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Early Evidence from Wisconsin’s Family Care Long-Term Care Pilot Program: Continuity and Change in the Provision of Formal Services

This report examines early evidence regarding service changes brought about during the first year of implementation of Family Care, Wisconsin’s pilot program for long-term care. Phone surveys were conducted with 64 care managers working in Family Care in four counties (Family Care CMs) and with 62 care managers working in the long-term support system across Wisconsin (Statewide CMs). The first goal of this report was to begin examining whether and how Family Care is changing the services provided to people with long-term support needs. Most care managers report that Family Care participants are accessing as many or more services than participants in the previous long-term support programs. Care managers suggest that the elimination of waiting lists and increased flexibility of both funds and program rules have, overall, led to more use of services and to more appropriate use of services under Family Care. However, both Family Care and Statewide care managers report many remaining challenges to meeting the service needs of program participants. The second goal of this report was to describe some of the specific service issues that will need attention to improve Family Care and the longterm support system in Wisconsin as a whole. Both Family Care and Statewide CMs listed their top three service concerns as (1) personal care/supportive home care services, (2) transportation services, and (3) residential options. In particular, unless more personal care/supportive home care workers become available, it will be difficult for any public program to meet the long-term support needs of Wisconsin residents. The third goal of this report was to describe some of the hopes and concerns that care managers have regarding the future of services under Family Care. Family Care CMs were, overall, very optimistic about the future of services under Family Care, believing that more people will be served, that more of their needs will be met, and that the greater flexibility of Family Care will allow needs to be met more appropriately. Research must continue in monitoring Family Care as it develops over time in order to learn how best to meet the increasing long-term support needs of residents of Wisconsin and other states.


Family & Partnering, Family & Partnering General


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