centric and capable of delivering a better value.

Despite these challenges, I am more optimistic about the future than

I have been at anytime in my career. The coming transformation is focused on the right issues: delivering excellent service, value and quality to our patients. Froedtert & The Medical College have been focused on these issues for years, and will continue to work on them in the future.

2 Froedtert Today January 2012

ike many organizations and individuals around the country, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin have been monitoring recent policy activity in Washington. In recent weeks,

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