MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers' administration is using CARES Act money to hire more staff at health care and nursing facilities across Wisconsin.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) and Department of Administration (DOA) have already contracted with a staffing agency to fulfill six staffing requests. The departments are now working on fulfilling another dozen requests.
Health care facilities that are running out of funds amid the pandemic can request additional resources, including staffing, with their local emergency managers. Those requests then make their way to the DHS and DOA.
The cost of the requests is split between the facility and the state of Wisconsin, which is using remaining CARES Act funds to fulfill the requests.
“Our health care and skilled nursing facility staff have been on the front lines of this pandemic since the beginning,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm in a statement Tuesday. “We will continue doing whatever we can to reduce the burden on them. Helping to ensure that our health care system has adequate staff to continue caring for all their patients and residents is a key component to the state’s COVID-19 response.”
Tuesday's effort comes after Evers and his administration pledged $30 million additional funding for a skilled nursing facility (SNF) post-acute care admission incentive program. The program supports nursing homes with costs from staffing additional beds. As of Dec. 8, 302 SNFs have received payments, and more funding is expected to be delivered by Dec. 21.
On Tuesday, the DHS reported 68 new deaths caused by the coronavirus, 214 new hospitalizations and a seven-day daily average of 3,876 cases.