DHS Proposes Plan to Raise Assisted Living Fees


As you will see below, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is proposing a plan to increase assisted living licensing fees by 85% to offset program deficits.  One option of this plan is to request funding as part of the next biennium budget which would then negate any increases on assisted living facilities.  We are in the process of having conversations with both DHS and key legislators on this proposal.

This information is provided by Forbes McIntosh at Government Policy Solutions, Madison.

In a memo to the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee co-chairs, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shared a proposal to significantly raise assisted living licensing fees to address Bureau of Assisted Living (BAL) program deficits.

BAL regulates Wisconsin's assisted living facilities, including community-based residential facilities (CBRFs), 3- to 4-bed adult family homes, adult day cares and residential care apartment complexes. In addition, the Division of Quality Assurance also certifies outpatient mental health clinics and alcohol and other drug abuse programs.

The DHS memo says the department collected about $2.25 million in assisted living and mental health/substance use license fees in FY23. However, the 2023-25 biennial state budget assigns about $3.4 million in budgeted cost to the fee revenues in FY24. In addition, the program began FY24 with a fee revenue deficit of $683,617.

DHS is proposing two alternatives to address the regulatory program deficits. "The new fee schedule provided in Attachment A would resolve the current fee revenue deficit. The fee schedule in Attachment B would both resolve current shortfalls and provide funding sufficient to support 32.0 additional FTE to assist with maintaining the Department's quality assurance efforts given sustained increases to our aging population and the significant care needs of individuals in these settings," the memo states.


The first scenario (Attachment A) would generate an additional $1.9 million.


The second scenario (Attachment B) would generate an additional $4.3 million.


DHS noted that its preference would be for JFC and the Legislature to cover the program deficits using state general program revenue (GPR) dollars - as proposed in Gov. Tony Evers 2023-25 biennial state budget proposal - and to not have to raise fees at all. However, DHS could raise the fees via the administrative rules process.