Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality: Franciscan Skemp Healthcare Joins Quality Effort Mayo Partner Brings Member Total to 21

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Katie Ostrander, (414) 270-3000, ext. 231

MILWAUKEE (August 3, 2004) – Franciscan Skemp Healthcare—Mayo Health System, La Crosse, today became the newest member of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and committed to publicly report quality and cost data for the group’s 2005 Performance & Progress Report.

“Franciscan Skemp joined the Collaborative because quality and safety in healthcare are bigger than any one provider,” said Rob Nesse, MD, CEO, Franciscan Skemp. “We all need to cooperate and share what we have learned with the public and be accountable to our patients for the quality and safety of our work.”

“From the beginning, the Collaborative has been composed of market competitors coming together to publicly report healthcare quality data,” said Jeff Thompson, MD, CEO of La Crosse-based Gundersen Lutheran. “We are encouraged to see Franciscan Skemp join our effort.”

“Over the past year the Collaborative has gained momentum as more providers, purchasers and consumers of healthcare understand the importance of the work we are doing,” said John Toussaint, MD, chairman of the Collaborative and president/CEO of Appleton-based ThedaCare. “The Collaborative’s goals are to improve the quality of care in Wisconsin and to provide purchasers with the information that is standardized and comparable across multiple provider systems.”

New Collaborative members are in the process of submitting their data for validation by MetaStar, the Collaborative’s independent auditor. Data from the new Collaborative members will be available when the next full Performance & Progress Report is published in early 2005. The current Performance & Progress Report is available online at www.wchq.org.

Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, partnered with Mayo Clinic, offers excellent specialty services including cardiology, neurology, nephrology, oncology, orthopedics and many others, as well as comprehensive, compassionate primary care throughout an 11-county region in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Franciscan Skemp is one of the area’s largest employers, with more than 3000 allied health staff, including 150 medical staff.

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality is a group of multi-specialty physician groups, hospitals, health plans, employers and labor organizations from geographically diverse areas of the state that have come together to develop and share best practices and quality outcomes. The Collaborative was founded in 2003 on the principle that by focusing on improving quality, better care for patients and more rational costs will result.

Collaborative participants are: Advanced Healthcare, Milwaukee; Affinity Medical Group, Oshkosh; Bellin Health, Green Bay; Columbia St. Mary’s, Milwaukee; Dean Health System, Madison; Franciscan Skemp Healthcare—Mayo Health System, La Crosse; Froedtert & Community Health, Milwaukee; Gundersen Lutheran, La Crosse; Luther Midelfort—Mayo Health System, Eau Claire; Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield; Medical Associates Health Centers, Menomonee Falls; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Meriter Hospital and Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, Madison; Sacred Heart Hospital; Eau Claire; Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield; St. Marys Hospital Medical Center, Madison; ThedaCare, Appleton; University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison; University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, Madison; and Wausau Hospital, Wausau.

Business partners include The Alliance, Appleton Ideas, Badger Meter, DaimlerChrysler Corp., Schneider National, Sentry Insurance, Serigraph, Inc., The Trane Company, United Auto Workers and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.