MILWAUKEE – Five Milwaukee academic and health care institutions are uniting their individual areas of expertise to address health costs as well as improved health care quality and value.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Marquette University (MU), Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital are forming a consortium to focus joint efforts on health care economics and innovation. Among the issues the institutions will collectively address are health care economic viability, access, lifestyle issues, innovations in health care delivery, health care reform, and improving the life of populations.
A key focus of the consortium’s efforts will be initiatives focused on health care economics. Recent studies by Mercer Health and Benefits found that Milwaukee health care costs are higher than the national average, and that health insurance in Wisconsin costs significantly more than in the United States in general.
The academic leaders of the consortium, UWM Chancellor Dr. Michael R. Lovell, Marquette President Father Scott Pilarz, and MCW President and CEO Dr. John R. Raymond, Sr., will make the announcement today to the members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
The five institutions are all members of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI), a federally-funded and nationally-designated center in which members share each other’s research resources, technology, knowledge and expertise to work toward common goals in health care. Other CTSI members are the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Zablocki VA Medical Center, and BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
Following are some highlights of the strengths and resources the academic institutions bring to the new consortium:
Department of Economics:
* A cluster of four faculty members specialize in health care economics and health insurance.
College of Health Sciences:
* The health care administration and informatics program includes several faculty researchers who specialize in computerized patient information systems, health care costs, strategic management of health services organizations, and local hospital systems.
Medical Informatics Doctoral Program:
* Five schools and colleges within UWM work in cooperation with MCW to offer a doctoral degree in Medical Informatics. The College of Health Sciences, College of Engineering & Applied Science, School of Business Administration, School of Information Studies and College of Nursing are involved in effecting savings through more efficient access to information.
Graduate School of Public Health:
* With its emphasis on prevention of disease, the new graduate-level school has faculty expertise in long-term health promotion and public policy.
College of Nursing:
* Four Community Nursing Centers around Milwaukee offer wellness and preventive care to low-income communities, saving trips to the emergency department and limiting need for treatment of complications.
* The Aurora Cerner Wisconsin Project is a partnership with Aurora Health Care and Cerner Corporation. Its goal is reduction in medical errors by getting information nurses need in a user friendly format at the hospital bedside. The project will identify best-practices in nursing, lowering the incidence of complications and re-admission.
* Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research: The Center is an interdisciplinary group of health services researchers focused on studies related to health care services and patient outcomes. Many research projects are population based, utilizing various large databases such as the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results)-Medicare linked records and Medicare billing records.
* Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program (HWPP): A component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment, HWPP supports community-academic partnerships that address public and community health improvement.
* Institute for Health and Society: The Institute integrates public and community health across the Medical College’s research, education, clinical and community initiatives. Programs included in the Institute address health equity and urban clinical care, violence prevention, biostatistics, bioethics, epidemiology, population health data management, global health, and graduate degree programs in public and community health.
College of Nursing
* Operates two clinics the Marquette Neighborhood Health Center and the Marquette Clinic for Women and Children that offer preventive and primary care to the underinsured and uninsured in Milwaukee.
* Research includes the effects of childhood obesity, community violence and health care delivery and cost issues, including a recent study by faculty that examined how nurse staffing and overtime hours affect hospital readmission rates and emergency room visits.
School of Dentistry
* Operates three Milwaukee-area clinics that provide low-cost, full-service oral health care.
* Research and community based programming includes oral health care delivery, disparity issues in oral health care and workforce planning.
College of Health Sciences
* A cluster of faculty research focuses on the neural controls of addictions and other psychiatric disorders, as well as obesity diseases that contribute significantly to rising health care costs.
* Introduced a new PhD in Clinical and Translational Rehabilitation Science, offered by Marquette’s nationally ranked PT program, to train researchers in clinical and translational science
* The college operates the Speech and Hearing Clinic, a low-cost service that provides patients with treatment for language and auditory disorders, including aphasia, and a health-careers opportunity program for disadvantaged students
Other research and programs
* Marquette University Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (http://www.tech4pod.org) is developing new tools, better technologies and improved treatment strategies for children with mobility issues.
* College of Business Administration faculty interests include health care economics, particularly around issues related to obesity and health care delivery.
* Marquette University Law School offers a program in health care law and publishes The Elder¹s Advisor, a twice-yearly review devoted to law and policy issues of later life, retirement, disability and financial planning.