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Aurora Health Care addresses rising health costs

Monday, January 06, 2003

MILWAUKEE, Aurora Health Care, accepting a leadership role in addressing rising health costs, today announced a Three-Part Commitment to the people of eastern Wisconsin.

The Three-Part Commitment is as follows:

  1. Aurora Health Care will keep price changes below national benchmarks (Medical CPI) through 2005. More information about Medical CPI can be found at www.bls.gov/cpi.
  2. Aurora will accelerate its current Care Management programs and initiate new projects to help moderate total community health costs and demonstrate measurable improvements in public health.
  3. Aurora will be accountable to the community for cost savings and health improvement results, and will report progress monthly.
Aurora outlined its Three-Part Commitment in a “First Monday Report” published today in newspapers throughout eastern Wisconsin. Aurora will publish these reports at the beginning of each month in 2003 to share information, chart its progress and promote a dialogue about the drivers of health care costs. These First Monday Reports and other information about health costs have been added to Aurora’s web site, at www.Aurora.org/FirstMonday.

“The people of Aurora Health Care are constantly striving to improve the quality of the care we offer,” said G. Edwin Howe, president of Aurora. “We know that improved quality also lowers cost, helping to ease the financial burden in the communities we serve.”

As one example, Howe pointed to Aurora’s cholesterol management program, which is reducing heart treatment expense by helping cardiac patients bring down their LDL cholesterol levels. “For every 10% reduction we help them achieve, we reduce their average health costs by $3,600 a year,” he said. “And since we care for thousands of heart patients across eastern Wisconsin, the savings are enormous.”

Aurora’s Three-Part Commitment recognizes that the current levels of health care cost inflation are unsustainable. Howe said that Aurora would continue to work in partnership with other providers, employers, insurers, brokers, labor unions, government officials and others in the search for solutions.

“Health care is an investment in the productivity of our work force and in the quality of life we enjoy both individually and collectively,” Howe said. “If we all work together, we can make it a competitive advantage for our state for years to come.”

Aurora Health Care is a community-owned Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites in 75 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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