State officials visited the Lakeside Health and Rehabilitation Center in Chippewa Falls after residents' families called with complaints. Surveyors usually don't wait for that kind of cue to check out nursing homes around the state.
Their visits are often frequent and random in nature. The homes expect a state official to stop by every nine to fifteen months. They also don't normally give any advance notice in an effort to make sure residents' needs are met all the time.
Wisconsin nursing homes are bound by a state code and federal regulations. A visit can be triggered by a complaint from someone living or working at the home, as well as a call from a family member.
Either way, the recommendation from the surveyor isn't always set in stone.
"If a surveyor is unfair or approaches us inappropriately, there's a complaint process for that," said Joey Pettis of Dove Healthcare.
Nursing Home directors say they set their standards above those of the state's expectations so there shouldn't be an issue when they come in for an inspection.