Florida: Overview of Assisted Living Licensing

What types of facilities provide assisted living services in Florida?

Lake Eola and Orlando, Florida SkylineIn the state of Florida, there are several types of facilities that provide care services for adults. Facilities that specifically provide housing and assisted living services, such as bathing, grooming or supervision, for the elderly are called assisted living facilities and adult family care homes.

  • Assisted living facilities provide personal care services in a homelike environment that respects the independence of their residents. Facilities may serve one resident to several hundred and may offer multiple levels of personal and nursing services to meet their residents’ needs as per Florida Statute (FS) Part I Chapter 429.02.

    • If an assisted living facility serves three or more mental health residents, a Limited Mental Health license is also required for operation. A mental health resident is an individual who receives social security disability due to a mental disorder as determined by the Social Security Administration.
    • If an assisted living facility has a Limited Nursing Services license, its staff may provide services such as application and care of routine dressings but residents cannot require 24-hour nursing supervision.
    • If an assisted living facility has an Extended Congregate Care license, its staff may provide supportive services that enable residents to age in place in a residential environment despite mental or physical limitations that might have otherwise disqualified them from becoming a resident of an assisted living facility.
  • Adult family care homes provide full-time services, including housing, meals and assistance with activities of daily living, in a family-type living arrangement in a private home for up to five residents who may be seniors or adults with a disability as per FS Part II 429.65.

Who licenses Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Family Care Homes in Florida?

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Bureau of Health Facility Regulation’s Assisted Living Unit is responsible for licensing assisted living facilities and adult family care homes.

  • FS Chapter 408.804 (2) requires the licensee to display the license in a conspicuous place readily visible to clients who enter the facility.

What is required to obtain an Assisted Living Facility or Adult Family Care Home license?

Each license type has a separate application process and required documents that  must be submitted when applying for a license. The assisted living facility license requires applicants to submit information which includes background screening, proof of financial ability to operate and a satisfactory fire safety inspection report.

For assisted living facilities, FS Chapter 408.808 outlines the license categories, which include

  • A standard license if the applicant is in compliance with all statutory requirements and agency rules and is valid for two years.
  • A provisional license when an applicant has a pending proceeding regarding denying or revoking a license at the time of license renewal.

The required documents which must be submitted with an application for an adult family care home include names of other household members, an income and expense statement and a community residential home affidavit of compliance.

  • A conditional license may be issued at time of renewal if the adult family care home is found to have uncorrected violations, and the license period shall not exceed six months as per Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 58A-14.003.

How do I know an Assisted living facility or Adult Care Home is licensed?

The Assisted Living Unit provides an online directory of Florida assisted living facilities and adult family care homes, which also includes links to inspection reports. There are also separate directories available of assisted living facilities that are unlicensed facilities or which offer Extended Congregate Care, Limited Mental Health and Limited Nursing Services

How frequently are Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Care Homes inspected?

A survey to determine general compliance with facility standards and compliance with residents’ rights is conducted as a prerequisite to initial licensure or licensure renewal as per FS Chapter 429.28 and FAC 58A-14010.

If a facility was cited for a class I, class II violation or more than three uncorrected class III violations during the previous year and is not scheduled for a survey during the current calendar year, then at least one monitoring visit is scheduled as per FS Chapter 429.28.

Where can I find the inspection reports of Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Family Care Homes?

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration posts the annual survey reports online.

  • As per FS Chapter 429.35 an assisted living facility is required to post a copy of the last inspection report in a prominent location that is accessible to all residents and the public. The facility is also to provide a copy if requested.
  • As per FAC 58A-14.0085 a copy of the most recent fire safety inspection, county health department inspection and survey and complaint investigation reports are to be maintained on premises of an adult care home; survey and complaint investigation reports are to be made available to the public upon request.

How long are Assisted Living Facilities or Adult Care Homes required to retain their copy of inspection reports?

All inspection reports pertaining to assisted living facilities that have been issued by the Bureau of Health Facility Regulation’s Assisted Living Unit shall be retained for five years from the date the reports are filed or issued as per FS Chapter 429.35.

Adult family care homes are required to retain for three years the survey and complaint investigation reports and notices of sanctions and moratoriums issued by the agency according to FAC 58A-14-0085.

How can I file a complaint against an Assisted Living Facility and Adult Care Homes and what is the complaint process?

The Bureau of Health Facility Regulation provides a helpful complaint FAQ page that details where you may file a complaint and how your complaint will be handled.

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