Progressive Community Health Centers Calls on State Legislature to Reject Budget Changes to Medicaid Reimbursement Rates
We oppose the proposed changes to Medicaid reimbursement rates in Wisconsin’s 2015-2017 State biennial budget.
MILWAUKEE- As one of Milwaukee’s four Federally Qualified Health Centers, we oppose the proposed changes to Medicaid reimbursement rates in Wisconsin’s 2015-2017 State biennial budget. These budget provisions are scheduled to be debated on Thursday, May 21st, 2015 by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance and we ask that they be removed in their entirety.
Governor Walker’s proposed budget will change the current business model used by Community Health Centers (CHCs) to an outdated Prospective Payment System (PPS) established in 2000. Great progress has been made in the effectiveness and efficiency of community health services over the last 15 years that this budget proposal seeks to reverse. Serving 1 in 7 Wisconsin’s Medicaid members, CHCs provide access to critical care among underserved populations. This cut in funding will negatively impact the 285,000 patients who receive medical services throughout Wisconsin and will not benefit state taxpayers. Conversely, the plan will lead to costly and avoidable consequences that could result in more frequent visits to emergency rooms, instances of delayed care, individuals missing work, and citizens requiring additional public assistance.
Progressive Community Health Centers (PCHC) serves some of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable citizens. Founded in 1999, PCHC was started by community members who were determined to ensure medical care was accessible to the underserved residents of Milwaukee’s Washington Park neighborhood and beyond. Since that time, PCHC has evolved to provide a range of services at its two central city clinics, including family and internal medicine, women’s health, dental care, financial counseling and case management. In February 2015, PCHC unveiled its newly constructed 42,000 square foot Lisbon Avenue Health Center, enabling the agency to serve an additional 11,000 patients annually. The new facility will also accommodate service expansion in the areas of diagnostic radiology, integrated behavioral health and specialty care access. Additionally, PCHC is working to establish an urgent care clinic at Aurora Sinai Medical Center with the intention of reducing improper usage of the hospital’s emergency department.