Alabama: Overview of Assisted Living Licensing

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

Licensing of Senior Homes in AlabamaIn the state of Alabama, there are several types of facilities that provide care services for adults. Facilities that specifically provide assisted living services for the elderly are called assisted living facilities and specialty care assisted living facilities.

  • Assisted living facilities provide assistance with activities of daily living to two or more individuals as per Alabama Administrative Code (AAC) 420-5-4-.01
    • A Congregate Assisted Living Facility is authorized to provide care for 17 or more adults
    • A Family Assisted Living Facility is authorized to provide care for two or three adults
    • A Group Assisted Living Facility is authorized to care for four to 16 adults.
  • Specialty care assisted living facilities meet the definition of an assisted living facility, but they are specifically licensed to provide care for residents who have a cognitive impairment that would make them ineligible to stay at an assisted living facility as per AAC 420-5-20-.01.

Hospitals, nursing homes or specialty care facilities are not considered assisted living facilities or specialty care assisted living facilities.

Who licenses Assisted Living Facilities and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities?

The Alabama Department of Public Health Bureau of Health Provider Standards is responsible for licensing health care facilities. There are two types of licenses issued to assisted living facilities as per AAC 420-5-4-.02 and 420-5-20-.02:

  • A Regular licenseĀ is issued when there is a reasonable likelihood that the operator is capable of achieving and maintaining substantial compliance;
  • A Probational license is issued when the State Board of Health believes the operation is questionable but that the health and safety of residents will not be endangered during the probationary period of one year.

Facilities are required to post their license in a conspicuous place in the facility as per AAC 420-5-4-.02 (3) and 420-5-20-.02 (3).

What is required to obtain anĀ Assisted Living Facility or Specialty Care Assisted Living Facility license?

In the license application, the owner applicant must provide the bed capacity, name of the facility administrator and the physician who has agreed to respond to patient emergencies.

For Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities, additional documents are required to be included with the application. These documents include local zoning approval, a facility diagram illustrating licensed beds and room numbers, and articles of incorporation.

How do I know whether an Assisted Living Facility or Specialty Care Assisted Living Facility is licensed in Alabama?

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

How frequently are Assisted Living Facilities and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities inspected?

Facilities are inspected upon initial licensing. Subsequent unannounced inspections will occur for as long as the community is licensed.

  • All state inspection reports and corrective action plans from the past 12 months must be posted in a prominent location in the facility as per AAC 420-5-4-.05 (3) and 420-5-20-.05 (3).

Where can I find the inspection reports of Assisted Living Facilities and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities in Alabama?

The statement of deficiencies for facilities are available online. You may search by facility name, county or facility type.

How long are facilities required to maintain their copy of inspection reports?

AAC 420-5-4-.05 (2) and AAC 420-5-20-05 (2) requires that reports of investigations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of residents, and misappropriation of resident property are to be retained for at least three years.

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

To file a complaint, you can call the Bureau of Health Provider Standards at 1-800-356-9596. You may then receive a follow-up call regarding your complaint to verify details or be asked for more information.

If the complaint addresses endangerment of a resident or denying families or health care workers access to the facility, the complaint is promptly investigated. For all other complaints, they are handled during the routine unannounced inspection.

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