MADISON – The Wisconsin Health Care Association and Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living (WHCA/WiCAL) today applauded the Joint Finance Committee for approving budget proposals to support long-term care in Wisconsin. The committee today voted to include a 2% increase in each year of the biennium for skilled nursing Medicaid reimbursement and $60 million (all funds) over the biennium for Family Care funding in the 2017-19 state budget.
“The Joint Finance Committee members today demonstrated true leadership by working to address Wisconsin’s long-term caregiver workforce crisis through budget motions increasing funding for nursing home reimbursement and Family Care,” said John Vander Meer, WHCA/WiCAL Executive Director. “The budget approved today will help providers fill needed caregiver positions and increase care access for Wisconsin’s frail elderly and disabled populations.”
The legislative vote today follows earlier support by Governor Scott Walker, who included a 2% nursing home reimbursement increase in his budget proposal.
A recent survey of Wisconsin care facilities found that 1 in 7 caregiver positions remains vacant. Vander Meer said that care facilities are finding innovative ways to advance care quality during the workforce crisis, but the bottom line is that providers require proper reimbursement to offer wages competitive with retail stores and gas stations.
“Today’s vote to increase skilled nursing reimbursement and Family Care funding will deliver real, tangible benefits to Wisconsin’s long-term care providers and the frail elderly and disabled residents they serve every day,” Vander Meer said. “Wisconsin’s care providers thank Joint Finance Committee members, along with Governor Walker, for their leadership and commitment to long-term care.”