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Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 50, Revisions Relating to State Violations, Appeal Provisions, Forfeitures and Enforcement Action

PDF Version of DQA 11-034  (PDF, 80 KB)

Date: December 8, 2011 -- DQA Memo 11-034
To: Facilities Serving People with Developmental Disabilities FDD 13
Nursing Homes NH 24
From: Otis Woods, Administrator
Division of Quality Assurance

Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 50, Revisions Relating to State Violations, Appeal Provisions, Forfeitures and Enforcement Action

As many of you are aware, Governor Scott Walker signed 2011 Wisconsin Act 70 into law on November 16, 2011, effective December 2, 2011. The new law makes changes to Wisconsin Statutes affecting the regulation of nursing homes including facilities serving people with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this memo is to provide information to providers regarding the effect this law has on providers. Certain provisions in the law apply only to federally certified nursing homes; other provisions apply to all nursing homes and to facilities serving people with developmental disabilities. The complete text of 2011 Wisconsin Act 70 can be found at:

Federally certified nursing homes only

Section 50.04 (4) (am), Wis. Stats., outlines provisions pertaining to dual citations of federal and state violations in federally certified nursing homes. Under the new law, the Department of Health Services/Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) is prohibited from issuing a state violation if the Department has served a federal deficiency for the same facts. The only state violations that will be served are violations based on facts that have not been cited under 42 CFR 483, the federal regulations relating to the operation of a nursing home. This section of the law does not pertain to facilities serving people with developmental disabilities or to nursing homes that are not federally certified.

2011 Wisconsin Act 70 amends several sections of the statute to allow the Department of Health Services (DHS) to use violations of federal regulations to support state licensure actions taken against nursing homes. Under the new law DHS has the authority to consider certain violations of federal nursing home regulations in determining whether to issue a probationary or a conditional license, transfer the ownership of a facility, place a monitor in a facility, appoint a receiver, suspend admissions, suspend or revoke a license or take over operations of a nursing home. Additionally, s. 50.04 (8), Wis. Stats., was created and allows DHS to use federal civil money penalties (CMP) moneys to fund innovative projects that are designed to improve the quality of life, care and treatment of nursing home residents. Similar provisions are currently available in the Administrative Code for Nursing Homes, Chapter DHS 132. Since creating the quality assurance and improvement committee in 2007, DHS has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the development of innovative care practices in nursing homes.

All nursing homes and facilities serving people with developmental disabilities

Section 50.04 (4) (a) 2.b., Wis. Stats., was amended and expands the circumstances under which DHS has discretion to not cite a violation. The previous law limited the Department's discretion to self-reported violations which the facility had made every reasonable effort to prevent and correct the violation, but the violation occurred and remained uncorrected due to circumstances beyond the facility's control. Under the new law, the Department is also not required to cite a violation if the facility brings the violation to the Department's attention and the facility has corrected the violation.

The new law expands the amount of time allotted to contest a notice of violation or an assessed forfeiture. Nursing homes and facilities serving people with developmental disabilities now have 60 days to file an appeal of a violation or a forfeiture to the Wisconsin Division of Hearings and Appeals, instead of 10 days as previously required by law.

Section 50.04 (5) (c), Wis. Stats., imposes a completion date on the issuance of a forfeiture assessment by DHS. If the Department does not issue a notice of forfeiture within 120 days after the date the facility receives the violation, DHS may not assess a forfeiture for the violation.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Regional Field Operations Director for the region in which your facility is located. Regional contact information is located at:


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Last Updated: December 12, 2011