Who Regulates Assisted Living Facilities?
There are twice as many assisted living facilities or similar options for long-term care than nursing homes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of assisted living facilities and similar options of care was over 30,000, while nursing homes were about 15,000, in 2014. As more baby boomers approach the age of 65, these new styles of long-term care will continue growing. So how are they being regulated?
When a program like a nursing home is funded by Medicare or Medicaid, they are required to follow the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act federal regulations. Some assisted living facilities do accept Medicaid, most are usually paid for privately. Facilities that do not accept Medicaid are regulated by the state and are issued an annual license after a yearly inspection. In Florida, there are two agencies that monitor regulation compliance, the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH). AHCA oversees issuing/handling licenses and health quality assurance. These facilities are inspected by a team of nurses, social workers, residents, and public health officials in order to reinstate their licenses annually. DOH is responsible for physical inspections of facilities to ensure compliance with environmental and food standards. Assisted living facilities can receive a variety of licenses.
Types of assisted living facility licenses:
- Limited mental health (LMH)
- Extended congregate care (ECC)
- Limited nursing services (LNS)
Being informed is the first step to making sure you are living the best senior lifestyle possible. To find out if a facility is regulated by AHCA visit FloridaHealthFinder.gov. If you or a loved one have questions, concerns or complaints against an assisted living facility call AHCA at 1-888-419-3456.