Health Care

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.

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.

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.

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.

Women in Business

Judy Faulkner, Laurie Benson, Toni Sikes, Sharon Chamberlain, Jan Eddy, Gail Ambrosius ... Madison's roster of female business success stories would be the envy of many communities, and there are, no doubt, many more chapters to be written.

Health Care Reform Roundtable

A lot has happened since our 2009 Health Care Roundtable, most notably the passage of a sweeping national health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It has everything from higher taxes for upper income individuals, to subsidies for people who have been unable to afford coverage, to individual coverage mandates, to tax credits for small businesses. After passage, the law remains controversial. Its backers say it provides long overdue access to health care insurance to millions who lacked it, improves health care quality, and bends the cost curve downward. Its detractors say, among other things, that it will remove care decisions from the purview of patients and doctors, while bending the cost curve upward for both consumers and small businesses. IB convened a panel of area health care executives to get their perspectives on the potential impacts of this landmark law on their organizations and on small businesses that want to offer health care insurance to their employees, and do so affordably.

The evidence is in ...

The controversial health reform bill may have its flaws, but it will provide more funding for evidence-based projects that have proven value in terms of quality and cost.

One Hoot for Health Care: Local Attorney Skindrud Pleads the Case

Last week, IB promised to offer different perspectives on the landmark health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, recently enacted by Congress. Even critics calling for repeal acknowledge there is some good in the bill, but local attorney Michael Skindrud, chairman of Godfrey & Kahn's Healthcare Practice Group, finds a lot of good in it, particularly for small businesses.

Heart Raves Local Company Proud of National

How do you react when your only account executive announces that she has been selected to be a national spokesperson for the Heart Association's 2010 Go Red for Women campaign — a position that will take her out of the office for meetings, days and even longer?