The department is receiving funds from a bonding initiative to enable it to issue approximately 3,500 decisions on applications for PECFA funding which had been awaiting the availability of funding. Because these decisions will be issued over a very short time frame, parties receiving decisions and law firms representing them, will be required to review and analyze a large volume of decisions to determine whether they wish to appeal specific departmental decisions. Given the large number of decisions and the normal rate of appeals, it is reasonable to expect that the public will be required to prepare and file a large volume of appeals within a short time period. Attorneys, lenders and consultants representing multiple claimants have expressed concern about the workload associated with having to review decisions and draft appeals on the higher volume of decisions issued by the department within the current 30 day window. The emergency rule temporarily expands the filing period from 30 days to 90 days to provide additional time to evaluate decisions and determine whether an appeal should be filed. The rule covers the time period when the highest volume of decisions are to be issued.
Publication Date:   February 15, 2000
Effective Date:   February 15, 2000
Expiration Date:   July 14, 2000
Hearing Date:   March, 27, 2000
Extension Through:   September 11, 2000
Employe Trust Funds
Rules adopted revising s. ETF 20.25 (1), relating to the distribution to annuitants from the transaction amortization account to the annuity reserve under 1999 Wis. Act 11.
Finding of Emergency
The Department of Employe Trust Funds, Employe Trust Fund Board, Teacher Retirement Board and Wisconsin Retirement Board find that an emergency exists and that administrative rules are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public welfare. A statement of the facts constituting the emergency is:
The Public Employe Trust Fund was created for the purpose of helping public employes to protect themselves and their beneficiaries against the financial hardships of old age, disability, death, illness and accident. The Trust Fund thus promotes economy and efficiency in public service by facilitating the attraction and retention of competent employes, by enhancing employe morale, by providing for the orderly and humane departure from service of employes no longer able to perform their duties effectively, and by establishing equitable benefit standards throughout public employment. There are approximately 102,000 annuitants of the Wisconsin Retirement System, of whom about 80% reside throughout the State of Wisconsin. The Department of Employe Trust Funds estimates that up to 7,000 public employes covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System will retire and take annuity benefits effective during 1999.
WRS participants who retire during 1999 are not eligible to have their retirement benefits calculated using the higher formula factors for pre-2000 service which are provided by the treatment of Wis. Stats. 40.23 (2m) (e) 1. through 4. by 1999 Wis. Act 11. Section 27 (b) 2. of the Act directs that any funds allocated to the employer reserve in the Trust Fund as a result of the $4 billion transfer mandated by the Act, which exceed $200,000,000 shall be applied towards funding any liabilities created by using the higher formula factors with respect to pre-2000 service.
If the existing administrative rule mandating proration is not revised, then the distribution of the funds transferred into the annuity reserve by Act s. 27 (1) (a) of 1999 Wis. Act 11 will be prorated with respect to annuities with effective dates after December 31, 1998, and before January 1, 2000. The extraordinary transfer of funds from the Transaction Amortization Account (TAA) mandated by 1999 Wis. 11 causes funds, which would otherwise have remained in the TAA to be recognized and fund annuity dividends in later years, to instead be transferred into the annuity reserve in 1999 and paid out as an annuity dividend effective April 1, 2000. Normally, annuities effective during 1999 would receive only a prorated dividend. If this occurred with respect to this extraordinary distribution, then annuitants with annuity effective dates in 1999 would be deprived of a portion of the earnings of the Public Employe Trust Fund that would otherwise have affected their annuities as of April 1, 2001 and in subsequent years.
Promulgation of an emergency rule is the only available option for revising the effect of Wis. Adm. Code s. ETF 20.25 (1) before December 31, 1999. Accordingly, the Department of Employe Trust Funds, Employe Trust Funds Board, Teacher Retirement Board and Wisconsin Retirement Board conclude that preservation of the public welfare requires placing this administrative rule into effect before the time it could be effective if the Department and Boards were to comply with the scope statement, notice, hearing, legislative review and publication requirements of the statutes.
Publication Date:   December 27, 1999
Effective Date:   December 31, 1999
Expiration Date:   May 29, 2000
Hearing Date:   February 11, 2000
Extension Through:   July 27, 2000
Health & Family Services
(Management, Technology, etc., Chs. HFS 1-)
1.   A rule was adopted revising chapter HFS 12 and Appendix A, relating to caregiver background checks.
Finding of Emergency
The Department of Health and Family Services finds that an emergency exists and that rules are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. The facts constituting the emergency are as follows:
Since October 1, 1998, the Department has been implementing ss. 48.685 and 50.065, Stats., effective on that date, that require use of uniform procedures to check the backgrounds of persons who apply to the Department for regulatory approval, to a county social services or human services department that licenses foster homes for children and carries out adoption home studies, to a private child-placing agency that does the same or to a school board that contracts for day care programs, to provide care or treatment to persons who need that care or treatment, or who apply to a regulated entity to be hired or contracted with to provide services to the entity's clients or who propose to reside as a non-client at the entity. The statutes direct the regulatory agencies and regulated entities to bar persons, temporarily or permanently, depending on the conviction or finding, who have in their backgrounds a specified conviction or finding substantially related to the care of clients, from operating a service provider organization, providing care or treatment to persons who need that care or treatment or from otherwise having contact with the clients of a service provider.
To implement the new Caregiver Law, the Department on October 1, 1998, published administrative rules, ch. HFS 12, Wis. Adm. Code, by emergency order. The October 1998 emergency rules were modified in December 1998 and February 1999 by emergency order, and were replaced by permanent rules effective July 1, 1999. On September 12, 1999, the Department issued another emergency order again modifying ch. HFS 12, but only the Crimes List and not the text of the chapter. The number of specified crimes was reduced to 79, with 6 of them, all taken from ss. 48.685 and 50.065, Stats., being crimes that permanently barred persons for all programs. The change to the ch. HFS 12 Crimes List was made at that time because the 1999-2001 Budget Bill, subsequently passed by the Legislature as 1999 Wisconsin Act 9, was expected to provide for a more modest list of crimes than the one that was appended to ch. HFS 12. The more modest crimes list published by an emergency rulemaking order on September 12, 1999 reflected the Legislature's intent that some persons who under the previous rules would lose their jobs effective October 1, 1999, were able to keep their jobs.
The 1999-2001 Biennial Budget Act, 1999 Wisconsin Act 9, made several changes to ss. 48.685 and 50.065, Stats., the Caregiver Law. These changes were effective on October 29, 1999. The Department's current rules, effective July 1, 1999, as amended on September 16, 1999, have been in large part made obsolete by those statutory changes. Consequently, the Department through this order is repealing and recreating ch. HFS 12 to bring its rules for operation of the Caregiver Law into conformity with the revised statutes. This is being done as quickly as possible by emergency order to remove public confusion resulting from administrative rules, which have been widely relied upon by the public for understanding the operation of the Caregiver Law, that are now in conflict with current statutes.
The revised rules minimize repetition of ss. 48.685 and 50.065, Stats., and are designed to supplement those statutes by providing guidance on:
  Sanctions associated with the acts committed under the Caregiver Law;
  Determining whether an offense is substantially related to client care;
  Reporting responsibilities; and
  The conduct of rehabilitation review.
Publication Date:   February 12, 2000
Effective Date:   February 13, 2000
Expiration Date:   July 12, 2000
Hearing Date:   April 13, 2000
Extension Through:   August 31, 2000
2.   Rules adopted creating ch. HFS 10, relating to family care.
Exemption From Finding of Emergency
The Legislature in s. 9123 (1) of 1999 Wis. Act 9 directed the Department to promulgate rules required under ss. 46.286 (4) to (7), 46.288 (1) to (3) and 50.02 (2) (d), Stats., as created by 1999 Wis. Act 9, but exempted the Department from the requirement under s. 227.24 (1) and (3), Stats., to make a finding of emergency.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Health and Family Services
Legislation establishing a flexible Family Care benefit to help arrange or finance long-term care services to older people and adults with physical or developmental disabilities was enacted as part of 1999 Wis. Act 9. The benefit is an entitlement for those who meet established criteria. It may be accessed only through enrollment in Care Management Organizations (CMOs) that meet requirements specified in the legislation.
The Act also authorizes the Department of Health and Family Services to contract with Aging and Disability Resource Centers to provide broad information and assistance services, long-term care counseling, determinations of functional and financial eligibility for the Family Care benefit, assistance in enrolling in a Care Management Organization if the person chooses to do so, and eligibility determination for certain other benefits, including Medicaid, and other services.
Until July 1, 2001, the Department of Health and Family Services is authorized to contract with CMOs and Resource Centers in pilot counties to serve up to 29% of the state's eligible population. Further expansion is possible only with the explicit authorization of the Governor and the Legislature.
When Aging and Disability Resource Centers become available in a county, the legislation requires nursing homes, community–based residential facilities, adult family homes and residential care apartment complexes to provide certain information to prospective residents and to refer them to the Resource Center. Penalties are provided for non-compliance.
These proposed rules interpret this new legislation, the main body of which is in newly enacted ss. 46.2805 to 46.2895, Stats. The Department of Health and Family Services is specifically directed to promulgate rules by ss. 46.286 (4) to (7), 46.288 (1) to (3), 50.02 (2) (d) and 50.36 (2) (c), Stats. Non-statutory provisions in section 9123 of 1999 Wis. Act 9 require that the rules are to be promulgated using emergency rulemaking procedures and exempts the Department from the requirements under s. 227.24 (1) (a), (2) (b) and (3) of the Stats., to make a finding of emergency. These are the rules required under the provisions cited above, together with related rules intended to clarify and implement other provisions of the Family Care legislation that are within the scope of the Department's authority. The rules address the following:
  Contracting procedures and performance standards for Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
  Application procedures and eligibility and entitlement criteria for the Family Care benefit.
  Description of the Family Care benefit that provides a wide range of long-term care services.
  Certification and contracting procedures for Care Management Organizations.
  Certification and performance standards and operational requirements for CMOs.
  Protection of client rights, including notification and due process requirements, complaint, grievance, Department review, and fair hearing processes.
  Recovery of incorrectly and correctly paid benefits.
  Requirements of hospitals, long-term care facilities and Resource Centers related to referral and counseling about long-term care options.
Publication Date:   February 1, 2000
Effective Date:   February 1, 2000
Expiration Date:   June 30, 2000
Hearing Dates:   April 25, & 27, May 2, 4 & 8, 2000
Extension Through:   August 28, 2000
Health & Family Services
(Community Services, Chs. HFS 30-)
Rules adopted revising ch. HFS 50, relating to adoption assistance programs.
Finding of Emergency
The Department of Health and Family Services finds that an emergency exists and that rules are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. The facts constituting the emergency are as follows:
This rulemaking order amends ch. HFS 50, the Department's rules for facilitating the adoption of children with special needs, to implement changes to the adoption assistance program statute, s. 48.975, Stats., made by 1997 Wisconsin Act 308. Those changes include permitting a written agreement for adoption assistance to be made following an adoption, but only in “extenuating circumstances;" permitting the amendment of an adoption assistance agreement for up to one year to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance when there is a “substantial change in circumstances;" and requiring the Department to annually review the circumstances of the child when the original agreement has been amended because of a substantial change in circumstances, with the object of amending the agreement again to either continue the increase or to decrease the amount of adoption assistance if the substantial change in circumstances no longer exists. The monthly adoption assistance payment cannot be less than the amount in the original agreement, unless agreed to by all parties.
The amended rules are being published by emergency order so that adoption assistance or the higher adoption assistance payments, to which adoptive parents are entitled because of “extenuating circumstances" or a “substantial change in circumstances" under the statutory changes that were effective on January 1, 1999, may be made available to them at this time, now that the rules have been developed, rather than 7 to 9 months later which is how long the promulgation process takes for permanent rules. Act 308 directs the Department to promulgate rules that, among other things, define extenuating circumstances, a child with special needs and substantial change in circumstances.
Publication Date:   November 16, 1999
Effective Date:   November 16, 1999
Expiration Date:   April 13, 2000
Hearing Dates:   February 24, & 28, 2000
Extension Through:   July 31, 2000
Health & Family Services
(Medical Assistance, Chs. HFS 101-108)
Rules adopted revising chs. HFS 102, 103 and 108, relating to the medicaid purchase plan.
Finding of Emergency
The Department of Health and Family Services finds that an emergency exists and that the rules are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. The facts constituting the emergency are as follows:
This order creates rules that specify the manner in which a new program called the Medicaid Purchase Plan, established under s. 49.472, Stats., as created by 1999 Wis. Act 9, will operate. Under the Medicaid Purchase Plan, working adults with disabilities whose family net income is less than 250% of the poverty line are eligible to purchase Medical Assistance, the name given to Medicaid in Wisconsin, on a sliding-fee scale. The order incorporates the rules for operation of the Medicaid Purchase Plan into chs. HFS 101 to 103 and 108, four of the Department's chapters of rules for operation of the Medical Assistance program.
The Medicaid Purchase Plan is projected to provide health care coverage to 1,200 Wisconsin residents with disabilities by the end of Fiscal Year 2001.
Health care coverage under the Medicaid Purchase Plan is identical to the comprehensive package of services provided by Medical Assistance. Individuals enrolled in the Medicaid Purchase Plan would also be eligible for Wisconsin's home and community-based waivers under s. 46.27, Stats., provided they meet the functional criteria for these waivers.
Department rules for the operation of the Medicaid Purchase Plan must be in effect before the Medicaid Purchase Plan may begin. The program statute, s. 49.472, Stats., as created by Act 9, effective October 27, 1999, states that the Department is to implement the Medical Assistance eligibility expansion under this section not later than January 1, 2000, or 3 months after full federal approval, whichever is later. Full federal approval was received on January 7, 2000. The Department is publishing the rules by emergency order with an effective date of March 15, 2000 to meet the expected program implementation date and the legislative intent in order to provide health care coverage as quickly as possible to working people with disabilities.
The rules created and amended by this order modify the current Medical Assistance rules to accommodate the Medicaid Purchase Plan and in the process provide more specificity than s. 49.472, Stats., as created by Act 9, regarding the non-financial and financial conditions of eligibility for individuals under the Medicaid Purchase Plan; define whose income is used when determining eligibility and the monthly premium amount; explain statutory conditions for continuing eligibility; explain how the monthly premium amount is calculated; describe the processes associated with the independence account; and set forth how the Department, in addition to providing Medical Assistance coverage, is to purchase group health coverage offered by the employer of an eligible individual or an ineligible family member of an eligible member for the Medicaid Purchase Plan if the Department determines that purchasing that coverage would not cost more than providing Medical Assistance coverage.
Publication Date:   March 15, 2000
Effective Date:   March 15, 2000
Expiration Date:   August 12, 2000
Hearing Dates:   June 15, 16, 19 & 20, 2000
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.