senior holding hand of healthcare worker
headshot of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Wisconsin will commit more than $500 million for payments and incentives to nursing homes by increasing reimbursement rates, Gov. Tony Evers (D) said Tuesday.

Payments to offset losses and expenditures experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic were provided through one-time federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act funding. 

“The pandemic has put a significant strain on our healthcare workforce, and we’re making critical investments so providers can better keep pace with rising costs and maintain access to care for Wisconsinites,” the governor said.

Evers and the state Department of Health Services also announced Tuesday that Wisconsin has increased reimbursement rates by 5% for several types of home and community-based services provided to members of Wisconsin’s Medicaid programs. This includes care received at assisted living communities as well as in personal care, home health, substance abuse treatment, in-home nursing and therapy facilities. The higher rates took effect at the beginning of the year and will run through March 2024 using federal coronavirus relief money.

Last week, the Evers administration announced the state has worked to recruit almost 600 temporary staff to support the state’s healthcare workforce.

“As our state continues to face some of the worst case increases we’ve seen during this pandemic, we’re working to ensure our state’s hospitals and long-term care facilities have the resources and support to retain and recruit workers and continue providing care to folks across our state,” the governor said at the time.