This past legislative term, Wisconsin was inactive in regard to healthcare price transparency, cost, and competition legislation.
Wisconsin collects healthcare claims data and other information from providers in order to disseminate consumer guides and legislative reports. The Wisconsin Health Information Organization also operates an APCD, one of the largest in the country, along with a consumer website for comparing cost and quality information. Wisconsin received a $2.4 million dollar grant from CMS in 2014 in order to develop a state innovation plan to reduce Medicare and Medicaid costs.
Wisconsin’s current regular legislative session runs 1/4/2017 – 12/31/2017.
Recent Legislative Developments
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Transparency in Healthcare
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.05 directs the Department of Health Services to collect health data and claims information from hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and other healthcare providers for the purposes of conducting analyses and disseminating healthcare information in language that is understandable to lay persons. The Department is to enter into a contract with a data organization which is responsible for analyzing and reporting on “health care claims information with respect to the cost, quality, and effectiveness of health care.” The contracting entity shall also maintain a centralized data repository which the Department may access without additional charge.
- The data organization is also to provide an internet site than offers health care provider cost and quality data and reports to consumers and conduct statewide campaigns to improve health literacy.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.08 mandates that hospitals may not increase or charge rates in excess of rates currently in effect unless the hospital publishes a legal notice in a newspaper likely to give notice in the area where the hospital is located between 45 and 30 days before the proposed rate change is to take effect. The hospital may otherwise increase its rates during the course of the hospital’s fiscal year by any amount that in the aggregate do not exceed the percentage amount that is the percentage difference between the consumer price index reported for the 12-month period ending Dec-31 of the preceding year and the consumer price index reported for the 120month period ending on Dec-31 of the year prior to the preceding year.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.10 requires that the Department of Health Services prepare and submit a standard report concerning health care providers other than hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers respecting health care claims information to the Governor and both houses of the legislature
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.20 requires that the Department of Health Services prepare and submit an annual reporting concerning “the number of patients to whom uncompensated health care services were provided by each hospital and the total charges for the uncompensated health care services provided to the patients for the preceding year, together with the number of patients and the total charges that were projected by the hospital for that year.” Hospitals are required to file with the data collection entity under § 153.08 an annual plan setting forth the number of projected patients to whom uncompensated health care services will be provided and the projected total charges for uncompensated care.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.21 directs the Department and contracting entity under § 153.05 to prepare guides to assist consumers in selecting health care providers, health care plans, and in selecting hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.22 directs the contracting entity under § 153.05 to prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and both houses of the legislature that “summarizes utilization, charge, and quality data on patients treated by hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers during the most recent calendar year.”
- Wisconsin Statutes § 153.45 states that the Department shall release data in standard forms, public use data files, and in custom-design reports so long as the department ensures that the identification of patients, employers, and health care provider are properly masked.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 146.903 delineates the required disclosures respecting cost and quality of a health care provider. Upon the request of a consumer, a health care provider must disclose at no cost to the consumer the median billed charge for a health care service, diagnostic test, or procedure. Additionally, a provider that submits data to a health care information organization must also make comparative quality information available to the consumer concurrently with the median billed charge information. Providers must post a notice that consumers have the right to request charge information at no cost. Providers must also maintain a document that list charge information for the 25 presenting conditions identified for the health care provider’s provider type.
- Similarly, a hospital must maintain a single document that lists charge information for each of the 75 diagnosis related groups for inpatient care and outpatient surgical care identified in the code, including the median billed charge, the average allowable payment under Medicare, and the average allowable payment from private third-party payers. Consumers shall be provided a copy of the document at no charge upon request.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 150.85 permits the state attorney general to authorize cooperative agreements between healthcare providers, purchasers, and provider networks by issuing a Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) if the likely benefits resulting from the agreements outweigh the disadvantages attributable to a reduction in competition that may result from such agreements. Providers issued a COPA are immune from civil or criminal antitrust action under the state action doctrine for actions within the scope of the Certificate.
- Wisconsin Statutes § 150.93 imposes a moratorium on the construction of hospital beds.
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