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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Division of Quality Assurance
(608) 266-8481

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Residential Care Apartment Complexes (RCACs)

Information for Staff and Management of RCACs

Independent apartment living options are classified as a Residential Care Apartment Complex (RCAC) and must adhere to State Administrative Code, DHS 89 (exit DHS).

An RCAC is a place where five or more adults reside. Apartments must each have a lockable entrance and exit; a kitchen, including a stove (or microwave oven); and individual bathroom, sleeping and living areas.

This living option also provides, to persons who reside in the place, not more than 28 hours per week of the following services:

  • Supportive Services: Activities related to general housekeeping, transportation to access community services and recreational activities.

  • Personal Assistance: Services related to activities of daily living, e.g., dressing, eating, bathing and grooming. The most common meal plan utilized by tenants of the RCACs is that consisting of two meals per day.

  • Nursing Services: Health monitoring, medication administration and medication management.

    Health monitoring means the assessment of physical, functional and cognitive status to detect changes that may indicate health problems and to facilitate appropriate intervention.

    Health monitoring and medication management are the most common services required by senior tenants primarily due to improper medication administration and poor/questionable nutrition practices.

  • Emergency Assistance: An RCAC shall ensure that tenant health and safety are protected in the event of an emergency and shall be able to provide emergency assistance 24 hours a day.

RCACs provide services either directly, or under contract, and the services must be part of the tenantís service agreement.

RCACs are not for those persons who are incompetent or for those with Alzheimer- related dementia or other infirmities of aging that require more in-depth monitoring by health care professionals.

RCACs may be a physically distinct part of a structure that is a nursing home or community based residential facility (CBRF).

RCACs self designate. Facilities serving only private pay tenants may be registered with the Division of Quality Assurance.

Certification is required to qualify for reimbursement from the Community Options Program (COP) and the Medical Assistance (MA) program in order to house tenants who are recipients of COP or MA funds.

RCACs pay a certification fee of $445, plus $7.60 per apartment. No fees are required for registered RCACs.

Sizes of RCACs can vary. Currently, RCACs range from 5-109 individual apartments, with the average complex size being 36 apartments.  RCACís costs range from $1,500 to $3,000 per month per tenant.

Certified RCACs are inspected biennially, via unannounced surveys and complaint investigations.

All RCACs must adhere to Chapters DHS 12 and DHS 13 (exit DHS), Wisconsin Administrative Code Ė Caregiver Background Checks and Allegation Reporting.

Last Updated: June 05, 2013