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Waukesha County Enters Into Family Care

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Secretary Karen Timberlake announced the launch of Family Care in Waukesha County. Family Care will provide more choices and improved access to health and long-term care services for hundreds of seniors and people with disabilities in the area.

"Family Care will give senior citizens and disabled individuals in Waukesha County the option of receiving the long-term care they need within their homes or communities," said Secretary Timberlake. "This initiative improves health care quality and access, saves taxpayers money and, most importantly, it keeps people healthy and independent. We are pleased to have Care Wisconsin and Community Care as partners in this program."

Secretary Timberlake was joined at the Care Wisconsin Offices in Waukesha by Ken Eimers, Chief Operating Officer of Care Wisconsin, community leaders, advocates and service providers to celebrate the occasion.

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Waukesha County, Community Care and Care Wisconsin are a part of the Family Partnership Care Management Coalition (FPCMC), one of the public/private partnerships to receive a planning grant for long-term care reform from Governor Jim Doyle and DHS.

"We are proud to be part of Family Care in Waukesha County," said Eimers. "This is a positive step forward to ensuring that frail seniors, adults with developmental disabilities and adults with physical disabilities get access to quality services when they need them and don’t go on a waitlist."

Care Wisconsin and Community Care started Family Care in Waukesha County on July 1, 2008. Initial members will include more than 700 individuals who have been waiting for services in Waukesha County and 1,142 individuals who have been participating in Waukesha’s Medicaid waiver programs. All current Medicaid waiver participants will transition to Family Care by January 1, 2009. Persons previously on waitlists should receive services within 24 months.

Family Care provides an entitlement to long-term care, using Medicaid dollars flexibly and not just earmarking dollars for nursing home care. While Wisconsin has been a national leader in offering community-based alternatives to nursing home care, about 11,500 people remain on waitlists for community care statewide.

Family Care currently operates in 17 counties throughout the state. In an independent assessment of four counties, Family Care saved an average of $452 per person, per month in total Medical Assistance expenditures. The program will expand to at least 25 counties by early 2009.