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Wisconsin Department of Health Services


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IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct)

Medicaid HCB Waivers Manual

Disability Rights Wisconsin (exit DHS)

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Quick Links:
IRIS Participant Map (116K PDF)
DHS IRIS Brochure
2009 Annual Report of Wisconsin's LTC Programs

Aging and Disability Resource Centers
IRIS Consultant Agency (Exit DHS)
IRIS Financial Services Agency (Exit DHS)
Wisconsin Medical Assistance
IRIS Program Feedback (45K PDF)


Accessing IRIS (519K PDF)
IRIS Consultant Agency (ICA) (Exit DHS)
IRIS Consultant Agency Role (40K PDF)
IRIS Customized Services (18K PDF)
IRIS Benefit Package (36K PDF)
IRIS Financial Services Agency (FSA) (Exit DHS)
IRIS Monthly Allocation Adjustment and Infrequent Expense Policy (86K PDF)
IRIS Program Policies (58K PDF)


Long-Term Care in Motion: 2011 Annual Report of Wisconsin's Long-Term Care Programs (6.85 MB PDF)
Long-Term Care in Motion: 2010 Annual Report of Wisconsin's Long-Term Care Programs (1.1 MB PDF)
Long-Term Care in Motion: 2009 Annual Report of Wisconsin's Long-Term Care Programs (594 KB PDF)

Steps on the Path to IRIS

IRIS is a Wisconsin long term care option that began July 1, 2008 and features individuals self managing their chosen publicly funded long term care supports, goods and services. The steps described below briefly outline how persons choosing IRIS can participate. Remember no one uses IRIS alone unless they choose to. Family, friends allies and also both the State DHS provided IRIS Consultant Agency and the Financial Services Agency are always there to give you help and support if you need it. You may also hire others out of your budget to help you be the best self manager possible! Specific details of IRIS are described in other documents available at this website.

Step 1:
Contact is made with the local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). Eligibility for publicly funded long-term care is established including long-term care functional eligibility and Medicaid financial eligibility.

Persons that must pay a monthly Medicaid Cost share make their cost share payment to the Financial Services Agency each month and the payment is recorded to ensure continued Wisconsin Medicaid eligibility.

Choices are offered including information on the estimated IRIS monthly budget amount and the choice to explore using IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) is made.

Step 2:
A state-funded IRIS Consultant Agency (ICA) helps the person select their IRIS consultant from an approved list of trained local consultants.

The chosen IRIS Consultant provides orientation and if requested, helps identify the participant's priorities and the specific goods and services to be purchased within the individual budget to help meet these priorities.

When the providers include paid caregivers, The state-funded Financial Services Agency (FSA) explains choices around being the direct employer of workers or using an employment agent and also employment rules including the requirement to have criminal background checks completed on certain providers. Time sheets and payroll calendar are provided for workers to know when they will be paid.

Step 3:
Decisions on selected goods and services such as the provider, fee agreement and service start date are completed and the IRIS Consultant documents the plan for participant signature and subsequent ICA approval.

If the monthly budget is insufficient to fund the cost of necessary and approved services, the ICA helps participants access the DHS Budget Review process to have their budget increased. Infrequent expenses such as housing modifications for example, are also accessed in this manner. The ICA helps participants get the funding they need to pay for goods and services.

Step 4:
State Department of Health Services sends a letter acknowledging IRIS participation and verifies eligibility details such as the start date and required annual review month.

Goods and services are received as agreed. The IRIS participant receives the invoice or time sheet, signs to authorize and forwards to Financial Services Agency for payment.

The Financial Services Agency pays providers as agreed and sends monthly spending updates to each participant. The FSA contacts the IRIS participant if spending doesn't match the plan.

IRIS Consultant Agency and Financial Service Agency provide ongoing support and guidance. As lives change so might the IRIS plan. IRIS maintains a toll free telephone number for participants to call at any time for answers to their questions.
1-888-515 IRIS (4747)


Choice is ongoing and IRIS participation is voluntary. Persons choosing to use IRIS as the method to self manage their publicly funded long term care goods and services may choose to discontinue IRIS at any time just like in other programs. Participants are asked to contact the ICA who will connect them to their local Aging and Disability Resources Center.


Where to find updated information:

We will continue to update and add to the information about IRIS and self-directed supports on these web pages, so check back frequently. If you need information that is not published here, you may contact:

IRIS Information
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Bureau of Long Term Support
1 West Wilson Street, Room 418

P.O. Box 7851
Madison WI  53707-7851

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Last Revised: January 30, 2014