Legislature has soft spot for personal care workers

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published July 1, 2000  | July 2000 issue

In an effort to stem a severe labor shortage that has brought about numerous care facility closings, the Wisconsin Legislature increased the reimbursement rate for personal care services by $3.25 an hour—or more than 25 percent—to $15.50 an hour.

Since the summer of 1997, more than 100 agencies that provided personal care were reported to have either closed their doors or discontinued those services mostly because of an inability to find and retain care workers.

The new law is expected to relieve some counties of financial shortfalls in paying for personal care and eliminate waiting lists to existing care facilities. Additional costs resulting from the law are estimated to be about $24 million, almost 60 percent of which will be covered by federal funding.