Gov. Evers Approves Bill, Millions Set for Chippewa Valley Health Care

Gov. Evers Approves Bill, Millions Set for Chippewa Valley Health Care

Gov. Tony Evers today approved Senate Bill (SB) 1015, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 97, securing $15 million in crisis response resources to support healthcare access in Western Wisconsin in the wake of the recent announcement of HSHS and Prevea Health’s decision to close several locations. In addition to severely impacting healthcare access in the area, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the closures have been estimated to impact approximately 1,400 workers, among others, in the surrounding region.

Gov. Evers today approved Act 97 with improvements through line-item vetoes that will provide additional flexibility for the $15 million crisis response investment, enabling the resources to be used to fund any hospital services meeting the area’s pressing healthcare needs, including urgent care services, OB-GYN services, inpatient psychiatry services, and mental health substance use services, among others. 

Upon Joint Committee on Finance approval of the DHS’ request, the department will conduct a competitive grant application process for the $15 million in funding for eligible hospitals and hospital services meeting the following criteria:

  1. Eligible hospital services are those provided in the Western Region, with priority for hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties.
  2. Grantees must agree to expand capacity (capital and operational) at hospitals (defined as entities with DHS 124 license) that accept all payor types (commercial (consistent with existing networks), Medicaid, Medicare, self-pay, and uninsured) including any of the following services:
    • Increase Emergency Department capacity/service, including accepting patients in crisis in need of potential evaluation under Chapter 51. 
    • Expand Urgent Care Services.
    • Expand Inpatient Psychiatric Unit accepting adults and/or adolescents. The unit must accept emergency detentions under s. 51.15 and voluntary admissions. 
    • Expand Inpatient OB/GYN services. 
    • Expand mental health and/or substance use services. 
    • Expand or establish hospital-owned and operated ambulance service to transfer patients to an appropriate patient care setting. 
  3. Any expansion of services begun on or after January 22, 2024, is eligible for the grant funds.  


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