Protect Yourself From Medical Identity Theft

A greater concern to the Wisconsin medical community may be the fate of workers — including physicians — who work at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.

According to Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO of the hospital, the Wisconsin legislature restructured the hospital 17 years ago, creating two entities, “the UW Hospital and Clinical Authority and the UW Hospital and Clinics Board.”

The bill supported by Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in the state senate would eliminate the UWHC Board and make all hospital and clinic workers employees of the UW Hospital and Clinic Authority, Katen-Bahensky explained in an e-mail sent last Friday to all UW Hospital and Clinics employees.

She said the governor’s bill would also eliminate collective bargaining for those employees.

In a letter sent to the governor, Katen-Bahensky wrote, “we were surprised to see provisions eliminating collective bargaining for UW Hospital and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) employees. As you know, nearly 5,000 of our 7,500 employees bargain collectively and this has existed since we became a public authority 17 years ago.”

Moreover, Katen-Bahensky added, the hospital has “a long history of collective bargaining and strong relationships with our labor unions. Eliminating collective bargaining for UWHCA has no fiscal effect to the state since we receive no General Purpose Revenue.”

Katen-Bahensky concluded with a gentle reminder that communicating with employees “about workplace decisions is a bedrock principle for us.”