Feds Approve Wisconsin’s Family Care Renewal Request

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Family Care waiver renewal request has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The renewal is approved through December 31, 2014.

The approval means that the Family Care program can continue to provide services to needy residents in the state that allow them to live outside a nursing home. As a condition of the approval, CMS is requiring the state reimburse anyone who was harmed by the enrollment cap placed on the program last year as part of the state budget and lifted this spring under pressure from the federal government.

In its latest update to the Joint Finance Committee on Wisconsin’s Family Care program, DHS reported on the enrollment cap, specifically:

  • What individuals experienced between July 1, 2011 and April 3, 2012 (when there was a cap on enrollment);
  • Wisconsin’s action plan to expedite outreach and enrollment into (long term care) programs;
  • What is the wait list, who was enrolled and what are people waiting for; and
  • What are the (long term care) Sustainability Initiatives that generate savings and strengthen LTC programs in 2011-13 and in the future.

In a statement, DHS Secretary Dennis Smith thanked CMS for its work on the Family Care waiver, then noted, “[DHS] will now be able to focus our efforts on implementing reforms outlined in our sustainability plan that will allow us to provide long-term care services in a coordinated, efficient manner, as well as providing the supports these citizens need to live well in their communities.”

Additional information about the Family Care program and the Long-Term Care Sustainability Plan is available on the DHS website.