Milwaukee city employees alerted to info breachMILWAUKEE (AP) — City of Milwaukee employees are being warned about a possible information breach.
Mayor Tom Barrett said Friday a flash drive containing city employee information was inside a car stolen from a Dynacare Laboratory employee.
Dynacare Laboratory is a contractor used by Froedtert (FRAY’-durt) Health Workforce Health in connection with the City of Milwaukee Wellness Program.
Barrett says the flash drive contained employee names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and gender. No financial information, medical records or test results were included in the database.
Barrett says the city will work with Froedtert Health to investigate the incident and take action.
The mayor says city employees also will receive a letter from Dynacare Laboratories offering a one-year free membership in an identity theft notification program.
Sebelius calls on Walker to expand MedicaidMILWAUKEE (AP) — President Barack Obama’s top health care official urged Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Friday to reverse course and accept $10 billion in federal funds to help expand the state’s Medicaid program.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the money would pay for costs that are currently being absorbed by taxpayers and community hospitals.
“I’m hoping the governor and Legislature will take a new look at this opportunity,” she said.
Sebelius visited a Milwaukee clinic Friday, part of a two-state swing that included a stop in Detroit a few hours earlier. In both cities she talked to people who already signed up for health care through the online federal marketplace or were in the process.
Her Wisconsin visit came a day after Walker, a Republican who opposes the new health care law, called a special legislative session to extend the deadline for moving 77,000 Wisconsin residents off Medicaid until April. Walker stiffened Medicaid eligibility in the state budget, forcing people off the state’s BadgerCare plan. He said the extension would give people time to sign up for private insurance on the marketplace and prevent lapses in coverage.
Sebelius applauded Walker’s decision, saying it would keep people from falling through the cracks. But she repeated that Walker should go a step further by accepting the federal funds.
Medicaid expansion was a key part of the federal health care overhaul but was optional for states. The federal government will pay the full cost of the new coverage from 2014-2016, then phase down to 90 percent.
Report: Much of UW 2012 reserves committedMADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin System officials planned to spend a large chunk of their 2012 reserves on several items including scholarships, construction projects and staff salaries, according to a state report released Friday.
System officials have come under intense criticism over the last six months after news broke that they built massive reserves while raising tuition year after year. State lawmakers have asked the Legislative Audit Bureau to review the reserves. Friday’s report was part of that review; the bureau also is studying the system’s financial statements.
The system’s institutions finished the year that ended on June 30, 2012, with a total of $1.04 billion on hand. The audit bureau limited its review to $755.4 million that came from tuition and student fees, federal reimbursements and general operations because campuses have considerable flexibility in spending from those accounts.
The audit found documents laying out spending commitments for nearly $460 million. Uses included scholarships, building leases and renovations, construction projects, staff salaries and funding the Flexible Option program, an initiative that allows students to earn college credit by demonstrating knowledge already learned through the workplace.
But institution officials didn’t provide any documents showing uses for $142.2 million, including $19.6 million in tuition and student fees and $122.6 million in federal dollars. They also didn’t provide auditors with any documents on uses for another $118.5 million, although that money came from sources that generally require specific uses.
The report said it wasn’t clear why the documents weren’t provided, although it did note that UW staff said they couldn’t provide spending plans for the federal money because it’s administered at the department level.
About 5 percent of the $755.4 million was committed to cover unforeseen contingencies, the report found. No school had a formal, written reserve policy, however.
Goofy Wisconsin Assembly session had it allMADISON, Wis. (AP) — It’s said nothing good ever happens after midnight.
Or maybe it’s 10 p.m.
Or 2 a.m.
When it comes to the Wisconsin Assembly, whenever it gets dark outside things tend to get goofy. Throw in the mix of it being the last day lawmakers are scheduled to be together for the year, and it can get downright surreal.
Case in point: the marathon session that began shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon and went nonstop until about 2:15 a.m. Friday morning.
The session had it all: a lot of debate over major policy initiatives that will affect nearly every person in the state, bitter partisan fights, one upsetting Twitter message, a reference to Johnny Cash, a wee bit of drama, a couple temper tantrums and a dash of bipartisanship