(MADISON) John Vander Meer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Health Care Association and Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living (WHCA/WiCAL), issued the following statement regarding Assembly passageon Thursdayof Assembly Bill 432, legislation to help long-term care providers recruit more frontline caregivers:
Wisconsins long-term care providers face a significant workforce crisis that is further exacerbated by the fact that Wisconsin CNA candidates have an additional barrier to employment when compared to neighboring states. Wisconsin CNAs are required to have 45 more hours of training than those in Michigan, Minnesota, and Iowa. Members of the Wisconsin State Assembly in a bipartisan vote passed AB-432, which will help address Wisconsins ongoing workforce shortage by removing this barrier to employment.
In the midst of a significant long-term care workforce crisis, we must encourage more people to enter the CNA profession. AB-432 will help providers hire more caregivers and ensure that care facilities are able to continue offering the quality care our residents deserve and expect. Without an adequate workforce, it is very difficult for facilities to focus on advancing quality.
This legislation creates a clear standard for Wisconsin regulators and providers, as the bills language aligns Wisconsins standards with federal standards, while also providing flexibility to CNA training programs that want to continue offering current training levels. Ultimately, by helping address Wisconsins long-term care workforce crisis, AB-432 will help facilitate quality advancement in provider facilities. Along with adequate reimbursement, AB-432 will help Wisconsin facilities have the staff to maintain and advance quality care.
Wisconsins care providers thank Assembly leaders for advancing this bill, including Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) for his leadership on the bill as its primary Assembly author. Providers are grateful to the bipartisan coalition of Representatives who stood up for long-term care and supported this bill to help address Wisconsins long-term care workforce shortage.