Report identifies causes and solutions to high local health care - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Health insurance analysis: Local groups examine ways to save


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Down the road, strength in numbers could be the key to lowering costs. Collectively, the Eau Claire School District, city and county spend $46 million on health insurance every year. The three groups are coming together to examine how to lower that cost.

Tonight, a Shared Services Commission presented a report to the Eau Claire City Council. The report examines the cost of health care and what the three combined can do to lower it. One potential solution would be to pool their resources and go with one provider.  

"It will be a slow process. It's not going to happen over night. Health insurance premiums didn't grow to the challenge that they are right now over night. It's going to take some time working together and working with our medical community to address the cost of our medical care for our employees," says Dale Peters, Eau Claire Director of Human Services.

One thing the report examined was local hospital profits. The report says statewide the average net profit for hospitals was 8.4% over the past few years.  In 2011, Oakleaf Surgical Hospital had a profit of 31.8%, Sacred Heart was at 20.8%, St. Joseph's was 17.3% and Mayo Clinic Health System Eau Claire was at 15.2%.

The Shared Services Commission says its effort is a work in progress.





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