Wisconsin Partners Up to Offer Managed Care for the Elderly, Disabled

    • August 1, 2003

From 1993 through 1999, Wisconsin's Department of Health and Family Services (formerly Health and Social Services) developed and implemented a community-based managed care program—called the Wisconsin Partnership Program—for frail elderly people and people with physical disabilities who met nursing home admission criteria.

The program featured interdisciplinary clinical teams responsible for comprehensive care under full Medicare and Medicaid capitation (paying a flat rate per person per year regardless of what services are provided).

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Building Health Systems for People with Chronic Illnesses national program.

Key Results

  • Enrollment in the partnership grew steadily, from some 900 members in 2000 to 1,644 in 2004.
  • Enrollee visits to primary care physicians increased while episodes requiring acute care decreased.
  • Although all partnership members were eligible for a nursing home level of care, most were able to remain in their homes.
  • After the first five years of operation, all four contracting organizations were operating within their budgets.