Wisconsin’s assisted living industry continues to grow, with 309 residential care apartment complexes (RCACs), 1,590 adult family homes (AFHs) and 1,514 community based residential facilities (CBRFs), as of June 2013, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance (DQA). There is particularly a lot of growth in Wisconsin among adult family homes, Alfred Johnson, director of the DQA Bureau of Assisted Living, said during the DQA State of Assisted Living Mid-Year Report presented during today’s Assisted Living Forum.
DQA enforcement efforts are centered around improving quality. Its enforcement strategies include to correct/sustain compliance, use progressive sanctions for continued non-compliance, take more aggressive action for persistent/serious non-compliance and collaborate with other agencies/stakeholders such as the Department of Justice. As of the end of June 2013, DQA issued 1,083 assisted living citations. The total for 2012 was 2,420, so the industry is tracking lower than in 2012 and previous years, Johnson said. In contrast, forfeiture assessments projected for 2013 are $1.17 million, the highest amount in at least the past 13 years. This reflects the progressive sanctions in the form of greater forfeitures for those AL facilities that are consistently in violation.
- Top citations for CBRFs are: “Service plans updated annually or on changes”, followed by “continuing education.”
- Top citations for AFH: “home environment”, followed by “safe physical environment.”
According to DQA, 6.6% of AL facilities make up 100% of enforcements so far in 2013.
In other business at today’s Assisted Living Forum:
- Sherri Olson of DQA gave a brief presentation about the requirements for communicable disease/tuberculosis screening and testing of new employees. According to state administrative code DHS 83.17(2)(a) : “The CBRF shall obtain documentation from a physician, physician assistant, clinical nurse practitioner or a licensed registered nurse indicating all employees have been screened for clinically apparent communicable disease including tuberculosis. Screening for tuberculosis shall be conducted using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards. The screening and documentation shall be completed within 90 days before the start of employment.” Participants on today’s Assisted Living Forum indicated that they are being informed of a nationwide tuberculin skin test antigen solution shortage.
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services this year plans to expand its Statewide Fall Prevention Initiative, which previously has focused on nursing homes, to include assisted living facilities. The department plans to put together some falls-prevention goals for assisted living, as well as provide public education on falls prevention in assisted living facilities, further develop coalitions advocating for falls prevention, partner with external consultants for training of care providers, potentially record a training webinar for the industry and develop best practices.
- The DQA DePere office is moving to downtown Green Bay at the end of September.
- Registration is now open for the Focus 2013 Conference, which will be held Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. To register, go to: http://www.uwsp.edu/conted/ConfWrkShp/Pages/Focus/default.asp