Department of Health Services Logo


Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Information memos

Numbered memos

Subscribe for email notification of each new memo


Department of Health and Family Services 
Division of Disability and Elder Services 
DDES Info Memo Series 2006 - 15
Date: July 26, 2006
Index Title: Statutory Changes Affecting Counties and DHS Licensed or Certified Providers

To: Listserv

For: Area Administrators / Human Services Area Coordinators
Bureau Directors/ Licensing Chiefs / Section Chiefs
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Tribal Chairpersons / Human Services Facilitators
Adult Day Care/Adult Family Homes
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinators
Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Area Agencies on Aging Executive Directors
Board on Aging and Long Term Care
Bureau of Quality Assurance Regional Field Operation Directors
Certified Mental Health and AODA
Community-Based Residential Facilities
County COP Coordinators/County Waiver Coordinators
County/Tribal Aging Unit Directors
Developmental Disabilities Coordinators
End Stage Renal Disease Centers
Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled
Home Health Agencies/Hospice Agencies
Long Term Support Coordinators
Lead Elder Abuse Agency Contacts
Mental Health and Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Treatment Programs
Mental Health Coordinators
Nurse Aide Training Programs/Nursing Homes
Outpatient Physical Therapy/Speech Pathology Services/Outpatient Rehabilitation
Portable X-ray Services
Residential Care Apartment Complexes (RCACs)
Rural Health Clinics/Swing-bed Hospitals
Tribal Chairperson/Human Services Facilitators
Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups - Elder Law Center
Disability Rights Wisconsin
Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities
Wisconsin Council on Mental Health

From: Sinikka Santala, Administrator DDES

Subject: Statutory Changes Affecting Counties and DHS Licensed or Certified Providers

From March through June 2006, many changes to state statutes that directly impact the populations we serve were enacted. The Department intends to issue additional information and guidance regarding these statutory changes at a later date. In the interim, counties and entities that are licensed or certified by the Department should be aware of the new laws. The Acts containing the statutory changes may be accessed through the following links:

WisAct 138 Notice regarding unauthorized acquisition of personal information.  Effective date: 3/31/2006.
WisAct 264 Primarily affects Chapter 55 codifies court cases and current practices, addresses areas of the law related to voluntary and court-ordered protective services, including psychotropic medications and psychiatric admissions, and court-ordered protective placements. Effective date: 11/1/2006.
WisAct 351 Applies to caregiver background information and providing a penalty.  Effective date: 5/3/2006.
WisAct 387 Applies to reorganization and modernization of Wisconsins definitions and procedures including those related to court-ordered guardianships, involuntary administration of psychotropic medication, protective placements and protective services, powers of attorney for health care and receipt and acceptance of foreign guardianships.  Effective date:  12/1/2006.
WisAct 388 Revises the reporting of and responses to abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders (age 60 and older) and vulnerable adults ages 18 to 59. Effective date: 12/1/2006.
WisAct 406 Applies to confidentiality of information entered into the statewide automated child welfare information system.  Effective date: 5/25/2006.
WisAct 444 Applies to informed consent for minors for inpatient and outpatient treatment for mental illness and developmental disability.  Effective date: 8/1/2006.
WisAct 449

Applies to registration and treatment records for services for mental illness, developmental disability, alcoholism, or drug dependence, exceptions to confidentiality for treatment records, and a good faith exception to liability for release of records by a record custodian.  Effective date: 6/6/2006

WisAct 485 Provides an exception to confidentiality requirements for treatment records.  Effective date: 6/14/2006.

Many of the new laws may have considerable impact on how you provide services and operate programs. To illustrate, changes to the guardianship law are so significant that it eliminates Chapter 880 and instead moves most provisions to a newly created "Chapter 54." The Acts listed above may also affect other chapters of the statutes. Examples would include a change in cross-references and expansion of definitions (e.g., adding a definition of serious and persistent mental illness to Chapter 51). All readers of this memo should periodically check for the latest revision to the Chapters, because many readers will find these easier to read and understand. Readers can find the latest revision to the Chapters by going to the following link, , and selecting the desired Chapter. Please note that some revisions to the statutes, such as deletions (e.g., the definition of "infirmities of aging" no longer will exist after 11/1/2006) will not be evident in these Chapters until the effective date of the changes. Also, Acts 264, 387 and 388 address some overlapping issues and contain some conflicting language; a reconciliation bill will need to be pursued during the 2007-2008 legislative session.

As stated above, the Department intends to issue additional information and guidance regarding these statutory changes at a later date. Appropriate Department contacts for questions regarding the content of the statutory changes will be identified at that time. In the meantime, should you have any program content or policy questions due to the statutory changes, please send the query to the following email address: . Once received, the email will be routed to the Department staff person most capable of responding to the question at this point in time. In addition, the topics raised by email will be compiled and guide the Department in development of technical assistance documents to be released at a later date.


Central Office Contacts:
Florence Rosner, Office Associate
Division of Disability and Elder Services
1 West Wilson Street, Room 450
PO Box 7851
Madison, WI 53707-7851
Phone: (608) 266-2536
Fax: (608) 267-3203


Return to Info Memos Index


Last Revised: January 29, 2014