Welcome
Board of Directors
News And Information

July 23, 2014 Milwaukee, WI - Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health study finds area healthcare systems’ commercial payment levels compare favorably with systems nationwide

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH), known for its research on the cost, efficiency and quality of healthcare in southeast Wisconsin, released the results of a study at a meeting of providers, insurers, business and community leaders today. The study revealed that from 2003 through 2012, the increase in average southeast Wisconsin hospital commercial payment levels was approximately 50 percent of the rate of increase in the national Hospital Component of Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Please click Here to Download the July 23rd press release in PDF format.

Please click here to download the Powerpoint of key factors.

Media Information on the Report:

Business Journal of Milwaukee -- Hospital payments rose less in southeastern Wisconsin: Study

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- Hospitals costs rise more slowly in southeastern Wisconsin

June 12th, 2014 - Milwaukee, WI. Study finds commercial physician payment levels in sourtheast Wisconsin on a per-unit basis substantially higher than other Midwest markets.

The The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH), known for its research on the cost, efficiency and quality of healthcare in southeast Wisconsin, released the results of its latest study at a meeting of providers, insurers, business and community leaders today.  The study, conducted by consulting firm Milliman using 2012 data, found average per-unit commercial physician payment levels in southeast Wisconsin were almost 50 percent higher than the Midwest average per-unit payment rates.  This difference is estimated to have increased southeast Wisconsin commercial health insurance premiums by approximately 15 percent compared with estimated premium rates based on the Midwest average physician payment levels.

Please click here to download the full June 12th press release in PDF format.

Please click here to download the report in PDF format.

Media Information on the Report:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- Doctor fees high in region, study says

Business Journal of Milwaukee -- Physician payments 50% higher in Milwaukee than across Midwest: Milliman

January 7th 2014 – Milwaukee, WI. The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health promotes a behavioral health screening with grant award.

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH) recently awarded a $158,000 grant to four prominent State of Wisconsin healthcare purchasers to encourage healthcare providers to expand the routine provision of behavioral screening and intervention services (BSI) to patients seeking healthcare services. The recipients of the grant are employer-based organizations, the Business Health Care Group (BHCG) in Southeast Wisconsin and the Madison are employer coalition, The Alliance, as well as the Wisconsin Medicaid program and the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds.

Please click here to download the full Janyary 7th press release in PDF format

December 04, 2012 - Milwaukee WI. Heathcare costs improve compared to Midwest average according to Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health; area healthcare systems continue to improve performance.

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH), known for its research on the cost, efficiency and quality of healthcare in southeast Wisconsin, released the results of two studies at a meeting of providers, insurers, business and community leaders today.  The first study, using 2011 data, showed an improvement over 2010 for southeast Wisconsin commercial healthcare premium costs as compared with average costs in the Midwest.   A second study revealed average southeast Wisconsin hospital commercial payment levels in 2011 were essentially unchanged from 2010 levels.

Please click here to download the full December 4th 2012 press release in PDF format

Please click here to download the full Midwest Premium Comparison Report in PDF format (2 meg)

Please click here to download the full Key Factors Presentation in PDF format (1 meg)

Media Information on the Report:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Area reigning in health care costs

Business Journal of Milwaukee - Health insurance cost increases ease

Business Journal of Milwaukee - WHA has cheers, jeers for 'cost' report findings

Business Journal of Milwaukee (Page 10) - Health insurance premium costs increases ease for area employers

Business Journal of Milwaukee - Area Insurance Payments to Doctors Remain Higher than Midwest Average

December 14, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI. Area hospital systems improved performance; healthcare costs held steady compared to Midwest average according to Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH), known for its research on the cost, efficiency and quality of healthcare in southeast Wisconsin, released the results of two studies at a meeting of providers, insurers, business and community leaders today.  The group’s major study revealed southeast Wisconsin hospital commercial payment level and operating cost increases were substantially less than national indices for the reporting period of 2003 through 2010. A companion study showed southeast Wisconsin commercial healthcare premium costs remained eight percent higher than average costs in the Midwest. 

The major study, conducted by Milliman, analyzed several key factors influencing southeast Wisconsin commercial payer hospital payment levels. It updated a previous study released in 2009 which examined data for the years 2003 through 2007 by adding data for the years 2008 through 2010.
  
The companion study, also released today by GMBFH, compared southeast Wisconsin commercial healthcare premium costs to Midwest and national averages.  This study, conducted by Mercer and Milliman, looked at 2010 employer and employee healthcare premium costs of commercial health plan members under the age of 65.  It was an update to a study released earlier this year that used 2009 data.  Healthcare premium costs include medical and prescription drug costs.

Please click here to download the full press release in PDF format

Please click here to download the complete Milwaukee Market Factors Report in PDF format

Please click here to download the complete Midwest Premium Comparison Report in PDF format

Media Information on the Report:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Area hospital rates rose more slowly than national average 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -  Low Medicaid rates shift costs to insurers, study finds

Business Journal of Milwaukee - Area hospitals improve performance

Business Journal of Milwaukee (page 7) - Area hospitals brace for Medicaid cuts


June 8, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI.  Area healthcare costs hold steady when compared to Midwest average according to Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH), known for its research on the cost, efficiency and quality of healthcare in the greater Milwaukee area, has released the results of its fourth overall cost study at a meeting of providers, insurers, business and community leaders on Wednesday, June 8. It concludes that southeast Wisconsin healthcare commercial premium costs for 2009 were 8 percent higher than average costs in the Midwest.

“In this study based on 2009 data, the difference between average healthcare premium costs in southeast Wisconsin and the Midwest average was relatively unchanged from the 2007 study we completed.  In 2007 average healthcare premium costs were shown to be 9 percent higher and they were 8 percent higher in 2009,” said Ron Dix, the Foundation’s executive director.  “Previous studies we conducted, showed that costs in 2000 were 55 percent higher and 39 percent higher in 2003,” added Dix.

The two main authors of the study are consulting firms Mercer and Milliman. The findings are based on the analysis of 2009 combined employer and employee health care premium costs of commercial health plan members under the age of 65.  It includes residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Walworth and Washington counties.  The data, obtained from the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), represents more than $1.5 billion in healthcare costs from approximately 450,000 employees and dependents. These figures include the cost for medical, prescription drug, mental health, vision, hearing, etc., but not dental.  They correspond to comparable figures from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

Please click here to download the full press release in PDF format (54k)

Please click here to download the complete study in PDF format (2MB)

Media Information on the report:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Health costs cast a shadow

Business Journal of Milwaukee Online - In Milwaukee, health care still costs more

BizTimes.com - Southeastern Wisconsin Health care costs still above Midwest average

 

 

November 3rd 2009 - Milwaukee, WI. Area Health Care Costs are Increasing but are Closer to the Midwest Average than Previous Studies According to Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH).

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc. (GMBFH), known for its research on the cost, efficiency and quality of health care in the greater Milwaukee area, has released the results of its third overall cost study at a meeting of providers, insurers, business and community leaders on Tuesday, November 3rd.  It concludes that Southeast Wisconsin health care commercial premium costs are 9% higher than the average cost in the Midwest.

“This is a vast improvement since our study of 2000 data when we were 55% higher and the study of 2003 data when we were 39% higher than our colleagues in comparable Midwest states,” said Ron Dix, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

The two main authors of the study are consulting firms Mercer and Milliman.

The findings are based on the analysis of 2006 and 2007 combined employer and employee health care premium costs of commercial health plan members under the age of 65, and includes residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Walworth, and Washington counties, and represents more than $1.7 billion in health care costs from approximately 450,000 members and dependents for each year.  These figures include the cost for medical, prescription drug, mental health, vision, hearing, etc., but not dental, and correspond to comparable figures from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

Please click here to download the full press release in PDF format(17K).

Please click here to download the study in PDF format (1 meg).

April 24, 2009 – Milwaukee, WI.  The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH) is implementing a community wide Prescription Assistance Program (PAP) designed to increase access to free medications for uninsured and underinsured individuals throughout Milwaukee County. 

“Given the foundation’s historical focus of identifying Milwaukee’s high health care costs, its Board of Directors is extremely pleased that we could initiate a community activity that will help reduce the future cost of health care in our community” says Jim Wrocklage, the executive director of GMBFH.

Joy Tapper, executive director of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership states”This is a very valuable strategic investment on the part of the foundation.  Many times these individuals go without medication or reduce their prescriptions and it ultimately costs them health wise, but it costs the health care system.”

GMBFH has entered into a relationship with 10 participating community clinics who will implement theprogram utilizing the Drug Assistant PAP software. Drug Assistant enables clinics to more effectively link thousands of eligible patients with free medications available to them through over 30 different pharmaceutical companies. The software also significantly reduces the time and costs associated with manually matching patient eligibilities with pharmaceutical company requirements. 

“Making sure patients qualify for free medications is a very paperwork intensive process,” explains Ileana Batista, account manager with Drug Assistant. “Our softwarereduces the manual processing of forms and really helps shrink the work load.” 

The Foundation is investing $85,000 over three years to lease and maintain this technology at Bread of Healing Free Clinic, Walker’s Point Clinic, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center – Chavez and Parkway Clinics, Milwaukee Health Services – Coggs and MLK Clinics, Westside Health Care Association – Hillside and Lisbon Avenue Clinics, and Health Care for the Homeless - Recovery Clinic.  It is estimated the PAP program will bring over $1-2 million dollars in free medications to low income patients who could not otherwise afford them and who might, in many cases, choose to go without them all together.  As such the program will improve the health and well being of individuals and reduce the total cost of care to the community. 
A pilot run of the PAP has just been successfully completed at Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.

"Running this type of program effectively requires keeping track of a lot of different information, from patient demographics to when to order someone's next refill," relates Kim Butler, Medical Assistant at Sixteenth Street.

"Prior to having access to the software, we were using a manual tracking program that we basically built from scratch. The Drug Assistant software cuts the time we used to spend filling out multiple applications and it also effortlessly provides consistent and professional-looking medication receipts, labels, and consumer drug information for our patients, which is something you don’t automatically get when receiving multiple drugs from different companies.”

Drug Assistant is also accelerating Sixteenth Street’s work toward Joint Commission accreditation. “The software improves our ability to link information with our electronic medical record system and proper tracking and dispensing procedures,” explains Medical Assistant, Yasmin Rios.

Currently, the program is being rolled out across the remaining designated community clinics. At this time, the PAP is reserved for existing patients of these clinics. GMBFH’s intent is to expand the technology to other regional provider organizations of similar qualification in the future.


February 20, 2009 – Conclusion of Business Foundation Study Is Milwaukee Hospitals Continue To Improve their Performance, but Broad Variation Exists Across Systems

Hospital Commercial Payment Comparison: In its latest study tracking key factors that contribute to Milwaukee’s higher health care costs, the GMBFH is now reporting that average Southeastern Wisconsin hospital commercial payments have increased approximately 24% from 2003 through 2007. This new variable added to this year’s analysis demonstrates that the region’s increase is lower than the 27% increase in the national commercial hospital CPI for the same period. The decrease in average commercial payment levels in the region in 2006 appears to be the primary cause of the difference.

The increase in individual health system hospital commercial payments from 2003 through 2007 ranged from 10% to 65%. Two health systems had substantially lower increases than both the local market and national averages. All other health systems increases were above both local market and national averages.

Hospital Operating Costs: Other findings of the study conclude that for the years 2003 through 2007 local hospital operating costs - the day-to-day expenses of running a business – have increased less than the national average. The study found that operating costs for area hospitals increased about 14% from 2003 through 2007 – roughly 3 to 7 percentage points below the national average.

The Southeastern Wisconsin health system increase in hospital system operating cost for the four years ranged from 5% to 24%. Two individual health systems experienced increases below both the national and local market averages while two experienced increases above both the national and market averages.

As a follow-up to its ground breaking June 28, 2006 study that identified key factors that contribute to Milwaukee’s high inpatient payment levels, the current study continues to examine the impact of cost shift burden and health system geographic market concentration in addition to operating costs as mentioned above. The current study includes Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties as an addition to the original four counties of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha.

Distribution of Hospital Cost Shift Burdens: Individual health system cost shift burdens generally moved closer to the Southeastern Wisconsin average from 2003 through 2007. Higher cost shift burden health systems decreased their burden “surplus” while lower cost shift burden health systems decreased their “deficit. These changes are generally consistent with each health system’s operating cost trend.

Health System Commercial Market Concentration: In each year of the study, the average “predominant” health system’s commercial market share (55-58%) is significantly greater than the highest individual health system commercial share of the total Milwaukee market (26-29%). This indicates a significant degree of market concentration within individual zip codes and limited overlap of market areas among health systems.

Commercial discharge volumes from zip codes defined as moderate and high competition declined from 50% of total commercial discharges in 2004 to 35% in 2007. Commercial discharge volumes from zip codes defined as low and limited competition increased from approximately 50% of market in 2004 to approximately 65% of market in 2007.

Please click here to download the MS Power point presentation in PDF format (258k).

Please click here to download a PDF of the Appendix for the Key Factors Influencing 2003-2007 SE Wisconsin Commercial Payer Hospital Payment Levels (109K).

Media Information on the report:

Local Health Costs Didn't Rise As Fast As US Average - March 13th, 2009

Ranking Hospital Costs - March 12, 2009


 

June 11, 2008 – Small Medical Practice Pilot Project.

The goals of the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH) Small Medical Practice Pilot Project were to determine the feasibility of applying the current measurement methodology of an organization such as the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) to small medical practices and identify the role of various stakeholders in obtaining the data for calculating the measures.

Please click here to download the report from the pilot in PDF format (341K).

October 31st, 2007 – Milwaukee Hospitals Becoming More Efficient Is Conclusion of Business Foundation Study

Findings of the study released by the Directors of GMBFH conclude that for the years 2003 through 2006 local hospital operating costs - the day-to-day expenses of running a business – have increased less than the national average. The study found that operating costs for area hospitals increased about 10% from 2003 through 2006 – roughly 4 to 5 percentage points below the national average.

As a follow-up to its ground breaking June 28, 2006 study that identified key factors that contribute to Milwaukee’s high inpatient payment levels, the current study examines the impact of cost shift burden and health system geographic market concentration in addition to operating costs as mentioned above.

Differences in the relative cost shift burdens among Milwaukee area health systems generally decreased from 2003 through 2006. With one exception, each hospital system’s relative cost shift burden moved closer to the market average.

In each year of the study, the average “predominant” health system’s commercial market share (52-55%) is significantly greater than the highest individual health system commercial share of the total Milwaukee market (25-28%). This indicates a significant degree of market concentration within individual zip codes and limited overlap of market areas among health systems.

Please click here to download the presentation in PDF format (293K).

Please click here to download Appendix A in PDF format (193K).

Media Information on the report:

Hospitals Running Leaner, Study Finds - January 4, 2008


 

October 31st, 2007 – Business Foundation Study Concludes Milwaukee’s Health Insurance Administrative Costs & Profits Are Similar to Other Midwest Cities -- The Directors of GMBFH have released findings that indicate that Milwaukee’s high health care costs are not caused by disproportionately higher insurance company administrative costs and/or profits. Although insurance costs and profits vary from year to year and were slightly higher in Milwaukee in 2005 when compared to other Midwestern cities, the major driver of the area’s high health care costs are the fees physicians and hospitals charge for their services.

Regardless of the cost of the specific components of the health care premium, the total cost of health care in Milwaukee remains markedly higher than that for other MSAs in the central US. These high health care costs will make it difficult for Milwaukee firms to attract and retain skilled employees, essential for sustainable economic growth.

Please click here to download the presentation in PDF format (76K).

Media Information on the report:

Hospitals, doctors set pace... Study attributes charges as reason for area's higher health care costs. January 20th, 2008


September 29th, 2006 - Business Foundation Confirms Milwaukee Has High Physician Fees -- The Directors of the GMBFH have released findings that Milwaukee resides at the expensive end of the health care cost spectrum relative to physician fees, when compared to other major Midwest cities. For example, fees for the physician services studied are typically 30-40% higher in Milwaukee than in Cincinnati, Kansas City and St.Louis. Please click on the link below to download, "The Physician Market Place - A Comparison of Central USA Metropolitan Areas"

Please click here to download the GMBFH press release in PDF format (28k)

Please click here to download the GMBFH Physician Fee Study in PDF Format (159K)

Please click here to download the procedure data specific to the GMBFH Physician Fee Study in PDF Format (74K)

If you are experiencing trouble downloading the study, right click on the document link and select "Save target as..." you can then save the file to your computer and open the file from the location where you saved it. If you are still having problems, please send an email to gmbfhinc@aol.com

Media Information on the study:

JSonline - Doctor Fees Higher Here - September 28th 2006.

Milwaukee Business Journal - Doc's Fees Higher Than in Other Cities - Septbember 28th 2006

 


June 28th 2006- Factors Contributing to Higher Hospital Inpatient Payment Levels in Milwaukee -- The Directors of the GMBFH have released the findings of a study designed to compare Milwaukee inpatient rates to hospitals in eight other Midwestern cities.

The comparison indicated that average payment rates were higher in Milwaukee than in seven of eight of the comparison cities. In two cases, it was approximately 40% higher. Given Milwaukee’s high cost position, the foundation then compared elements of the health care environment in three cities, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Detroit, to learn more about causes for Milwaukee’s higher payment rates.

The study identified that Milwaukee’s relative cost position was predominantly the result of the interaction and balance of five factors. For further information on these factors, please see the links below.

Click here to download the GMBFH June 28th press release - PDF format. (87k)

Click here to download the full report on the Factors Contributing to Higher Hospital Inpatient Payment Levels in Milwaukee - PDF format.(574k)

If you are experiencing trouble downloading these files, right click on the document link and select "Save target as..." you can then save the file to your computer and open the file from the location where you saved it. If you are still having problems, please send an email to gmbfhinc@aol.com

Media information on the study:

JSonline - Hospitals Control the Market - June 29, 2006

Milwaukee Business Journal - Report:Diverse Forces Drive Milwaukee's health care Costs - June 27, 2006

 


March 17th, 2005 - Three Year Study: The Cost Efficiency of Milwaukee's Healthcare - The Board of Directors of GMBFH have announced findings and have presented the latest community study regarding The Cost Efficiency of Milwaukee’s Healthcare

The study represents an analysis of the largest geographically specific medical claims database ever gathered in Wisconsin on a voluntary basis. The database comprises three years of local medical claims totaling approximately $3 billion.

The report examines the cost efficiency of our local region’s hospitals at both the individual and hospital system level as well as physician performance based upon an Episodes of Care grouper that adjusts for severity of illness for specific diagnosis and compares total medical cost across the entire spectrum of physician, hospital, pharmacy and ancillary services.

Information from the report is available for download in PDF format:

Executive Summary (153 KB)

March 17th Presentation on 2005 Study (912 KB)

Appendix A - Methodology and Assumptions (353 KB)

Exhibit 1 (201 KB)

If you are experiencing trouble downloading these files, right click on the document link and select "Save target as..." you can then save the file to your computer and open the file from the location where you saved it. If you are still having problems, please send an email to gmbfhinc@aol.com

Links to Articles on the study:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - March 17th, 2005

Milwaukee Business Journal - March 17th, 2005

 


September 14th, 2004 - Clearer Prescription Writing Achieved for Milwaukee -A study, sponsored by the Medical Society of Milwaukee County and the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health, Inc , won a national award from the Institute of Safe Medication Practices for helping to improve patient safety.

Click here for full press release on the study.


This initiative of the GMBFH is designed to assist English and Spanish speaking residents to anonymously assess their health at www.howsyourhealth.org; and to provide those with generally good health immediate affirmation. It is also designed to assist those with chronic symptoms immediate feedback on how they might relieve symptoms as well as provide a printout to take to their health care provider.
Another goal of the initiative is to provide residents with information they can use to improve the interaction with their health care provider and improve the quality and efficiency of the care they receive.

The web site is anonymous: no personal identification is recorded, no cookies, and no one will contact you. No advertising, pop-ups or sales.

HOW IT WORKS: After completing the HowsYourHealth.org survey, you will be able to print out:

  • Health information designed for you;

  • Helpful forms for you and your doctor;

  • Other options based on your responses


You get to suggest, "What might make greater Milwaukee a healthier place for you and others?”