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On September 15, Wisconsin’s state agencies submitted 2021-23 budget requests to the state budget office at the Department of Administration. From these documents, Governor Tony Evers will begin framing his own 2021-23 biennial budget proposal, which he will send to the legislature in February 2021.
While these documents are helpful in gaining insight into what the Governor’s budget may look like in terms of general spending levels, they lack the policy and new big-ticket funding initiatives we typically see unveiled in the executive budgets.
In the letter Evers sent to state agencies in June, he directed agencies to devise their requests with the assumption there will be zero growth in appropriations. Essentially, he requested agencies to develop budgets based on current funding letters. This is typical of the agency budget request exercise.
One of the few exceptions to the direction is for the Department of Health Services, which can propose a budget based on forecasted cost-to-continue needs for Medicaid spending. To that end, DHS is requesting a 16.4% increase in total department funding. Much of that increase comes from future Medicaid expenditure projections. However, the increase also assumes and budgets for accepting federal Medicaid expansion dollars, which would provide over $1.5 billion in new revenue for state Medicaid programs.
While Medicaid expansion will likely be included in Evers’ February proposal, it is unknown what in Evers will draw from across all the agency budgets.
Once Evers introduces his proposal in February, the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance will commence a series of hearings and debates that will likely take place March and May. Then the legislature will look to pass a final proposal in June 2021.
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
You are invited to join a webinar this Friday September 25, 2020 from 12:00PM-1:30PM EST for Home Health and Hospice Facilities presented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to discuss the Abbott BinaxNOW™ test.
On August 27, 2020, the Trump Administration announced the purchase of 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests to be distributed across the country. You are receiving this email because your organization could receive Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Point of Care (POC) SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), if you meet HHS criteria regarding testing prioritization. Training videos, modules, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the BinaxNOW™ test can be accessed here on Abbott's website. For questions regarding the BinaxNOW™ test, please call Abbott Technical Services at 1-800-257-9525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For shipment issues or questions, email ARDxUSGovernmentSupport@abbott.com.
To assist states, home health agencies, and hospice facilities, HHS will host a webinar with Abbott on September 25, 2020 from 12:00PM-1:30PM EST to walk through the HHS BinaxNOW program, manufacturer's training and introduce the product. The webinar will have a training from Abbott to demonstrate the training tools available and answer questions and representatives from the U.S. Government to speak about the program. Use the following link to register for the training: click here to register
If you are unable to attend the webinar the session will be recorded and available for review and shared soon. You can also access the Abbott BinaxNOW™ training portal using this link: click here to access training portal
William A. Dombi, Esq.
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has launched a newsletter to explain electronic visit verification in a clear and conversational way. The first issue contains information about the provider and worker identification processes and getting ready for Day 1 of EVV. Further issues of Your Key to EVV will be posted to the newsletter’s library page.
Nominate a yourself or a colleague to serve on the WiAHC Board of Directors today!
WiAHC is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members are elected annually to staggered three-year terms. Board members develop and manage the affairs of the Association and are supported by Committee Chairs and staff. Positions include Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Regional and At-Large Representatives.
Positions serve a three-year term, starting January 2021. Those elected will also be invited to attend the final Board meeting of 2020.
To be eligible, a nominee's home health agency must be a current member of WiAHC.
How to Nominate
Nominating is easy, quick and simple!
Submit a nomination by completing the call for nominations form here.
The deadline to submit nominations is October 2, 2020.
WI Department of Health Services
Wisconsin Makes CARES Act funds available to home and community-based service providers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, emergency medical services, and clinics
Starting Friday, September 4, the Department of Health Services (DHS) will once again be accepting applications for Wisconsin’s program to provide relief for specific types of health care service providers to offset losses or expenses they incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding being used was allotted to the state under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The second round of the CARES Act Provider Payment (CAPP) Program will use the same application as the first round and will be open to the same provider types with one addition:
Read more here
Yesterday also marked the release of a new Marquette University Law School poll, which provides the latest insight on voter preferences on the presidential election as well as opinions on handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and popularity of masking.
Here are some topline results:
Preference in the Presidential Election
Trump Approval Rating
Trump Handling of COVID-19 Pandemic
Evers Approval Rating
Evers Handling of COVID-19 Pandemic
Masks Should Be Required in Public Places
On August 11, Wisconsin held its partisan primaries for state legislative offices. These elections determined which two major party candidates will square off against each other in November.
While most sitting legislators were either unchallenged or were expected to handily win their primaries, political spectators had their eyes on the following races:
· 60th Assembly District GOP Primary - Ozaukee County: Rep. Brooks v Chris Reimer
· 82nd Assembly District GOP Primary - Franklin: Rep. Skowronski v Theodore Kafkas
· 90th Assembly District Dem Primary - Green Bay: Rep. Staush Gruszynski v Kristina Shelton
· 6th Senate District Dem Primary - Milwaukee: Sen. LaTonya Johnson v Michelle Bryant
· 10th Senate District GOP Primary - Northwest Wisconsin: Rep. Stafsholt v Cherie Link
After votes were totaled, the only incumbent to lose was Democrat Representative Staush Gruszynski, who faced a tough reelection bid following sexual harassment allegations from a legislative staffer earlier this year.
Also of note, State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald won the Republican Primary in the 5th Congressional District. Fitzgerald is seeking to replace longtime Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who is not seeking reelection. Fitzgerald's primary victory essentially guarantees his seat in Congress as the 5th District is overwhelmingly conservative. With Fitzgerald officially leaving the Senate, the Republican caucus are in search of a new Majority Leader, the most powerful position in the State Senate.
The state is now set for the November 3 general election. All 99 Assembly seats are up for election as well as 16 of the 33 Senate seats. For complete primary results, please see here.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
What is Electronic Visit Verification?
The federal 21st Century Cures Act requires all states to put Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) into effect. This applies to all Medicaid-covered personal care and some supportive home care services.
EVV uses technology to make sure members and participants get their personal care or supportive home care services. EVV will not change your care. You will continue to receive the care you need.
Starting in November 2020, workers must use EVV for each visit. During each visit, six pieces of information will be recorded.
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) training is being offered for personal care provider agencies, supportive home care agencies, and program payers. The intended audience for these trainings is provider agency and program payer administrative staff. The goal is for these staff to be trained on EVV so that they in turn can train other agency staff, including workers. DHS will provide an EVV system free of charge. However, provider agencies may choose to purchase an alternate system that meets DHS requirements. DHS will offer EVV-system trainings for administrative staff, specific to the EVV system being used:
The trainings are offered to assist with agency compliance before DHS’ scheduled implementation of the electronic visit verification (EVV) on November 2. EVV will be required for Medicaid-covered personal care and supportive home care services that include personal care. EVV uses technology to verify that billed services were provided. Refer to the July 2020 ForwardHealth Update (2020-31), titled “Implementation of Electronic Visit Verification for Personal Care and Supportive Home Care Services,” for detailed information on EVV policy, technology, and validation.
Additional information is available on the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s website (link) for updates and information. This site includes an informational video on the program, and summary of key policy decisions.
The Certified Home Care & Hospice Executive (CHCE) certification is available to eligible individuals in home care/hospice leadership positions. This includes executives and managers in provider organizations and those serving in related organizations such as consultants, accreditation and regulatory surveyors, and state home care associations.
Certification is a sign of commitment to your profession as a home care or hospice executive. It communicates pride in your work and dedication to being fully versed in all of the areas of executive management required to effectively run a home care or hospice agency.
In order to receive your CHCE certification you must complete a few steps.
Step 1. Submit your application. The application fee for NAHC members is $20, for nonmembers it is $50
Step 2. Once approved you may register to take the CHCE Exam and will receive access to the CHCE Study Guide. The certification exam for NAHC members is $200, and $500 for nonmembers. The timed exam consists of 223 questions covering the following topics Legal Requirements, Financial Operations, Payment Source, Regulatory Compliance, Strategic Planning and Operations, Human Resources, Quality and Performance Improvement, Risk Management, Marketing and Public Relations, Training and Continuing Education, Ethics, Technology Application, and Policy and Advocacy. You will have one year to prepare for the exam.
Step 3. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your certification materials. Your CHCE certification will be valid for 4 years.
Ready to become a Certified Home Care & Hospice Executive. Get started today!
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