By Tracy Ouellette
The Waterford Town Board is considering a change in public health service providers and has been researching options available to them.
Town Chairman Bob Langmesser has expressed dissatisfaction with the current health services provider, Western Racine County Health Department, on numerous occasions in the past month. It was, in fact, the first thing Langmesser brought up in the Waterford “super board” meeting Oct. 23.
Citing skyrocketing annual fees, Waterford’s share to WRCHD is $50,000 this year, and his inability to get itemized bills from the Health Department when he asks what the money they are paying is going to, Langmesser said the town was considering opting out of the health care co-op like Union Grove for 2013.
“When I get that bill, I can’t see what the town’s paying for,” Langmesser said. “They won’t break it out.”
Town of Norway Town Chairperson Jean Jacobson, who is a member of the Aurora Burlington Memorial Hospital board of directors, expressed concern that if communities continue to opt out of the co-op, prices would increase even more for the remaining members.
She also pointed out that Racine County is the only county in the state that does not have a county health department and if the state officials discovered it wasn’t working, they might step in and force the county to set up it’s own department, which would cause rates to increase immensely.
“This is not a good thing that’s happening,” Jacobson said. “What we don’t want is for the state to come down and say we have to have a county health department, which is what they want.”
Jacobson and Chris Bennett, also a Burlington hospital board member, said they would bring Langmesser’s concerns to the next Health Department board meeting. Langmesser told the two that he had gotten more cooperation in the last ten minutes from the two of them than he ever has from WRCHD.
Waterford Town Board member Tom Hincz said Nov. 12 he’s been checking with representatives of ProHealthCare and Central Racine County Health Department about switching the town’s public health services.
Hincz said the main issue is all the services WRCHD is billing the town for versus the services that the state requires to be offered.
“We don’t have any firm proposals,” Hincz said.
Hincz presented the information to the Town Board in closed session Nov. 12 and asked for the go-ahead to request formal proposals, including costs and services provided, from both ProHealth and CRCHD.
Hincz said it was possible the switch from WRCHD could happen for 2012.