David Blaska (608) 266-6925
Mary Rowin (608) 261-8885
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(MADISON, October 6, 1998) - Gov. Tommy G. Thompson announced today that five Wisconsin counties have been selected as care management organization demonstration sites as part of "Family Care," the state's redesign of long-term health care. Fond du Lac, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Portage, and Richland counties will pioneer the care management organization concept, which is the centerpiece of the new care system for adults with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and frail elders.
"These five counties represent the diverse make-up of our state," Gov. Thompson said. "I'm delighted that they are willing to spearhead this effort towards a redesigned long term care system in Wisconsin, and I'm confident they will do an outstanding job." Gov. Thompson unveiled the Family Care proposal in his January 1998 State of the State Address.
"Family Care will create a flexible new long term care system in Wisconsin," Gov. Thompson said. "The current long term care system is intimidating, complex and often inefficient. There are 40 ways to access the system, people don't know how to get the appropriate care because it's so complicated, and the concerns of families are often ignored."
Gov. Thompson said that Family Care will combine the state's long term care programs into one system to provide the maximum range of care options for seniors and disabled. It will be built upon consumer choice and one-stop shopping for services. The care management organization is a major component of the redesigned system. The demonstrations will test the capacity of the state and the counties to achieve better long term care outcomes while preserving the important elements of the current long term care system, such as ensuring an individual's rights and preferences.
The Department of Health and Family Services has already begun testing resource centers, the other major component of the new Family Care program. Resource center pilots are operating in eight counties and one tribe: Fond du Lac, Jackson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Marathon, Milwaukee, Portage, and Trempealeau counties and the Oneida Tribe. The resource center pilots are testing a new method of determining functional and financial eligibility for the redesigned long term care system as well as developing state-of-the art information and assistance capacity.
Four entities will serve as alternate demonstration sites: Kenosha, Marathon, and Waukesha counties, and the three-county consortium of Vilas, Forest, and Oneida. An alternate county would become a pilot care management organization if one (or more) of the original pilot counties decides to drop out for whatever reason.