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DHS Seeks Input on Family Care and Family Care Partnership Programs for Waiver Renewal

People who receive services and others who are interested can share ideas about how to improve programs for the next five years

From now until August 1, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is seeking input about how we can make the Family Care and Family Care Partnership programs the best they can be. DHS will use the input to make proposed changes to the Family Care and Family Care Partnership waivers.


Family Care and Family Care Partnership are Medicaid long-term care programs for older adults and adults with disabilities. The goal is to get members the services they need to live in a home setting when possible. Together, the programs serve about 57,000 people across Wisconsin.


“Family Care is such an important, innovative program for people who have disabilities, are older, or have a chronic illness,” said DHS Secretary-designee Kirsten Johnson. “This is an opportunity to get direct feedback from the people who are served by Family Care on how it can be even better.”


Renewing the Family Care and Family Care Partnership waivers is required by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) every five years. A waiver is a request made to the federal government to design flexible, innovative Medicaid programs like Family Care. With the waivers, DHS can fund services and supports to help program members stay in their homes and communities.


DHS must submit the proposed waiver application to CMS by September 2024, and, after CMS approval, the changes will be in effect January 2025. Feedback from the following groups is essential to ensure proposed changes are equitable and support member choice, self-determination, and access to high-quality services:

  • Family Care and Family Care Partnership members

  • Families and caregivers

  • Providers

  • Managed care organizations

  • Advocates

Not every aspect of the Family Care and Family Care Partnership programs can change with the waiver renewal.


Changes DHS can make, include:

  • Which services are covered

  • What is included with covered services

  • Qualifications required by providers

Changes DHS can't make, include:

  • Provider rates (how much providers are paid)

  • Updates that are not allowed by state or federal law

DHS is collecting written input in an online survey, available in English, Hmong, and Spanish. It takes 10 minutes to complete. For those who prefer verbal communication, DHS will be hosting online public input sessions in July.


For more information about the waiver renewal, the survey, and timeline, visit the Family Care and Family Care Partnership Waiver Renewal webpage.

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