Madison- Today, Governor Evers signed an innovative health care bill authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) and Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield).

Assembly Bill 679, which is now 2021 Wisconsin Act 208 removes the sunset provision created in 2021 Wisconsin Act 10, which was the Covid relief bill, to allow hospitals to seek federal Medicare reimbursement for certain services provided in a home setting. Current law sunset the program on January 1, 2022. By allowing this innovative program to continue, these regulatory flexibilities create additional capacity options and allow hospitals to provide a high quality of care in a patient’s home prior to discharge from an impatient service.

“For hospitals to use technology of the future we need to reform regulations of the past,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Assembly Bill 679 ensures that state-level regulations do not become a barrier for hospitals that are providing inpatient-level care in a patient’s home.”

“With over 200 hospitals across the country providing this innovative service, including four health systems right here in Wisconsin, we know that forward-looking policies like Assembly Bill 679 are critical to taking care of patients in the right setting and at the right time. We thank Representative Loudenbeck and Senator Kooyenga for their leadership on this issue and applaud Governor Evers for signing this bill into law,” continued Borgerding.

“Now more than ever, technology and innovation have proven to be a vital lifeline Wisconsinites seeking quality health care options that meet their needs. Act 208 builds on the framework of a telehealth bill Senator Kooyenga and I passed last session and extends Medicaid eligibility for hospital level care provided in a patient’s home. Delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right place is a good goal for policymakers and health care providers alike; COVID has really underscored how important it is for us to work together to advance new and forward thinking ideas,” said Loudenbeck.

“Flexibility in how and where health care can be delivered is an important way to ease stress on hospitals and their staff. Act 208 gets government out of the way by giving providers the permanent flexibility to deliver services outside a traditional hospital setting. Thank you to Rep. Loudenbeck for partnering on another innovative health care initiative,” said Kooyenga.

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