2017 Pacesetter Prize Winner

Wisconsin Is Awarded Choice of Setting and Provider

Why a Pacesetter Prize for Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is a national leader in providing LTSS and exhibited more progress in Choice of Setting and Provider than any other state. The state moved up from No. 8 to No. 6 in overall performance in the LTSS State Scorecard.

Wisconsin supports consumer choice through several innovative programs, including Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) that connect people to community services and help ensure the wise use of personal resources. Wisconsin rebalanced its Medicaid LTSS spending; expanded the Family Care and Include, Respect, I Self-Direct (IRIS) programs; and used managed care principles to serve residents in the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost.

Success Highlights

  • Wisconsin is in the final stages of expanding the Family Care and IRIS programs statewide, which, once fully implemented, will eliminate all remaining waiting lists for home- and community-based services. Both programs allow those with LTSS needs to self-direct their care and live more independently.
  • The percentage of older adults and people with disabilities first receiving LTSS in home- and community-based settings has increased steadily.
  • Wisconsin strengthened its efforts to provide nursing home residents opportunities to move back to community settings. Two key efforts included leveraging federal Medicaid funds to hire community living specialists and creating an automated referral system.
  • The Department of Health Services worked with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to expand use of the low-income housing tax credit and create affordable housing units for people with LTSS needs.

What’s next for Wisconsin?

To help ensure access to a high-quality workforce that is needed to meet consumer demand for community care, Wisconsin is taking steps to address the direct care workforce shortage. Its WisCaregiver Career Program is designed to train 3,000 nurse aides. In addition, Wisconsin plans to increase the payment rate for state-funded personal care services, representing the first increase since 2008.