HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that health systems in the Madison, Wis., metropolitan statistical area (MSA) are expanding, adding inpatient and outpatient capacity and increasing their reach in the suburban areas of the region. According to the new Madison Market Overview, the positive outlook for this segment is reinforced by strong health system finances, along with high inpatient occupancy rates and an expected reduction in charity care and uninsurance in the state.
"Expansion projects, coupled with Wisconsin's plans to extend its subsidized health coverage, will yield positive results for Madison-area health systems even though state-subsidized initiatives are experiencing budget challenges as costs exceed revenues," said Dave Raiford, market analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "The financial strength of Madison's health systems, along with a local unemployment rate that is expected to remain stable over the coming year, should mean that area health systems weather the national economic downturn."
The three dominant health systems in Madison--UW Health, SSM Health Care of Wisconsin and Meriter Health Services--each represent about one-third of area inpatient discharges. Each health system operates with an integrated delivery structure with ownership interests in physician groups and complete or partial ownership of HMOs, which are a popular plan design in Wisconsin.
"As expansion projects continue, so should competition among UW Health, SSM Health Care of Wisconsin and Meriter Health Services," said Raiford. "However, a shift in competitive advantage among these health systems is unlikely. The market metrics indicate room for overall growth for each organization."
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