Health Care

Madison Family Dental Associates fosters healthy attitudes

As anyone who’s ever owned a set of teeth knows, the only thing more boring than flossing is hearing your dentist talk about flossing. And while both the act and the exposition may seem to make time go infinitely more slowly, the truth is they may actually add years to your life.

SHINE brings a light of hope to cancer and heart patients

While molybdenum-99 might sound like a term carefully crafted in the musty basement office of an aspiring Star Trek scriptwriter, it’s a real, and vitally important, isotope that’s crucial to many modern diagnostic procedures. Unfortunately, the only reason you’re likely to hear about it is that it’s in critically short supply. Fortunately, the market abhors a vacuum, and SHINE Medical Technologies, a Monona company that’s finalizing plans to build a new $100 million facility in Janesville, is gearing up to fill it.

La Crosse Tribune: Texas prof hails Wis. hospitals as models

There are lessons for the nation to learn in Wisconsin health care. That’s what Texas professor Leonard Berry thinks. It’s why he dedicated three months last year to study three health care organizations: Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, Bellin Health…

Van Hollen: Health care law in jeopardy before the U.S. Supreme Court

At some point later this month, the earth could move when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, and by extension on the ACA itself. After the tone and direction of oral arguments appeared to indicate the justices are skeptical about the individual mandate, which would expand the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause, there is real concern in the White House that some adjustments will have to be made in 2013.

To Play or Not to Play?

Sometime in late June, the United States Supreme Court is expected to announce a landmark decision on the constitutionality of all or part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. The ruling is likely to make the earth move in a number of realms – legal, political, and business – and could well force employers to walk back any plans made in anticipation of the law's full implementation in 2014.

Wisconsin’s biomedical expertise, and collaboration, is spread throughout the state

Back in 1916, when the Marshfield Clinic was founded by a handful of forward-looking physicians, it didn’t seem so isolated. In fact, Marshfield stood at the crossroads of several major railroads – and the passenger lines that passed through were a steady source of people in need of care.Today, the railroads are just a memory in terms of ferrying people, and Marshfield is accessible mainly by highways that sometimes narrow to two lanes. However, the clinic remains a globally recognized hub for patient care as well as clinical and applied research. Why? Innovation has trumped location.

Health Care Roundtable

Six top executives in Dane County’s health care community provide their insights on the future direction of health care, with or without the Affordable Care Act in place.

Wellness Staying Power: Executive Backing Essential

Wellness programs are like New Year’s resolutions – they begin with lots of enthusiasm, but they are difficult to sustain. That’s the cautionary tale of wellness experts like Sara Hames and Jo Steinberg, who bluntly state that if an organization is contemplating a wellness program, its top executives must not only buy in, they must also be active participants. Without executive buy-in and leadership, wellness programs lose their momentum over time, and the potential benefits – moderating health insurance costs and greater work productivity – are compromised.

Healthy Health Care Dominates 2011 Commercial Construction

We can debate the motivations for the latest wave of health care construction, but it's evident that health facility building is dominating the 2011 commercial construction landscape in Greater Madison. Every local care provider has something going up or in the planning stage, including the expanding Verona campus of Epic Systems, which is adding more space for its annual Users Conference.

Connections Counseling: A chief executive heals herself

Shelly Dutch has come a long way in life, but she’d be the first to tell you she didn’t do it alone. A recovering cocaine addict, Dutch knows better than most the importance of a support system, and so when she started Connections Counseling, an outpatient substance abuse and mental health clinic, in 2003, it was clear that it would be a commitment, not just a business.

Health Care Reform Roundtable

Six of the most prominent figures in Dane County's health care landscape came together to discuss ObamaCare, and what employers should do to prepare for full implementation amid congressional and legal challenges.

The Fit: Right-sizing (up!) and re-opening

The story of The Fit, a small group and personal training studio on Monroe Street in Madison, is actually a re-start-up story. The business has been around for two years, but just recently, owner Jeff Liggon revised his business plan and moved to a larger location just down the street. It wasn't entirely unexpected.

Despite Changes, Eflexgroup Leadership Unfazed by ObamaCare

Ric Joyner is not a typical CEO — chief executive officer; instead think "customer experience officer."

His company (founded with partner Tom Jacobs), eflexgroup, administers consumer-driven health plans — Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, and COBRA administration — but FSAs are its specialty. The passage of the Patient Protection Act, the nation's new health care law, impacts a customer's experience with health care, Joyner notes, but with two notable exceptions he views as only "cosmetic tweaks."

Reform Won't Inflate '11 Rate

Local insurers say the new federal health care law won't significantly jack up insurance premiums here in 2011. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

With two diabetic sons, local attorney, family, juggle work-life priorities

"Hello, my name is Jacob Howell, I am 18 years old and a senior at Stoughton High School. That is just basic information about me. It doesn't tell you who I am, what I do, what I believe in, or what my life has been about. What it does tell you about me is my family. They define the way I live." [Excerpts from a speech presented by Jacob Howell at the 2009 Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Gala at Monona Terrace in Madison.]

Like any mother, few minutes go by in a day when Roberta Howell, 48, is not juggling responsibilities. The first, and largest ball she keeps aloft represents her role as wife to Chris and mother to three sons: Jacob, 20, Eric, 17, and Daniel, 12.

Health Care Reform: Changes to "grandfathered plans" could cost businesses.

"I know that there are millions of Americans who are happy, who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan, they value their relationship with their doctor. And no matter how we reform health care, I intend to keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you'll be able to keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan.

"So don't let people scare you. If you like what you've got, we're not going to make you change."

President Obama repeated that promise on many occasions as he tried to build the case for health care reform, but he left out a few regulations that recently were issued by government bureaucrats charged with writing the rules. Obeying those rules will determine whether businesses maintain Grandfathered Plan or "GP status," a reference to health insurance plans in existence before the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010 — plans that will be "grandfathered" into the law if businesses adhere to the government's regulations.

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