The Arc Wisconsin worked with other advocacy and provider groups to distribute this letter to the Governor and the Legislature – highlighting the needs of home and community-based providers, direct support professionals and people who need their services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Many people are concerned that providers that offer employment, personal care, supportive home care, day services or other supports may go out of business because they cannot provide services and pay their workers at this time. Wisconsin needs to retain a strong provider network. The letter outlines that the Governor and legislature must work together to provide:
• HCBS provider retainer payments to service as gap funding due to the substanial loss of Medicaid revenue.
• Premium or Hazard pay for individual employees who currently, or will, provide in-home or residential services to ensure people with disabilities are getting the support they need. The relief funding that is distributed to provider organizations should explicitly require significant increases in wages during this pandemic for those employees who currently provide in-home or residential services, are repurposed to new homes or residential settings within their existing multi-service agency or elect to temporarily provide services for another agency through a shared staffing arrangement.
• Appropriate personal protective equipment for workers who will be providing needed supports in people’s homes and other congregate living settings at this time.