Indiana: Overview of Assisted Living Licensing

Indiana Assisted Living RegulationsWhat types of facilities provide assisted living services for seniors in Indiana?

In the state of Indiana there are several types of facilities that provide care services for adults. Facilities that specifically provide assisted living services for the elderly are called residential care facilities and housing with services establishments.

  • A residential care facility is a health care facility that provides residential nursing care as per 410 Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) 16.2-1.1-62. Residential nursing care covers a range of nursing services which include diagnosis or carrying out a health care regimen as prescribed by a physician or nurse practitioner.
  • Housing with services establishments provide limited assistance with activities of daily living, along with services such as room, laundry and meals, and do not requiring licensing if the administration of medication or residential nursing care is not provided.

Who licenses Residential Care Facilities in Indiana?

Within the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH)’s Division of Long Term Care is the Residential Care Facility Licensing Program, which is charged with licensing and conducting surveys and complaint investigations against residential care facilities. There are three types of licenses that may be issued to a residential care facility as per 410 IAC 16.2-3.1-2 (g), which also refers to Indiana Code (IC) 16-28-2-4:

  • A provisional license may be issued when the facility is new or has been under new ownership for less than 12 months. This license type cannot be renewed for more than 12 consecutive months.
  • A full license is issued when the applicant demonstrates compliance with the provisions laid out under IC 16.
  • A probationary license as per IC 16-28-3 under circumstances that include conducting a practice found to be detrimental to the patients’ welfare or consecutively employing more than one health facility administrator who is provisionally licensed under IC 25-19-1-3(b).

Facilities are required to conspicuously post their license or a true copy in a location accessible to public view as per 410 IAC 16.2-3.1-13(n).

What is required to obtain a Residential Care Facility license?

As part of the licensure process, an applicant must submit an Application for License to Operate a Health Facility. Applicants are required to provide information that includes who will serve as director of nursing, care level and ownership and controlling interest information. For new facilities, detailed architectural and operation plans must also be submitted for approval. A report by the state fire marshal which states the facility is in reasonable compliance with the fire prevention and building safety commission is also required for licensing.

How do I know a Residential Care Facility is licensed?

The Residential Care Facility Licensing Program has an online directory that lists all the licensed health facilities in Indiana. There is also a separate directory available to search for free-standing residential care facilities.

How frequently is a Residential Care Facility inspected?

Though the IAC doesn’t detail how often a residential care facility is inspected, facilities are inspected annually as part of the license renewal process.

  • Facilities are required to maintain survey reports for a period of two years and make the reports available to the public upon request as per 410. IAC 16.2-3.1-13(g)(6).
  • Residents also have the right to examine the results of the most recent annual survey and plan of correction (if applicable). Facilities must make the results available in a place readily accessible to residents and post a notice of their availability as per 410 IAC 16.2-3.1-3(b)(1).

Where can I find the inspection reports of a Residential Care Facility?

The inspection reports are available in an online directory under the Residential Care Facility Consumer Reports search on the Residential Care Facility Licensing Program homepage. You may search by facility name, facility type, county or city. For reports older than 2011, you will need to submit a public records request to the department.

How long is a Residential Care Facility required to retain their copy of the inspection reports?

Facilities are required to maintain survey reports for a period of two years as per 410. IAC 16.2-3.1-13(g)(6).

How can I file a complaint against a Residential Care Facility and what is the complaint process?

To file a complaint, you may either email or fax a complain report form to ISDH or call their toll-free line at 1-800-246-8909. The severity of the complaint will determine how it is prioritized, and a visit by a surveyor may occur anywhere from one to two days after the complaint is received to being addressed at the next scheduled comprehensive annual survey.

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