WHA: Analysis of health care costs shows Wisconsin’s high health care value

Madison, WI – Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are well-known for providing high-quality and accessible care for Wisconsin citizens. And according to a new study released today by HC Trends, a research affiliate of BSG Analytics (BSGA), Wisconsin enjoys high health care value when key indicators of cost and quality are measured.

“As Wisconsin residents face the upcoming election amid the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, health care and its associated costs are top of mind for residents of the Badger State,” said Eric Borgerding, WHA President and CEO. “We are fortunate, as this report confirms, that Wisconsin has a stable, high quality, and accessible health care system that provides tremendous value to health care consumers.”

The report aims to shed new light on health care costs in Wisconsin through a comprehensive analysis that goes beyond unit price to evaluate key indicators of overall health care value, including quality of care, access to care, and health care utilization (how efficiently providers give care). The HC Trends report concludes that when using data that provides the most comprehensive statewide picture of health care:

  • Wisconsin is consistently in the top tier of states for the quality of health care delivered and access to care
  • Wisconsin’s health systems use 6 to 10 percent fewer medical services than other states while consistently achieving some of the highest quality care in the country.
  • Wisconsin health care premiums, which can be used as a proxy for total health care costs since they account for both unit price and utilization, have improved over time and are now close to or at the national average

In the analysis, the researchers at HC Trends and BSGA reviewed numerous studies that have compared health care costs in Wisconsin to other regions, drawing on 20 years of experience to evaluate the methodologies used in assessing Wisconsin’s health care value. They conclude that any credible study should be transparent, clearly defined and use data sets that are accessible, accurate, also clearly defined and properly segregated. In their review, BSGA found that unfortunately most studies that attempted to evaluate Wisconsin health care costs have neglected to include key factors in their analysis, and fail to arrive at an accurate conclusion regarding Wisconsin health care value.

“Businesses, consumers, and policy makers alike all want access to accurate data about the costs of health care,” said Borgerding. “Here in Wisconsin, we have a long tradition of integrated care, which means care is better coordinated, aligned and efficient.  Studies that only take into account isolated cost indicators fail to consider what is unique about Wisconsin and ultimately only serve to reduce transparency and clarity about the true value of health care in Wisconsin.”

You can see the full study from HC Trends at: www.hctrends.com.