March 2, 2016
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Family Care/IRIS 2.0: The Concept Paper

DHS unveils design for next generation of long-term care in Wisconsin

Building on the foundation of Family Care and IRIS, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today released a draft Concept Paper for Family Care/IRIS 2.0, to enhance the scope of services available to adults with disabilities and frail elderly, and to extend those services to every county in the state.  To read the Concept Paper contact DHS.

“This coordinated care model focuses on the whole person, including overall health and service needs, while maintaining the ability to self-direct the services that members can self-direct today,”  DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades said.  “We are proud of the reputation Wisconsin has earned for the quality of our long-term care services, and look forward to improving and expanding Family Care and IRIS, to ensure the best quality of life for those we serve, now and in the future.”

2015 Wisconsin Act 55 directs DHS to make a variety of changes to the Family Care program.  Under the direction of Governor Scott Walker, DHS will expand Family Care statewide, and transition to an outcome-based model that coordinates all of an individual’s care needs, so that all eligible adults will have access to coordinated primary, acute and behavioral health services, in addition to long-term care services. These changes will preserve the essential safety net program for Wisconsin’s frail elders and adults with disabilities by maintaining necessary health care services and long-term care, while slowing expenditure growth from an aging population.

Public Hearings

DHS is hosting public hearings to gather additional input on the Concept Paper. Written comments may be submitted through March 7 by emailing

Monday, March 7, 2016
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Florian Gardens Conference Center
2340 Lorch Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Monday, March 7, 2016
4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI 53713

Public hearings will be streamed live. 

Implementation of Family Care/IRIS 2.0 is dependent on approval by the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) and federal approval. Following the public hearings, DHS will submit a final version of the Concept Paper to JFC by April 1, 2016.