Seminars on Health Care


Affordable Strategies to Cover the Uninsured: Policy Approaches from Other States

fis24_240x240Wisconsin citizens ranked health care as one of the state’s top two issues in a recent UW poll. For CEOs and business owners in northeastern Wisconsin, health insurance tied as the top challenge they face.
Despite public and private efforts to expand insurance coverage, Wisconsin’s uninsured rate—4% to 5% of residents—has not changed over the last decade. However, Census data reveals a shift in insurance providers. Between 2000 and 2005, employer coverage fell from 79% to 71% for Wisconsin residents under age 65, while Medicaid coverage rose from 8% to 13%. This seminar will cover what policies other states are using to bring people into coverage, and how to avoid a legal challenge under federal ERISA law.

Read more

Long-Term Care Reform: Wisconsin’s Experience Compared to Other States

fis23_240x240In FY 2003, Wisconsin spent almost 42% of its Medicaid dollars on long-term care. Policymakers are anticipating increased demand for these services, especially as the population ages. Despite the contributions of informal caregiving by family and friends, which is valued at three times the amount spent by Medicaid, the cost of providing long-term care is still growing. In 2004-2005, Wisconsin spent almost $2.2 million on longterm care services, about half on both institutional care (52%) and home- and community-based programs (48%). Three national experts will review how Wisconsin and other states are reforming long-term care.

Read more

Medicaid: Who Benefits, How Expensive is It, and What are States Doing to Control Costs?

fis22_240x240Every state is grappling with the same problem—how to provide Medicaid benefits for vulnerable populations when costs are increasing faster than revenues. Between 2000 and 2003, Wisconsin’s costs grew about 13% annually. Medicaid is a drain on the state budget, but it provided benefits to 807,000 Wisconsin residents or 15% of the population sometime in fiscal year 2004. This seminar will review what other states have done to slow the growth of their Medicaid budgets and raise questions policymakers can use to guide difficult budget decisions.

Read more

Improving Health Care Quality While Curbing Costs

fis21_240x240Health care costs have risen in the double-digits in Wisconsin and the U.S. for several years. From 2000 to 2004, for example, health insurance costs for Wisconsin workers increased four times faster than the average Wisconsin wage. State policymakers are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve the quality of health care. This seminar will provide an overview of the drivers behind rising health care costs and possible policy solutions. Two policy options will be explored in greater detail: Health Savings Accounts, which are medical expense accounts that employees contribute to and own, and Pay for Performance, which is a system that rewards high quality and cost-efficient health care.

Read more

Rising Health Care Costs: Employer Purchasing Pools and Other Policy Options

fis18_240x240In the past year, national health care spending per capita grew by 10%, the first double-digit increase in more than a decade. In Wisconsin, health benefit costs for employers rose 14.8% this year, while general inflation rose by only 2%. Wisconsin citizens’ employee health care costs are $6,940 per employee, 20% higher than the notational average for workers in businesses with 500 or more employees. This seminar features he latest research on why health care costs are rising so rapidly and what policy options are available to state policymakers. Learn how employer purchasing pools may help to soften the impact on small businesses and increase options for extending benefits to more workers and their families.

Read more

Designing a State Prescription Drug Benefit: Strategies to Control Costs

fis16_240x240As prescription drug costs continue to dominate the headlines, this seminar discusses what strategies states can use to control costs. Leading experts from across the country also describe how several states have designed prescription drug programs. Learn about the experiences of 14 states that had programs in place in August of 2000 as well as new programs that are emerging in several other states. The U.S. General Accounting Office also provides an update on the proposals that Congress is considering.

Read more

Rising Prescription Drug Costs: Reasons, Needs and Policy Responses

fis15_240x240The number one issue before state legislatures in 2001 will be access to prescription drug coverage, according to participants at a recent conference sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the next 8 years, state and local taxes spent on prescription drugs outside Medicare or Medicaid will jump from $10 to $24 billion, according to the Health Care Financing Administration. To date, 22 states have already passed prescription drug legislation and the issue is on the agenda of many Wisconsin legislators.

Read more

Long-Term Care: State Policy Perspectives

fis12_240x240Many Wisconsin residents rely on long-term care services because of frailty or a disability. Although most long-term care is provided informally by family members, formal services are also provided in nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and community-based settings. In 1996, Wisconsin spent approximately 1.2 billion Medicaid dollars to pay for long-term care services for those who could not afford them. In this seminar, three of the nation’s leading experts discuss who uses long-term care; in what settings it occurs; the role of the family caregiver; and what other states are doing to control the rate of increase in long-term care spending.

Read more

Building Policies That Put Families First: A Wisconsin Perspective

fis01_240x240Increasingly policymakers, professionals, and family members recognize that one of the best ways to help individuals, children and adults alike, is to focus on those people who so strongly influence their lives, their families. The family is said to be the most powerful, the most humane, and, by far, the most economical system for building competence and character in children and adults. Families carry out a variety of functions critically important to society. They share resources, economically support their members, and care for the elderly, the sick, and the disabled in ways that no other institution can do or do as well.

Read more