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Legislators Outline Next Steps in the Design of Family Care/IRIS 2.0

On Friday, December 18 several members of the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee issued a letter to the Department of Health Services outlining their suggestions for the redesign of the Family Care and IRIS systems that support individuals with disabilities and older adults. Family Care/IRIS 2.0 is scheduled to go live after January 2017.

The letter suggests various performance measures and other quality indicators for the Department of Health Services to consider. The letter was issued following a November 18 informational hearing in which committee members heard from various national and state-level experts.

You can read the full letter here: DHS Letter on FamilyCare-IRIS.

Here is a summary of the letter’s main points:

• Family Care/IRIS 2.0 should include quality and performance benchmarks to guarantee an adequate provider network.

• Contracts should specify establishment of advisory committees and an active feedback loop for consumers that includes information on their quality of life.

• Contracts must emphasize reducing costly institutional placements and emphasizing home and community-based settings for people.

• Payments and financial incentives must be aligned with program goals. The state must regularly review quality benchmarks.

• Options counseling should be independent and provided at no cost. Ombudsman services must continue to be available to resolve complaints.

• The Department must ask questions to ensure Integrated Health Agencies understand how to fully implement self-direction and person-centered planning.

• Wisconsin should establish benchmarks related to increasing the number of people employed in competitive integrated jobs.

• The state should establish specific requirements of “readiness” before an Integrated Health Agency can do business in Wisconsin.

• Open enrollment periods should be flexible when people have a significant change in their care or providers.

• The state should take an active role in ensuring Integrated Health Agencies understand expectations and ensure that services are delivered.

What is Your Role?

If you would like to make sure that what is important to you is included in the new Family Care/IRIS 2.0 system consider the following steps:

1. Read the letter from legislators and decide which main points are important to you.
2. Take the time to thank the legislators who signed onto this letter.
3. Share a link to the letter with your own legislator and write a message about the points in the letter that are most important to you. Tell them how this impacts your life.
4. Ask your legislator to contact the Department of Health Services on your behalf to inquire about how their Family Care/IRIS 2.0 plan will address certain points.

You can find legislator contact information by entering your address here (Find My Legislators): http://legis.wisconsin.gov/