Since 2019, Wisconsin hospitals have experienced a year-over-year annual expense increase of nearly $2.2 billion just in labor and supply costs. While expenses continue to rise, reimbursement from government and private insurance companies are not keeping pace with these costs. In the first two quarters of 2022, Wisconsin hospitals experienced a total margin (loss) of -11.9% due to increased costs without commensurate increases in reimbursement.

These expense pressures, along with increased demand for patient care and the need to hire more staff, has created a perfect storm that calls for investment into the health care safety net.

“Today, there are hospitals that have been forced to close behavioral health units, shutdown labor and delivery services and temporarily shut down non-emergency services due to staffing availability and costs. These are drastic moves being taken to ensure patient safety, an adequate workforce and financial viability for the core operations of hospitals which includes access to emergency care every hour of every day,” said Eric Borgerding, Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO. “At the same time, Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program reimburses hospitals $1.2 billion less than what hospitals spend caring for BadgerCare patients.”

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