ACTION NEEDED: CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS ABOUT PROVIDER REIMBURSEMENT

With the Joint Finance Committee voting on some provisions of the 2015-17 biennial budget beginning next week, have you contacted both of your facility's State Representative and State Senators yet?

In case you were not aware the Governor’s budget includes a zero percent increase for skilled nursing providers in reimbursement and no guarantee of an increase in reimbursement for providers reimbursed by Family Care MCOs. Your advocacy on provider reimbursement is critical and Wisconsin’s LTC providers need your voice.

To that end, all WHCA/WiCAL members are asked to contact both their State Senators and Representatives as soon as possible to personally convey how their facility, workforce, residents, and community is and will continue to be impacted by the following startling demographics:

  • This year 66,000 Wisconsin Citizens will turn 65 and a larger number will turn 65 next year and every year thereafter until an unprecedented 84,000 hit age 65 in 2025. During that period Wisconsin’s over-85 citizens will increase by 140%;
  • The over-65 seniors, which comprised 14% of Wisconsin’s population in 2010, will expand to 24% in 2040;
  • While the Wisconsin’s over-65 population will increase by almost 500,000 over the next 10 years, Wisconsin traditional working age population is projected to increase by only 4,000.

The quality of care provided in Wisconsin’s long-term care facilities is ranked among the best in the country. However, because of the continuing failure of Medicaid to pay for the cost of care we provide (Wisconsin is currently ranked the 2nd worst reimbursement system in the country), we are increasingly losing existing and potential caregivers to other industries who can provide higher wages and benefits.

Finding and retaining sufficient numbers of caregivers to meet existing demand is exceedingly difficult. Without additional investment of Medicaid funding, it will become impossible for long-term care facilities to find caregivers dedicated to serving the 66,000 additional seniors who will enter the system every year for the next 10 years.

WHCA/WiCAL requests that all members share the above information and ask both their State Assembly Representatives and State Senators support for the following:

  • Support a return of the remaining $15 million taken from Wisconsin’s skilled nursing providers through the Bed Tax skim?
  • Support funding of skilled nursing facility resident acuity?
  • Support the creation of statutory language requiring Family Care MCOs to demonstrate that funding within their capitation payments related to enrollee acuity increases are passed through in rate payments to providers?
  • Support reinstating the “any willing provider/return to home” statutory provision which was repealed under the Governor’s proposed budget?
  • Wisconsin’s LTC provider community has jobs available for those who want to work, help to ensure that my facility can afford to hire those workers at a competitive wage?

Facilities desiring demographics specific to their county should contact Kate Van Camp at the WHCA/WiCAL office. To find out the contact information for the Legislators who represent your facility, please use the following links:

For more information on all of these and other issues related to the 2015-17 Biennial State Budget go to www.whcawical.org/budget.