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.
Just like other states, the license application isn’t just a form but a process. First, download a copy of the license application but also the instructions for completing the application.
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.
Hi Mike, greetings, I am living in Florida and have been ever since thinking about starting my assistant living business what are the requirements or where do I go to start getting information. I will greatly appreciated any answer you can provide..
Stay tuned Even. A guide to licensing Florida assisted living facilities is on the way! Mike
Capricia Vickers says
I need a license guide for the state of Florida please…
Hi Mike. I would to know the process of opening an assisted living facility in Georgia
Thanks Gafaru. The Georgia licensing guide is in process. Stay tuned and make sure you’ve subscribed to our emails for updates. Mike
Hello wanted to check on licensing and opening assisted living in montana.
I find your site to be very informative so I thought I would ask a question myself. I worked for a company in Michigan who opened 3 licensed assisted living communities over the past 3 years. I am now planning my next career move and thought there might be other private owners or small companies looking into opening an assisted living and would need my skillset. I was involved with completion and submission of the applications through to the issuance of the license. I was responsible for setting up the offices, hiring, training, coordinating with Licensing (Lansing) and I have also served as the Authorized Representative so I am able to complete Corrective Action Plans when there is a violation. Do you have any advice on how to find out who is currently building? Thanks, Pam
Pam – I’m not sure exactly how to go about it in Michigan but, generally, all new assisted living buildings need to be approved in advance by your state. Even if there isn’t a certificate of need in your state, the building plans need to be approved by inspectors to help make sure the building will be within code. Perhaps there is a way to find what projects have been submitted to and/or approved by the state. Another resource may be networking with others in the Michigan Assisted Living Association (https://www.miassistedliving.org/), whether it’s MALA staff or members who are also builders. These folks may know about others who are building or want to build if they can only find someone like you and your experience. Good luck. Please stay in touch! Mike
Hope you are well!
I am interested in starting up ALF business in MD, if you could please share some information, would really appreciate that!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
How can I get help about a property for Assisted Living purpose in Maryland. There are several variables that has to be discussed. How I can get help?
LEO THEODAT FILS says
Hi Mike ! I would like to open a assistance living in Maryland
Judith Vaitys says
Thank you for your site. I have 3 single family homes, one commercial building (24 units) and small hotel (15 rooms) with 4/3 residence next to it. All in good shape. What do I have to do to convert it to ALF. All are in California only one single residence is in Bend, OR. Any advise will be appreciated. Thank you.
Judith – Great question. I’m hoping to prepare a guide that will be available later this summer outlining the normal steps in converting a single family home or other property into an assisted living facility. Please stay tuned! Mike
Mina Jabro says
I need to become license in state of michigan and I need help through out the process.
Ann Saka, Director says
For licensing workshop and assisted living management training classes contact ZION Health Training Center . 8100 Harford Road Parkville, Maryland 401-661-0466. We are a State of Maryland approved Vendor. – “Zion Health continuing the pursuit for excellence”