Construction/Remodeling Plan Review for Health Care Facilities

This website provides information and instructions on how to submit plan reviews to the Department of Health Services (DHS), Division of Quality Assurance (DQA), Office of Plan Review and Inspection (OPRI) for the construction and remodeling of:

2018 Health Care in the Built Environment Conference – March 14, 2018

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Facilities serving people with Developmental Disabilities (FDD)
  • Community-based residential facilities (CBRF)
  • Hospice inpatient facilities
  • Other occupancies physically attached to a hospital, nursing home, CBRF, or hospice inpatient facility

The authority for DHS plan review specifically relates to the building, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and fire protection system construction projects for the above listed health care facilities.

Pre-design meetings for all health care projects are structured to promote compliance with the appropriate codes, familiarize the design team with Wisconsin inspection processes, and establish communication links. As part of the process, it is highly recommended that a pre-design meeting be established with all stakeholders early in the early planning states of any health care project.

OPRI has regulatory authority for CBRF health care plan review. Potential CBRF projects are now addressed from pre-design through construction by a single agency – DHS. The Memorandum of Agreement Diagram (PDF) outlines the scope of health care plan review provided by our office.

DHS grants “permissions to start” for footings and foundations. The permission to start form, additional fee payment, completed application and construction/remodeling plan must all be submitted in order to grant this permission.

NOTE: Unique systems not reviewed by DHS for the providers listed above include plumbing systems, private onsite waste treatment, elevators, boilers, and mechanical refrigeration systems. These systems are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Safety and Professional Services for review. Information regarding their plan submittal process is available at:

OPRI Annual Report – 2016

The OPRI Annual Report 2016, P-01449 (PDF) includes information on project costs, life safety code citations and additional plan review related statistics.

2016 Health Care Built Environment Conference

Health Care Built Environment (2016 HCBE) conference presentations remain available on the DQA Webcast webpage.

2018 Health Care Built Environment Conference

The Health Care in the Built Environment Conference will be held on March 14, 2018.

OPRI News (last updated 6/5/17)

  • Effective July 1, 2017 OPRI Consolidates Plan Submittal

With a focus on continued improvement to meet the expectations of the health care construction industry OPRI will consolidate all plans to only be submitted to the Milwaukee office. Plans received in one central location will result in efficiencies as we continue to streamline our processes to better serve the built environment of the health care industry. All health care construction plans can be submitted to the Milwaukee office effective immediately. Any plans submitted to the Madison office after July 1, 2017, will be transferred to the Milwaukee office for processing. The submittal address remains unchanged.

  • CBRF and Hospice Projects Reviewed by Office of Plan Review and Inspection Only

Submittal and review is now streamlined to highlight the Department focus on efficiency. Potential CBRF projects are now addressed from pre-design through construction by a single agency.

CBRF and hospice projects subject to review by OPRI include new construction, additions, alterations or change of use as well as licensure changes. Construction document review by OPRI and conditional approvals shall precede municipal permitting for construction to proceed.  

  • Pre-Design Meetings Continue to Promote Project Success

Pre-design meetings for health care projects are structured to promote successful outcomes. The pre-design meeting, facilitated by OPRI representatives, brings together the owner/provider, designer(s), builder(s) as well as the local building and fire officials. The meeting addresses project scope, schedule, expectations, communications and responsibilities. Pre-design meetings for all the stakeholders are highly recommended for any health care project early in the planning stage. Reference the OPRI Regional Representative Maps found on the OPRI Plan Intake Staff and Inspectors web page to contact staff representatives and schedule the pre-design meeting.

Last Revised: January 11, 2018