MADISON — Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and the state Department of Health Services (DHS) pledged Nov. 17 an additional $80 million to support Wisconsin’s skilled nursing facilities through the end of the year. In addition, to address critical staffing shortages, DHS is partnering with the Departments of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) and Workforce Development (DWD) to enhance existing efforts to strengthen the workforce in Wisconsin’s health care and long-term care settings.
“This has been an incredibly challenging time,” said Gov. Evers. “And we can’t express our appreciation enough for the staff at all our skilled nursing facilities. We are truly grateful for their efforts in showing up to work every day and caring for our loved ones, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will continue to support them in any way we can.”
Over half of the allotted funds will be used to fund all eligible costs associated with the CARES Act Provider Payment program (CAPP), which aims to help skilled nursing facilities who experienced COVID-19 related losses or expenses. DHS is also investing an additional $30 million into a skilled nursing facility post-acute care admission incentive program. This program will support nursing homes with the cost of staffing additional beds, allowing them to admit more residents directly from a hospital and helping to alleviate strain on the hospital system.
Also integral to Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response is continuing to explore ways of boosting the state’s health and long-term care workforce. The partnership between DHS, DSPS, and DWD will seek to recruit new and former Wisconsin health care workers into settings where they are needed most.
“Our long-term care facilities have been vital to our statewide COVID-19 response,” said Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “These frontline workers are putting their lives on the line to care for our most vulnerable Wisconsinites. By investing in the state’s long-term care facilities, we are able to support their continued efforts.”
Governor Evers and DHS continue to explore every avenue to increase capacity for COVID-19 patients in the state and recognize the tremendous contribution of skilled nursing facilities in these efforts.