MADISON – The Wisconsin Health Care Association and Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living (WHCA/WiCAL) today thanked the Wisconsin State Legislature for passing a budget with significant funding increases for long-term care providers, which will help to address the long-term care workforce crisis that continues to devastate the sector and cause disruptions in access to long-term care and services across the state.
“This week’s action by the Senate and Assembly to approve increased skilled nursing Medicaid reimbursement and Family Care funding will deliver real, critically important benefits to Wisconsin’s long-term care providers, their dedicated staff, and the frail elderly and residents living with disabilities they serve every day,” said Rick Abrams, President and CEO of WHCA/WiCAL. “Wisconsin’s long-term care providers thank the Legislature for its continued commitment to securing the future stability of long-term care in Wisconsin.”
On a bipartisan vote in both chambers, the Legislature approved $252.4 million all funds over the biennium, including a state investment of $98 million, in nursing home reimbursement rates. In the Family Care program, the Legislature approved a total of $104.2 million all funds over the biennium, including a state investment of $40 million, for the Direct Care Workforce Fund program. Between state and federal dollars, this amounts to more than $356 million all funds in new money to Wisconsin’s long-term care providers. The budget bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration.
“These funding increases are desperately needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of nursing facilities and assisted living centers across the state, and the bill now before Governor Evers reflects the priorities he has advanced through the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving and his budget bill,” Abrams said. “Importantly, it will position the sector to begin the process of transforming long-term care so that all Wisconsinites have access to high quality care in the future.”