RURAL MEDICAL CENTERS
In this subchapter:
“Health care services" means any of the following:
Care that is provided in or by any of the following:
Services that are specified in rules that the department promulgates.
“Hospital" has the meaning given in s. 50.33 (2) (a)
, except that “hospital" does not include a critical access hospital.
“Patient" means an individual who receives services from a rural medical center.
“Rural medical center" means an arrangement of facilities, equipment, services and personnel that is all of the following:
Organized under a single governing and corporate structure.
Capable of providing or assuring health care services, including appropriate referral, treatment and follow-up services, at one or more locations in a county, city, town or village that has a population of less than 15,000 and that is in an area that is not an urbanized area, as defined by the federal bureau of the census.
A provider of at least 2 health care services under the arrangement or through a related corporate entity.
The department shall do all of the following:
Provide uniform, statewide licensing, inspection and regulation of rural medical centers as specified in this subchapter.
Promulgate rules that establish all of the following:
For the operation of licensed rural medical centers, standards that are designed to protect and promote the health, safety, rights and welfare of patients who receive health care services in rural medical centers.
Minimum requirements for issuance of a provisional license or a regular license to rural medical centers.
Fees for rural medical center provisional licensure and regular licensure. The amounts of the fees shall be based on the health care services provided by the rural medical center.
A procedure and criteria for waiver of or variance from standards under par. (a)
or minimum requirements under par. (b)
History: 1995 a. 98
; 1997 a. 27
See also ch. DHS 127
, Wis. adm. code.
Licensing procedure and requirements. 50.52(1)(1)
No person may be required to obtain licensure as a rural medical center, except that no person may conduct, maintain, operate or permit to be conducted, maintained or operated health care services as a rural medical center unless the rural medical center is licensed by the department.
The department shall issue a provisional license or a regular license as a rural medical center to an applicant if all of the following are first done:
The applicant pays the appropriate license fee, as established under s. 50.51 (2) (c)
. Fees collected under this paragraph shall be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.435 (6) (jm)
for licensing and inspection activities.
Except as provided in par. (c)
, the department inspects the health care services provided by the applying rural medical center and finds that the applicant is fit and qualified and meets the requirements and standards of this subchapter and the rules promulgated under this subchapter.
In lieu of conducting the inspection under par. (b)
, the department accepts evidence that an applicant meets one of the following requirements:
Has applicable current, valid state licensure or approval as a hospital, a nursing home, a hospice or a home health agency.
Has an applicable, current agreement to participate as an eligible provider in medicare.
Satisfies qualifications that are specified by the department by rule.
Each license shall bear the name of the owner of the rural medical center, the name and address of the rural medical center and the health care services that the department licenses the rural medical center to provide.
A regular license issued to a rural medical center is valid until it is suspended or revoked. A provisional license issued to a rural medical center is valid for 6 months from the date of issuance.
Each license shall be issued only for the rural medical center and owner that are named in the license application and may not be transferred or assigned.
History: 1995 a. 98
; 1997 a. 27
Inspections and investigations. 50.53(1)(1)
The department may conduct unannounced inspections or investigations of a rural medical center as the department considers necessary.
A rural medical center that is inspected or investigated under this section shall provide the department with access to patient health care records, regardless of the source of patient health care payment, to fulfill the purpose of any inspections or investigations that the department conducts.
History: 1995 a. 98 50.535
Every 24 months, on a schedule determined by the department, a licensed rural medical center shall submit a biennial report in the form and containing the information that the department requires, including payment of the fee required under s. 50.51 (2) (c)
. If a complete annual report is not timely filed, the department shall issue a warning to the licensee. The department may revoke the license for failure to timely and completely report within 60 days after the report date established under the schedule determined by the department.
History: 1997 a. 27
An entity that is not licensed as a rural medical center under this subchapter may not designate itself as a “rural medical center" or use the phrase “rural medical center" to represent or tend to represent the entity as a rural medical center or services provided by the entity as health care services provided by a rural medical center.
No person may do any of the following:
Intentionally prevent, interfere with or impede an investigation by the department of an alleged violation or enforcement by the department of a requirement of this subchapter or the rules promulgated under this subchapter.
Intentionally retaliate or discriminate against a patient or rural medical center employee for doing any of the following:
Initiating, participating in or testifying in an action to enforce any provision of this subchapter or rules promulgated under this subchapter.
Intentionally destroy or modify the original report of an inspection that the department conducts under this subchapter or the rules promulgated under this subchapter.
History: 1995 a. 98 50.55
Penalties and remedies. 50.55(1)(a)(a)
Any person who violates this subchapter or any rule promulgated under this subchapter, except s. 50.54 (2)
, may be required to forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each offense. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate offense.
In determining whether a forfeiture is to be imposed and in fixing the amount of the forfeiture to be imposed, if any, for a violation, the department shall consider all of the following factors:
Any previous violations committed by the licensee.
The financial benefit to the rural medical center of committing or continuing to commit the violation.
The department may directly assess forfeitures provided for under par. (a)
. If the department determines that a forfeiture should be assessed for a particular violation or for failure to correct it, the department shall send a notice of assessment to the rural medical center. The notice shall specify the amount of the forfeiture assessed, the violation, and the statute or rule alleged to have been violated, and shall inform the licensee of the right to a hearing under par. (d)
A rural medical center may contest an assessment of forfeiture by sending, within 10 days after receipt of notice under par. (c)
, a written request for hearing under s. 227.44
to the division of hearings and appeals under s. 15.103 (1)
. The division shall commence the hearing within 30 days after receipt of the request for hearing and shall issue a final decision within 15 days after the close of the hearing. Proceedings before the division are governed by ch. 227
All forfeitures shall be paid to the department within 10 days after receipt of notice of assessment or, if the forfeiture is contested under par. (d)
, within 10 days after receipt of the final decision, unless the final decision is appealed and the decision is in favor of the appellant. The department shall remit all forfeitures paid to the secretary of administration for deposit in the school fund.
Whoever violates s. 50.54 (2)
may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months or both.
The department may, upon the advice of the attorney general, who shall represent the department in all proceedings under this subsection, institute an action in the name of the state in the circuit court for Dane County for injunctive relief or other process against any licensee, owner, operator, administrator or representative of any owner of a rural medical center for the violation of any of the provisions of this subchapter or rules promulgated under this subchapter if the department determines that the violation seriously affects the care, treatment, health, safety, rights, welfare or comfort of patients.
History: 1995 a. 98
; 2003 a. 33
Any of the following facilities or entities is not required to obtain licensure or a certificate of approval under the following statutes or to pay license fees under the following statutes if all of the services of the facility or entity are provided as a part of a rural medical center that holds a valid license under this subchapter: