The long-term care industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is facing numerous challenges from staffing to financial sustainability. This budget makes investment to bolster, stabilize, and support long-term care providers across the state.
- Continue home- and community-based services. Home- and community-based services (HCBS) help older adults or those who have disabilities live independently in their community by providing help with tasks like getting in and out of bed, personal hygiene, preparing meals, and getting dressed. In 2021, ARPA gave states a temporary 10 percent increase to the federal matching percentage for certain long-term care Medicaid expenditures for HCBS and required states to reinvest those funds in the HCBS system. This budget provides state funds to continue those key investments, including to provide a 5 percent rate increase and develop a minimum fee schedule for HCBS.
- Complex Patient Pilot. The Governor’s budget also invests $15 million GPR into a Complex Patient Pilot which aims to address difficulties and delays experienced in placing individuals with medical challenges in post-acute care settings. The ongoing staffing issues faced by long-term care providers have led to costly delays in discharge from hospital settings and this pilot seeks to find innovative approaches to more timely placements. With the state’s population rapidly aging, investments like this are more critical than ever to ensure Wisconsinites are cared for in the most appropriate setting for their needs.
- Increase aging and disability resource center (ADRC) funding to keep up with increased demand. Wisconsin’s 47 ADRCs and seven Tribal ADRCs streamline and support access to services for older adults and those with disabilities, regardless of income. With services designed to support people to live their healthiest and most independent lives, resource centers can address the high rates of health disparities experienced by older adults who are disabled by tailoring programs to meet the specific needs of the community. This budget proposal recommends funding to ensure this service is available to all older adults and those with disabilities and expand caregiver support services to every county.
- Invest in the long-term care workforce. Long-term care workers provide care to Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents. Governor Evers’ budget proposal recommends providing funds to increase rates paid to personal care workers and to support the direct caregiver workforce in Family Care. The Governor recommends providing $88.8 million all funds over the biennium to increase the rates paid to personal care workers and an additional $88.8 million all funds over the biennium to increase the direct care and services portion of the capitation rates to support the direct caregiver workforce in Family Care.
- Expand the Alzheimer’s Family and Caregiver Support Program. The Governor’s budget increases the income eligibility threshold from $48,000 annually to $60,000 annually, in addition to increasing expenditure authority for the existing Alzheimer’s disease grant. The Governor also recommends providing increased funding to Aging and Disability Resource Centers to increase base allocations, as well as investing $13.6 million GPR into adult protective services, which protects elderly and vulnerable adults who are at risk of abuse and exploitation.