Assisted Living Industry - "State of the State"
PDF Version of OQA 06-010
(PDF 34 KB)
Date: July 17, 2006 -- DDES-BQA 06-010
Wisconsin Assisted Living Association
Residential Services Association of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Association of Homes/Services for the Aging
Wisconsin Health Care Association
Board on Aging and Long Term Care
Disability Rights Wisconsin
County Departments of Health/Human Service
Bureau of Long Term Support
Via: Otis Woods, Director, Bureau of Quality Assurance
From: Kevin Coughlin, Chief, Assisted Living Section, Bureau of
The purpose of this memo is to announce a new Department website
entitled "Assisted Living Industry -State of the State," which
can be found at:
This link will be updated semi-annually, and will
showcase industry and regulatory trends for assisted living. This is the
result of on-going efforts on the part of BQA to provide information and
data to consumers, providers, and other stakeholders in order to effect
positive changes. At this time, we would also like to recognize and
congratulate stakeholders for the positive changes that have occurred in
the last several years. This comes as a result of your efforts to strive
for excellence, lead change, and assure the involvement of consumers,
citizens, providers, advocates, community organizations, and government
agencies in all aspects of your work.
As many of you may recall, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee
conducted an evaluation of the Department of Health and Family Services'
regulation of assisted living facilities in 2001-2002. The report
indicated that assisted living was at a "critical juncture."
Coupled with significant growth in assisted living, the Department
identified a substantial increase in the number of complaints,
non-compliance with regulations resulting in serious enforcement actions,
and an inspection and enforcement process that was not well-established.
In order to effect positive change, the Department has promoted
increased collaboration among regulators, providers, provider
associations, advocates, counties, care management organizations, other
state program agencies, and stakeholders. We are all working toward a
common goal - improved quality of care and quality of life for consumers
in assisted living facilities. As a result of this collaboration, the
Department has developed policies to recognize providers with good
compliance history, to divert resources to facilities with correction
problems, and to provide technical assistance. Barriers between regulators
and partnering agencies involved with paying for the care of consumers in
assisted living have been reduced. Regulators continue to work closely
with providers, provider associations, and advocates to address emerging
issues and needs in the assisted living industry. In turn, the provider
associations have shared this information with their members, and have
provided training and support to promote positive outcomes for consumers.
The end result of these efforts is indicative of a stronger and
healthier industry than just a few short years ago. Since 2002:
- Assisted living facilities have grown by 16%;
- Complaints received have decreased by 26%;
- Only 13% of assisted living facilities make up 100% of all the
complaints received; and
- More facilities are qualifying for an abbreviated survey (improved
Despite these improvements, there are still issues that need to be
addressed. Assisted living continues to evolve and change, especially due
to the Department's initiatives to place more consumers in community
settings. It is important for all stakeholders to continue working
together to improve the industry. Thank you for all of your efforts. The
Bureau of Quality Assurance looks forward to working with you as we all
continue to do our very important work!
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