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:

  • 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, 15 KB) 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: http://dsps.wi.gov/Plan-Review

OPRI News (last updated 6/24/16)

  • Office of Plan Review and Inspection Welcomes New Staff

OPRI welcomed David Fliess, PE as the new professional staff Supervisor in January 2016. David came to OPRI from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) where he was a Federal Life Safety Nursing Home Surveyor for Region V. David brings a wealth of knowledge on code and regulation administration, survey process and leadership. David is based out of the Milwaukee Regional Office.

In May 2016, OPRI welcomed Michael Bowman, PE as the new Life Safety Surveyor to the Eau Claire Regional Office. Michael has an extensive construction and engineering background including project manager in private practice as well as Hans Timper Endowed Chair of Construction Leadership and Program Director at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. The experience and knowledge that Michael brings to our team will be an asset to all stakeholders in health care construction and facility operations served by OPRI.  

  • 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.

  • Save the Date – Health Care in the Built Environment Conference – October 27, 2016

OPRI is excited to announce the first Health Care and the Built Environment Conference. The conference will be held at La Sure's Banquet Hall in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Topics presented by national experts in their respective fields focusing on the three components that shape the Health Care Built Environment: ever changing health care delivery models, facility design and the regulatory environment. This conference brings together all stakeholders engaged in the infrastructure of health care while addressing the common thread of the regulatory model from planning and construction through occupancy.

Registration for the conference will begin in early August. Watch the DQA listserv for the online registration announcement. Not signed up for the DQA listserv?  Sign up now via the DQA Subscription Service.

Last Revised: June 27, 2016