Here at SeniorCareMike, we receive a lot of questions and many involve starting up an assisted living facility. Something that can be especially confusing for many first-timers is obtaining a license to operate your assisted living community.
Licensing for assisted living facilities is done by the states
So our answer to one reader about how to license their facility may not be of much help to another reader in a different state. We’re beginning a series of posts on the topic of licensing an assisted living facility.
Over time, we’ve had many requests for help with licensing your first facility and it seems most of those requests have come from Maryland, and so we’ve decided that Maryland is first up in this series.
Assisted Living Licenses in Maryland
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is responsible for licensing and regulating assisted living facilities in their state. A complete copy of the regulations for assisted living licensees is available online at the Maryland Division of State Documents. Anyone applying for a license should first become familiar with the regulations. This will not only help complete a license application but also help make sure you’re running your assisted living facility in compliance with the regulations once you’re up and running.
In the instructions, you’ll find a list of items that need to be submitted with the application. This is similar to license applications for assisted living in many states. Items include thing such as:
- A sketch of your physical site,
- A 4-week menu cycle for a regular diet with documentation by a licensed dietitian or licensed nutritionist that the menu is nutritionally adequate,
- Verification showing the building is owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of the applicant,
- Your program’s approved fire inspection report,
- Your Zoning Approval and/or Use and Occupancy Permit, if applicable,
- And more…be sure to review the full list in the application instructions available online.
A license fee must be paid when you submit your license application. The fee covers a two-year period and is non-refundable. The amount of the fee depends on the size of your facility: $100 for 1-4 beds, $150 for 5-15 beds, $250 for 16-49 beds, $330 for 50-99 beds, $500 for 100-149 beds, $750 for 150 plus beds. Compared to some states, the license fee in Maryland is low.
The next step will be a review of your application by a nurse surveyor. More documentation will be needed at this review to verify that you are qualified to operate an assisted living facility. A list of other documentation needed at this stage can be found in the Scheduled Paper Review section of the Assisted Living Application Instructions.
The final step in the process will be a visit to your proposed assisted living facility. Everything that you’ve described in the application will be verified and, if everything checks out, your license should be on its way following the visit.
You Did It!
Once you make it through these steps successfully, you’ll be licensed to operate your assisted living facility in Maryland. Keep in mind, this post is an overview of the process only. There are many more tasks that you’ll need to complete on your way to an assisted living license, and every situation can be a bit different – so be ready for the unexpected. And once you have your license, remember that it’s just the beginning of the adventure. Good luck!
Do you have a question we can help answer? Want licensing information on your state? Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to get back to you.