When Does a Nursing Home Have to Use a Resident Relocation Plan?

Whenever a nursing home or a community based residential facility intends to relocate five or more of its residents, Wisconsin law requires it to file a Resident Relocation Plan with the Division of Long Term Care of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Whether the proposed relocation is due to closure or downsizing, the facility may not begin any discharge planning for any of the residents until the Division of Long Term Care has approved the facility’s Resident Relocation Plan.

The Division of Long Term Care requires a Resident Relocation Plan under these circumstances in order to minimize Relocation Stress Syndrome (RSS), also referred to as “transfer trauma.” When a facility plans a relocation of residents, agencies providing services at the local, county, and state levels must come together to form a state relocation team to oversee the process. These team members include some DHS representatives, facility staff members, representatives from the Aging and Disability Resource Center and/or the county human services centers, and relevant consumer advocacy agencies.

Wisconsin law also sets forth some timeframes for the resident relocation process. For instance, the effective date of the closing of a facility cannot be earlier than 90 days from the date that the Division approves the Resident Relocation Plan if five to 50 residents are subject to relocation, or 120 days from the Division’s approval date, if more than 50 residents must be relocated. In some cases, it may take more than 90 or 120 days to properly relocate the residents. If this is the case, then the facility must remain open until relocation has occurred. Likewise, if successful relocation occurs at an earlier date, the facility may close.

At Boller & Vaughan, our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers want to help protect those who can protect themselves the least. When nursing homes or other medical facilities engage in a resident relocation plan, some residents can suffer. This is why we focus our efforts on protecting those who have fallen victim to abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. We are skilled at investigating your case and assessing your situation in order to decide whether you have any potential legal claims against the facility that took the neglectful and abusive actions against your loved one. Don’t hesitate to contact Boller & Vaughan right away and find out how our legal skills can help your family through this difficult situation.