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News & Press: Regulatory

LTC Advisory Council News

Wednesday, July 19, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Bass
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From Forbes McIntosh, Government Policy Solutions, WALA Lobbyist

The Wisconsin Long-Term Care Advisory Council met last week in Madison. Below are some highlights of the meeting discussion/presentations:
Family Care
  • DHS started delivering Family Care services in Forest, Oneida, Taylor and other northern Wisconsin counties on July 1. That rollout in Geographic Service Region 4 will be fully implemented by Oct. 1.
  • The managed care organizations and IRIS consultant agencies have been selected for Family Care in Dane County. Family Care and IRIS will be implemented in Dane County in the first quarter of 2018. There will be two MCOs and four ICAs serving Dane County.
Home and Community Based Settings Rule
DHS has completed surveys and some site visits at residential facilities for compliance with the new federal Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) rule. State officials are holding off on sending final approval letters until the end of the year due to potential changes at the federal level. For non-residential facilities, DHS has asked select providers to look at the quality benchmarks and help evaluate what the benchmarks should be.
Healthy Wisconsin
DHS earlier this year launched its Healthy Wisconsin health improvement plan and initiative, which can be found online at website. The state has identified key focus areas for healthy outcomes for Wisconsin residents. They include: alcohol, nutrition and physical activity, opioids, suicide and tobacco. Carrie Molke of DHS said that many items in the report impact older adults and the disabled. DHS is developing external teams to further develop these initiatives and is seeking volunteers to serve on the work groups.
Dementia Crisis Innovation Grants
DHS is continuing to try to address dementia crisis response and has awarded seven mini-grants to coalitions around state for efforts on dementia crisis response.  Click here to read more. This is the second round of DHS grants on this issue.
Dementia Resource Network
A new Dementia Resource Network, led by the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, has been formed, with its first kickoff meeting held in May. This is a collaboration of partners to share best practices and innovations relating to dementia/Alzheimer's disease. There are two in-person meetings and four conference calls per year. All stakeholders are invited to participate.
Dementia Summit
DHS last held a Dementia Summit in fall of 2013 and is eyeing another summit in 2018. Those attending the DHS summit will help further craft the state's dementia plan. More details will be forthcoming.
Department of Workforce Development
A representative from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development gave a presentation on various workforce programs offered by DWD and various efforts by DWD underway to help boost the caregiver workforce in Wisconsin. These include offering care-working apprenticeships, involving more retired and disabled people in the workforce and more. However, some Advisory Council members noted that any efforts to address workforce shortages cannot only be between DHS, DWD and the LTC industry - it must be a statewide strategy also including K-12 schools, the UW and Technical College systems and more. DHS noted that the workforce shortage is not only impacting the LTC industry but most industries in the state, as employers across-the-board are scrambling to fill positions with qualified applicants.
Workforce is one focus area for the LTC Advisory Council, which has discussed the issue in brainstorming sessions in previous meetings. DHS staff plans to have the advisory council further flush out their recommendations to address the LTC workforce shortage at the next council meeting.
AARP Scorecard
A representative from the AARP Public Policy Institute gave a lengthy presentation on "Picking Up The Pace of Change: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities and Family Caregivers." Wisconsin ranked sixth-highest overall among all 50 states for its long-term care system. The scorecard compares states for: affordability and access; choice of setting and provider; quality of life and quality of care; support for family caregivers; and effective transitions. Kathleen Ujvari of AARP Public Policy Institute noted that data measures were limited somewhat by uniformity of data - or lack thereof - among all 50 states. Click here to read the report.

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