Dianne Kiehl
the Executive Director Report

The holiday season always seems to be a good time of year to reflect back on the previous year and give thanks. The Business Health Care Group (BHCG) has a lot to be thankful for. Without the great people and organizations we come in contact with as we go about the task of driving meaningful change in our health care market, it would be impossible to achieve our goal of moving the market through innovative action and partnership.

First and foremost, I would like to thank our employer members. It is quite remarkable, after 11 years, our employer members continue to walk in unison to effect positive change in the market, freely sharing ideas and best practices. Our employers also provide us with a critically important asset – the time and talents of staff to serve on numerous committees and subcommittees. They give selflessly of their time and expertise in steering our organization skillfully through an increasingly complex health care environment.

I am also thankful for the provider community for their commitment to improve health care value and the work of our administrative partner, Humana. In addition, I want to thank the brokers and consultants who have been supportive of our efforts and our sponsoring organizations.

Our strategic partners are also to be commended for their essential work.  All of us in Wisconsin should be thankful for the great work of these organizations, as they each contribute to putting our state at the forefront of health care reform and re-engineering.

  • The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), a voluntary, statewide provider-driven organization, is one of the premier measurement and reporting entities in the nation. This past year it added quality improvement work to its portfolio of core competencies, focusing initially on diabetes care, colorectal cancer screening and care for hypertension.
  • The Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), a voluntary, public-private partnership of payers, providers, businesses and state government has developed one of the largest all-payer claims databases – the WHIO Health Datamart – in the country. It is working to add Medicare claims information to the Datamart in the coming year and will be releasing its first public report for use by consumers.
  • The Statewide Value Committee (SVC) was formed in 2011 to develop a consistent approach to measuring health care value. An early success was agreement on 17 initial measures that represent health care value – known as the Wisconsin Measures Alignment Project (WIMAP). Recently the SVC, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services,  applied for a State Innovation Models (SIM) Design Grant, awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The grant would provide resources for the development of a strategy for Wisconsin’s health care system to achieve the triple aim established by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
  • The Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN), a state-designated nonprofit organization, is charged with developing Health Information Exchange (HIE) capability throughout the state. HIE mobilizes health care information electronically across organizations, communities and health care systems. By the end of 2014, the WISHIN Pulse Community Health Record will include information related to more than 30 million patient encounters, providing clinicians with automated electronic health information from other organizations that treated the patient.

Finally, I want to thank the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health for providing the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform a grant to work on improving the screening and intervention of behavioral health conditions, such as depression and alcohol/substance use. I am extremely pleased with the work that is being done in the provider community to make screening and intervention a standard of practice.

As you can see the BHCG has a lot to be thankful for – committed employers and providers, a high performing administrative partner and invaluable strategic partners – all working to provide true health care value. We look forward to working with you in 2015 and wish all of you the happiest of holidays and a successful and healthy New Year!


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