Department of Health Services Logo


Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Division of Quality Assurance
(608) 266-8481

Consumer & Provider Information

Provider Search

Choosing WI Residential Options

If You Have Complaints about Health/ Residential Care Providers

Facility Directories

Assisted Living Facilities (CBRFs, adult family homes, etc.)

Nursing Homes

Facilities Serving People with Developmental Disabilities

Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse and Mental Health

WI Adult Programs Caregiver Misconduct Registry

Residential Care Options - Definitions

Adult Day Care: A day program that provides the elderly and other adults with services when their caregivers are at work or need relief.

Adult Family Home: A place where adults who are not related to the operator reside and receive care, treatment or services that are above the level of room and board and that may include up to seven hours per week of nursing care per resident.

  • This definition pertains only to three-bed and four-bed Adult Family Homes, which are regulated by the Wisconsin Division of Quality Assurance.

  • One-bed and two-bed Adult Family Homes are regulated by individual county Human Services departments.

  • Community Based Residential Facility - definition of an entity serving five or more residents.

Assisted Living Facilities - refers to the following provider types:

Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF): A place where five or more unrelated people live together in a community setting. Services provided include room and board, supervision, support services, and may include up to three hours of nursing care per week.

Corporate Guardianship: A corporation or individual established to provide guardianship services for individuals who have no close family or other support systems and who need legal protection.

Facility Serving People with Developmental Disabilities (FDD): A residential facility for three or more unrelated persons with developmental disabilities. Also known as Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID)

  • Treatment is provided to help these people maintain and improve their current skills and to develop new skills (e.g., work, social, activities of daily living, education, etc.).

Home Health Agency (HHA): An organization that provides part-time and intermittent skilled nursing and other therapeutic services on a visiting basis to persons in their homes.

  • The home health agency shall directly provide or arrange for at least part-time or intermittent nursing services and provide or arrange for home health aide services.

Hospice: An agency that provides care to terminally ill persons who have a life expectancy of 6-12 months. This care can be provided in the person's home or in another setting (e.g., nursing home, community based residential facility, etc.)

Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities - see above: Facility Serving People with Developmental Disabilities.

Nursing Home: A residential facility that provides 24-hour services, including room and board to three or more unrelated persons. These persons require more than seven hours a week of nursing care due to their physical or mental condition.

Personal Care Agency (PCA): Is either a home health agency, county department, independent living center, American Indian tribe of band or a freestanding personal care agency that provides services that are:

  • medically oriented activities related to assisting an individual with activities of daily living necessary to maintain the individual in his or her place of residence in the community,

  • provided upon written orders of a physician by a certified personal care provider, and

  • provided by a personal care worker employed by the provider or under contract to the provider who is supervised by a registered nurse according to a written plan of care.

Residential Care Apartment Complex (RCAC): Independent apartment units in which the following services are provided: room and board, up to 28 hours per week of supportive care, personal care, and nursing services.

  • Formerly known as "Assisted Living Facilities."

  • Certified RCAC: house both private pay tenants and those eligible for Medicaid waiver, and are inspected every two years, plus complaints investigated.

  • Registered RCAC: house only private pay tenants, are not inspected, and only complaints are investigated.

Last Updated: August 21, 2014