WHCA/WiCAL Advocacy Center

In July, Governor Evers for signed into law a bipartisan budget with significant funding increases for long-term care providers. The increased funding for both skilled nursing facilities and Family Care providers will help to address ongoing funding challenges and workforce shortages.

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.

These funding increases are desperately needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of nursing facilities and assisted living centers across the state. 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.

Contact your legislators today to thank them for their support of long-term care in the 2021-23 State Budget!

Please contact WHCA/WiCAL CEO Rick Abrams with any questions. 

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How to Contact Your Legislators

How to Contact Your Legislators

Face Time with Legislators – The Most Impactful Method

WHCA/WiCAL is committed to sharing the story of Wisconsin’s long-term care community to make sure that local and state elected officials, as well as other stakeholders, understand the challenges involved with the workforce shortage. But the most influential testimony comes from YOU and the staff, residents, and patients you serve!

Make Your Phone Calls Count!

A phone call is not as personal as a visit, but more so than a letter. The rules are the same – make your points clearly and succinctly and then say goodbye.

  • Use the phone when time for action is short.
  • Use the phone when you want to convey urgency.
  • Leave a simple message stating your support or opposition to a bill by leaving the Assembly or Senate bill number and then ask your legislator to support your position.
  • Always mention your name, title, and facility affiliation.
  • Provide your contact information including your mailing address.
  • It is fine to ask the staff person to call you back and let you know what action the legislator takes

Make Sure Your Legislators Know About WHCA/WiCAL’s Top Priorities!

SNF Medicaid Reimbursement
According to numerous recent national studies, Wisconsin has one of the worst reimbursement systems in the country. While Wisconsin’s post-acute and long-term care centers are routinely among the highest quality facilities in the nation, without adequate reimbursement, how long will Wisconsin’s providers be able to maintain that high level of quality? Make sure that your legislators are aware of the high quality care that your facility provides and the tight financial strains that you face as a result of Wisconsin’s SNF Medicaid reimbursement.

Family Care Funding
Now is a crucial time for Family Care providers to contact your legislators and remind them that Family Care is a critical program for our state’s frail elderly and disabled populations, and that the state must invest in Family Care to advance dignity and independence of our state’s vulnerable citizens.

MCO Transparency
Wisconsin’s care providers believe there should be greater transparency and stability in the rates Family Care MCOs pay providers for the care they deliver. The significant cuts Wisconsin’s assisted living providers have sustained in recent years have left providers frustrated with limited warning or explanation about the rates they receive, and the lack of any real ability to negotiate with MCOs to cover more of their costs for the care they provide. Wisconsin’s Family Care MCOs should be held accountable for both the sustainability and suitability of the provider rates they propose. Contact your legislators about the need for MCO oversight and accountability.

Workforce Shortage
The workforce shortage in Wisconsin’s long-term care facilities is a serious problem that is getting more severe – currently, nearly 1 in 4 caregiver positions remain vacant. As a result of the fact that nearly 80 percent of our residents’ care is paid by Medicare and Medicaid, and more than 70 percent of a facility’s costs are labor-related, Wisconsin’s long-term care provider community can’t offer competitive wages for our state’s hard-working front-line caregivers compared to other major employers.

Skilled Nursing Facility Closures

 

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

LTC 101

This document provides an overview of long-term care settings and payment sources.

LTC Workforce Crisis Report

According to the 2020 Workforce Report, Wisconsin’s caregiver workforce shortage crisis is getting worse with nearly 1 in 4 caregiving positions remaining vacant.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

    • Average caregiver vacancy rate of 23.5% (19% in 2018 and 14.5% in 2016)
    • 1 in 4 providers are experiencing vacancy rates of 30% and higher
    • Estimated 20,655 vacant caregiver positions in long-term & residential care facilities
    • Nearly 50% of providers felt they were unable to compete with other employers
    • One in three providers are limiting admissions due to caregiver vacancies
    • 70% said there were no qualified applicants for caregiver openings

SNF Losses Factsheet

Medicaid underfunding, in addition to fueling the flame of decreased access to care, is also suppressing what nursing facilities can pay their workforce. With less funds available to pay staff, more health care heroes are leaving for other work. We need to retain these workers so this vital service can remain viable. Increased funding is imperative!

WI Medicaid Losses by Senate District

This document provides an overview of the Medicaid losses each skilled nursing facility in the state incurred in Fiscal Year 2019 broken down by State Senate districts. Overall, providers went unreimbursed for $294,151,333.65 in Fiscal Year 2019, an average of $78.55 per Medicaid resident per day.

SNF Closures Map

Since 2016, 50 skilled nursing facilities have closed in Wisconsin. The Medicaid losses that facilities sustain are a significant contributing factor to these facility closures

Economic Impact of LTC in Wisconsin

Long-term care facilities in Wisconsin support an estimated $9.56 billion of the state’s economic activity, directly employing over 80,000 Wisconsinites and generating $414 million in tax revenue for the state.

Archive

Archive

2021

  • Family Care Budget Ask HERE
  • Skilled Nursing Medicaid Budget Ask HERE