UPH Government & External Affairs

Wisconsin Update – August 2021

by | Aug 23, 2021

The Evers Administration Continues to Encourage Vaccinations and the Legislature Introduces other Health Care Legislation

As more than 50% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, the State has issued a series of recent announcements aimed at encouraging vaccinations for residents.

  • COVID-19 Illness after Vaccination Webpage: Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) launched a new webpage that compares the rate of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths per 100,000 among individuals who are fully vaccinated versus individuals who are not fully vaccinated. The data reveals a rate of infection much higher among individuals who are not fully vaccinated, and that the Delta variant is more contagious and subject to spread than the original COVID-19 strain.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Reward Program: Yesterday, Governor Tony Evers with the DHS announced Wisconsin residents who receive their first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine from a Wisconsin provider between August 20 and September 6 can collect a $100 Visa gift card. Wisconsinites ages 12 and older are eligible for the reward, which requires Wisconsinites to complete a form available at wisconsin.gov.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for People who are Immunocompromised: DHS announced its support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations of additional dose of mRNA vaccine to people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. More information on eligibility and other frequently asked questions can be found on the DHS COVID-19 Additional Dose webpage.

Prompt Pay Discount Legislature: The Wisconsin Hospital Association has worked with legislators to reintroduce legislation supported by numerous health systems, including UnityPoint Health-Meriter and UW Health. This legislation would reduce the costs for both patients and providers by permitting a health care provider to discount the amount that is owed by a patient when the patient pays his or her bill promptly. By offering discounts, patient costs are reduced, and providers avoid collection costs. UnityPoint Health will be monitoring this legislation.

“Less for Rx” Prescription Drug Plan Introduced: On August 4, State Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) announced this legislation package which builds upon the work of the Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices. This package contains numerous initiatives aimed at lowering prices and controlling costs, increasing transparency and protecting consumers, and insuring access to vulnerable populations. Similar legislation was not advanced by the legislature last year; however, UnityPoint Health is keeping tabs on this as drug pricing is also a rumored topic for federal reform.


For more information on State of Wisconsin advocacy, legislative, policy and regulatory issues of impact to UnityPoint Health, please contact Cathy Simmons, executive director of government & external affairs for UnityPoint Health.