Texas: Overview of Assisted Living Licensing

What types of facilities provide assisted living services for seniors in Texas?

Austin, TexasIn the state of Texas there are several types of facilities that care for adults. Facilities that specifically provide assisted living services for the elderly are called assisted living facilities. As per Texas Administrative Code(TAC), Title 40, Part I, Chapter §92.3 there are three types of licensing.

  • A facility licensed as a Type A facility can only care for residents who are physically and mentally capable of evacuating a facility without physical assistance from staff, though use of wheelchairs or an electric cart is allowed. Residents must also have the capacity to evacuate themselves in the event of an emergency and follow directions under emergency conditions.
  • Residents of a Type B facility may require assistance to evacuate or are incapable of following directions during an emergency. Though residents may require assistance when transferring to a wheelchair, they must not be permanently bedfast.
  • Adult foster care services, which include providing at least three meals daily, oversight of medications and transportation services as per TAC Title 40 Part I Chapter 48 §8907, are provided in a Type C licensed facility. These facilities only have four beds and must be contracted with the Department of Aging and Disability Services before being licensed.

Who licenses Assisted Living Facilities in Texas?

The certification and survey of adult care homes is the responsibility of the Regulatory Services within the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services(DADS). A license is valid for two years after the date issued and is not automatically renewed according to §92.15.

  • As per §92.20 a provisional license is issued in cases where there is a corporate change of ownership or when an NFPA 101 inspection hasn’t been conducted for a newly constructed facility.

Owners or operators are required to conspicuously post the facility’s license in a public area that is readily available to employees, visitors and residents as per §92.127.

What is required to obtain an Assisted Living Facility license?

A facility is licensed if the requirements of §92.11 and 12 are fulfilled, which include the application is completed in accordance with the application’s instructions, written approval from the local fire authority that the facility meets local fire ordinances, and a health authority letter. The applicant must also provide documentation that either the application or license holder is qualified and eligible for licensing.

If the licensee intends to provide care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there is an additional separate application form.

  • When families visit facility that offers Alzheimer’s care, licensees are also required to provide a Disclosure Statement, which details the type of services provided, activity programs and methods used to address wandering so families may easier compare facilities.

How do I know an Assisted Living Facility is licensed?

There is an online directory available that lists the licensed facilities in Texas.

How frequently is an Assisted Living Facility inspected?

Following approval of the application, DADS conducts an on-site Life Safety Code visit to confirm the facility meets the licensure requirements related to facility construction. After the facility has admitted at least one, but no more than three residents, an on-site health inspection is conducted to ensure the facility is following the requirements laid out in standards for licensure.

Licenses are valid for two years and are renewed if the renewal inspection determines the facility meets the requirements laid out in Sec. 247.023 of the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 247 Subchapter A. During this two-year period, facilities may be inspected for reasons that include investigations of incidents or complaints or life safety code visits.

  • Facilities are required to conspicuously post a copy of the most recent inspection report in an area that is readily available to employees, visitors and residents as per §92.127.

Where can I find the inspection reports of an Assisted Living Facility?

The Long Term Care Quality Reporting System details a two-year inspection history for currently licensed communities. To obtain copies of the inspection reports, contact DADS Consumer Rights and Services.

How long is an Assisted Living Facility required to retain their copy of the inspection reports?

Assisted living facilities are required to maintain a copy of the current inspection report until the next inspection occurs.

How can I file a complaint against am Assisted Living Facility and what is the complaint process?

Complaints against an assisted living facility may be submitted either via phone (1-800-458-9585), via email or via mail. Once DADS receives a complaint, it is triaged as to its priority type:

  • on or before 24 hours
  • on or before 14 calendar days
  • on or before 30 days
  • on or before 45 days
  • Professional Review
  • Withdrawn
  • Not Required

Complaints that receive an immediate response (on or before 24 hours) are those in which a facility has failed to protect residents from mistreatment, neglect or abuse or serious injury, or death is likely. A complaint is investigated during a 14-calendar day window if the threat has been removed. For those complaints investigated on or before the 30-day or 45-day window, it’s because the complaint would have a low potential for more than minimal harm that would affect a resident’s well-being or safety.

The professional review priority type is assigned to those complaints self-reported by a provider when the well-being of a resident has been or may be affected by abuse, neglect or mistreatment and the provider’s immediate corrective action is reasonably likely to prevent the occurrence from happening again. If, after reviewing the provider’s written investigation report, an on-site investigation may be completed if needed. Complaints are classified as withdrawn when the complainant withdraws the request; however, complaints that allege abuse, exploitation or neglect are still investigated. For those classified as not required, which means DADS has no jurisdiction to investigate the complaint, it is referred to the appropriate agency.

Where can I find a list of Assisted Living Facilities which are Top-Rated Senior Living Communities?

Top Rated California Residential Care Facilities for the ElderlyIn 2013 SeniorHomes.com launched a nationwide program to identify the best senior living communities. Using local experts and state inspection data, we created Top 10 lists for several metros in Texas including Austin-Round Rock, Dallas, and Greater Houston.

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