Wisconsin Personal Services Association: Statement on DHS Secretary-nominee Palm

Contact: Todd Costello, (608) 242-8335 ext. 1378

The Wisconsin Personal Services Association (WPSA) congratulates Andrea Palm on her nomination to serve as the next Secretary of the Department of Health Services.
“We greatly appreciate Ms. Palm’s comments today about the importance of addressing health care access issues in Wisconsin and ensuring that seniors can remain living in their own homes and communities,” said WPSA Legislative Chair Todd Costello. “WPSA stands ready to assist Secretary-nominee Palm and Governor-elect Evers’ administration in achieving these priorities by developing solutions to the direct care worker shortage.”

Wisconsin is currently experiencing a direct care workforce crisis so severe that it is putting people with disabilities and older adults in danger of serious illness, harm and a loss of independence. Personal care workers are on the front lines of Wisconsin’s long-term care and health care systems—they provide intimate, in-home services that help older adults and people with disabilities complete activities of daily living and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.

A recent survey of WPSA members revealed that the workforce crisis is posing serious threats to Wisconsin’s provider network and jeopardizing access to care: 1 out of 2 personal care agencies are considering no longer providing Medicaid services due to inadequate reimbursement rates and 1 out of 3 agencies are experiencing yearly worker turnover rates of more than 50%.

“We look forward to working with Secretary-nominee Palm, Governor-elect Evers and the Legislature to develop bi-partisan solutions to the direct care workforce crisis that will ensure access to these critical, community-based services,” said WPSA President Amy Weiss.

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