Read a whole chapter for free from the How to Open an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Book.

read a whole chapter for free from the how to open an assisted living facility (alf) book. Dec 29, 2023

CHAPTER 4

PHASES TO OBTAINING YOUR LICENSE

Now, follow these simple phases and steps to obtain your license. Keep in mind some cities will not need so much information from you, while others may ask for more information. Start with a phone call, email, or a trip to the city hall where the home is located and find out for yourself.

I had a really hard time with these phases, I went through so many backs and forths and misunderstandings. I had to deal with some really nasty people and some that were very nice and helpful. I am saying all of this to say, be patient and pack a lot of patience, pray or meditate, whatever brings you peace. You will need it. I know people who were in the process for two years before getting licensed. Reading this book is saving you so much money and aggravation; it is also saving you time. Now that you know what to do and expect, you will not have to deal with so much back and forth.

PHASE I:

OBTAIN ZONING APPROVAL

ADMINISTRATOR

The person, trained and licensed to run the facility\’s day-to-day operations. Remember, you need core license training and a state test to obtain your license to be an administrator. Although you will have to complete in-service training yearly, the 26-hour core class and state exam is a one-time event; you will not have to retake it as long as you maintain the in-service.

You need this core training certificate and license to request zoning approval. You can later hire an administrator to run your ALF once your facility is licensed. All Administrators and facility managers must take the 26-hour course and pass the state exam. In addition, administrators maintain their license by taking a 3-hour Continuing Education (CE) course from an AHCA-approved provider; there is no other state exam.

Throughout this book, house, home, community, and facility mean the same thing. You are in the process of obtaining your license to have your facility, which means you are licensed and ready to accept clients.

Throughout this book, resident and client mean the same thing; an older person who lives at your and needs assistance with daily living activities.

You will need the following documents. Verify with your city hall because the requirements may be different.

  • Facility Administrator 26-hour core course certificate of completion-documentation you have passed the state exam, allowing you to be the facility’s administrator.
  • Registered name of the business (the name you choose for your ALF) and a copy of the registration (from Sunbiz in Florida).
  • Tax registration with IRS. Employer Identification Number EIN (in Florida).
  • Proof of ownership; this is for the building, who owns the building? If you rent the building, bring the lease agreement between you and your landlord. And yes, you do not have to own the building. You can rent it, usually not for less than a five-year lease.
  • Your current photo identification.

You can either email or take the following to your city hall, call for which option is best. I love to email.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Read, and read some more. Call and email the city, they might not know what you are talking about. Pack more patience than you can ever imagine. Remember, not everyone goes to work to do any WORK. Sending out emails needs to be your best friend. Email is written records, it can also show how long you have been trying to obtain basic information, prove whether you are being helped and what type of information you are receiving.

CHECK YOUR ATTITUDE AT ALL TIME

Your attitude will make or break your process. Sometimes people will go the extra mile to help you simply because you were so pleasant to deal with. Unfortunately, this may not always be effective; some people are naturally nasty; they have been nasty for so long, and they simply forget how not to be nasty. Okay, I see you get the point. Yes, ignore Mr. and Mrs. Nasty and stay focused. Remain focused on your goals- to gather correct information, understand the process, save time, save money, be licensed, make a difference and make good money. If you are not a people person and don\’t have the patience to deal with bad attitudes, this may not be the business for you.

WHEN SHOULD YOU INVESTIGATE?

You need to investigate whether or not you are allowed to have an ALF in the house you are buying or renting; this happens through the zoning process and requirements of the City\’s laws and ordinances of the subject property. Your initial Investigation begins before you purchase or rent the house. Yes, ensure you find out as much information as possible before buying the house. I cannot stress this enough.

Research the zoning approval process, understand what that means, and ask questions about what paperwork the zoning department will need from you. This is pretty simple; call, an email stating, for example, \’I am Happy Love, I am seeking zoning approval for an Assisted Living Facility for the elderly at 12318 Smile Avenue, Happy Person, FL. Is this home zoned for an ALF?\’. Wait for a yes or no email. Simple but crucial. The zoning department will do their research to ensure no other ALFs or related businesses are within 1,000 feet of your subject property, among other requirements.

THE DISTANCE REQUIREMENTS

This distance states that you are not within a certain number of feet from another similar facility in the same area that is already licensed, usually five hundred to a thousand or even fifteen hundred feet, depending on the type of the facility. These distance requirements are from the zoning ordinances or laws of the City where the subject property is located.

If you don\’t receive a favorable answer, you can hire a lawyer, but there is a very high probability the city will win, and you will lose the battle. So, learn to move on and not delay yourself. Unless you already have the property and want the facility at that home instead of buying another one. 

The zoning approval letter or email will also state the number of beds (clients or residents) allowed; for example, zoned for six or eight residents, do not assume anything. Florida State Statutes say six residents for a residential, single-family home, but some cities do not allow for six residents.

Take your time to learn as much as you can in the beginning process before you invest. Your timer is on the minute you invested and spend some money to begin your process. Understand the city statutes/ordinances and the Agency for Healthcare Administration Statute and state statute; you NEED to know what you are asking and be able to explain what you need to someone at city hall who doesn\’t care; doesn\’t want to do any work, and don\’t know what you are talking about and if they do, don\’t want to help either way. You must keep your attitude in check.

Now, you managed to find someone who helped you. Good job! You made sure you read every detail because time is so important. You submitted your zoning application with all required documents, you are making progress!

Congratulations! Your zoning is approved!

PHASE II

FACILITY PREPARATION & INSTALLATIONS

FACILITY PREPARATION

If it sounds too good to be accurate, there is a high probability it isn\’t true. While waiting for zoning approval, shop for dependable contractors, and pay attention to the timeframe the work will be completed. Get your quotes in writing. Make sure you have a written agreement or contract with determined dates the project will be completed. Be vigilant and wise. Do not place a deposit and sign a contract until you fully understand what they will do for you and how.

Conduct a full investigation; are they licensed? Once your zoning is approved, hire the contractors you have researched and are comfortable with immediately. Do whatever repairs are needed in the facility before your residents move in. You don\’t want to start repairing or spending money on a property that will not receive zoning approval. It is a waste of time and money.

FACILITY INSTALLATIONS- THE MOST EXPENSIVE PART

  • Master floor plan of your facility– you need to hire an architect to plan, develop, and draw this master facility plan. Contractors will draw their plan into this master plan and then submit it to the City for approval. Every installation requires a plan drawing, so the City can see what is being installed where and if the installation is up to code. After the approval of your zoning, you need to get a master floor plan of the whole layout of the facility to draw all of the different plans to be approved by the City before any installation begins.
  • Fire Alarm Installation; This is a requirement.
  • Fire Sprinkler Installation; Statues do not always require depending on the number of residents, but I highly recommend (verify this with your state, the statutes, and your city). A fire sprinkler will save lives. It is worth the cost.
  • Generator Installation; You must have a generator installed at your facility that can sustain the electricity in the whole facility as if the FPL lights never went out for at least three days.
  • Generator Gas Tank Installation; You must have reserved fuel in case the power goes out and gas is temporarily unavailable. My tank is installed underground. You do have the option to have an above-ground tank. I have seen above-ground gas tanks at my friend\’s ALF. Our contractor advised us to have ours underground because it is safer due to the elements, leaks, and many other reasons. It\’s practical and out of the way, nicely covered under the beautiful green grass.
  • You will also need permits with each plan drawings on your Master Floor Plan to be submitted to the city by your contractors. You need permits and drawings for all of these installations. The Inspectors from the City will come out to ensure the job is being completed correctly and will either pass or fail the work.

The following are required but will not need a permit

  • Grab bar; installed in all bathrooms- are required by AHCA. You can also place grab bars in common areas and throughout the facility.
  • Exit sign; all of your exits- required by the Fire Marshall\’s Department.
  • Fire Extinguisher; make sure to have the up-to-date tags of inspections of whoever installed your fire alarm system. The Fire Marshall will inspect this also.
  • Proper facility lighting; ensure your facility is full of good lighting; this will be inspected and measured during your Department of Health Inspection.
  • Letters and agreements; stating they will maintain the above installations and equipment; this is a requirement.

The house will look a mess for a little while as all this work is happening. Do not install any flooring, carpets, or tiles at this time. It will be dirty if you do, and you WILL regret it; I did! Leave this step for last. Installations, inspections, and approvals go hand-in-hand; everything that requires an installation needs a plan, a permit, drawings, and approval. Your contractor will be on top of this. Also, make sure you call the city and ask for updates on your plans and the status of your permits. You can also check the status online by creating an account with the City. Stay on top of your contractors so you can meet your deadlines and not be delayed. 

This information is for your knowledge– you need to know what your contractors need to do; don\’t be fooled! Not all contractors are created equally; some will lie, delay, and drive you crazy; some will do the unthinkable; steal your money! Be very careful of who you choose. Do your research on them, and read the Google reviews. Then, go with gut feeling after your research. I hope you get the point! I know someone who paid a fake contractor thousands of dollars. Please do your homework and don’t be fooled.

So far, you\’ve received zoning approval. Have completed the installations and other work in the house, have received satisfactory inspection reports from the city inspector, and your permits are closed. Your contractors did an excellent job.

Congratulations

PHASE III

LICENSING PROCESS (STEPS 1-3)

STEP 1: APPLICATION AND INSPECTION

Apply to the Local Health Department with the application fee. They will review your application and request corrections or additional paperwork if necessary. You will be approved if you do your homework and submit all the requested information. They usually will ask for other paperwork. You should also read the application carefully and call for explanations of items you do not understand. Once your application is approved, they will schedule your Health and Safety Inspection, also known as Food Safety Inspection. An inspector will come out.

Radon Testing: You must complete radon testing before scheduling your health inspection. This is to show the levels of the radon gas in the home. You can buy a kit at your local hardware store like Home Depot or order it online. This is simple, follow the instructions and mail the test to be tested to the specified lab inside the test kit. The results will be emailed or mailed to you. You will need to print the results and submit the results to the Health Department and AHCA during the licensing process.

Health Inspection Tips: Always make sure you turn all the lights on, the blinds or curtains are open, and your Air Conditioning is excellent and cold. This tip applies to all of your inspections, always.

The main objective of the food Safety inspection

  • To ensure safety, sanitation, and food hygiene.
  • To ensure the facility beds are made to standards with waterproof bed sheets.
  • Running water throughout the facility with the correct temperatures- visit the statute for specifics.
  • A water Station: the designated water for your residents to drink whenever they want. This station must be labeled and identified as \”Water Station.\”
  • Refrigerator and freezer temperatures- make sure to have a thermometer in both to measure the temperatures daily.
  • At least two kitchen sinks: labeled and specify \”Hand Hashing Sink.\”
  • Facility lighting: how much light you have in the facility. Was it dark when they walked in? If it was, you have a problem. Proper lighting is critical.
  • Mop bucket with a ringer- to ensure you are not putting your mop in the sinks (don\’t ask me why, someone must have committed the unthinkable before).
  • Your facility must be clean. Bonus- make it smell good also with plug-ins on your walls!

The Health Department Inspector\’s job is to ensure your facility meets basic sanitary and sanitation requirements based on the Department\’s hygienic rules. If your facility meets the minimum requirement, you will pass; if not, you will fail.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FAIL?

The inspector will give you a report of corrections needed to be made. Get those deficiencies corrected, notify them when the modifications are completed, ask for a re-inspection, and pay the fees. Yes, you will pay a fee for re-inspections. So, do your homework, and save some money.

KEEP IN MIND YOUR TIMEFRAMES

Respect the timeframes. You are not safe until after you are licensed. You are going to spend money regardless. Be wise. Find someone capable of doing what you cannot do promptly. The moral of the story is to do it right the first time. Save money. Save time. Save your zoning approval; save your facility. Open your facility sooner. Save some more money and begin to make money when you receive your license! Okay, you get my point.

Congratulations! You are on your way to owning and operating your own Assisted Living Facility! So far, you have received your zoning approval from the City where the house is located. You have found some great contractors to work with for your fire alarms installation, fire sprinkler, generator, and underground gas tank installations. You have maintenance agreements in writing with those contractors. You have passed your Food Safety Inspection from your local Health Department. You are excited and are on your way to making a real difference for some lucky seniors while making some money!

STEP 2: GENERATION PLAN & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN

You must submit your generator plan to be reviewed by your Local Emergency Management Division. This is a form from the Emergency Management Division that you will need to complete with all of the requirements and submit all of the requested documents for review. The form will be reviewed, and they will contact you via email if additional information or explanation is needed. You can and should always call them to ask questions and keep your information on their face to expedite your process. The review and approval process can take up to 60 days from the day you submit your plan.

I was so confused about knowing the difference between the Generator Plan (that form) and the actual Emergency Management Plan. The Generator Plan or the form or the Emergency Environmental Control Plan (EECP) is all one in the same; not sure why so many names but remember, it is the form that confirms you have a generator and gas tank installed at your facility.  So simple. You must submit this form for approval before you can even begin the AHCA application process.

Your Emergency Management plan– a consultant normally completes your Emergency Management Plan because it is very complex. You need to have a plan in place for specific emergencies and respond to how you and your staff will respond to those emergencies while protecting your clients. You can submit your Emergency Management plan before you are issued the license to expedite the process, but it will not be approved until AHCA approves your license and issue a license number to your facility. Then, the Emergency Management Division will approve your plan and send you an approval letter you will then send to AHCA as verification you are following the rules.

In this form- (The Generator Plan or Emergency Environmental Control Plan EECP) you also need to have specific information ready for review about your generator and underground gas tank. This tank holds your emergency gas to operate the facility generator, which activates the electricity in the facility should the power goes off. Be prepared to answer some of these questions.

The following are some questions on the form;

  • How many gallons of gas are being stored.
  • How many people can be cooled, and is the gas and the generator sufficient to cool the whole facility?
  • What type of generator- Generac is the most common in the ALF industry.
  • Attestation Letter from the contractor who installed the generator and pulled your permits for the completed work, stating the generator can provide electricity to your facility and for how many hours. They also need to state whether or not they will provide the necessary maintenance for the generator to ensure no issues arise.
  • The generator needs to be maintained and activated daily- this process is usually automatic and is handled by your generator company/contractor.
  • An Agreement with the generator company for maintenance (there is usually a separate fee for this).
  • Agreement with a gas company stating they will replace the gas when necessary.

Congratulations! Your generator plan or the Form is approved, and you\’ve received the approval letter and email. I am proud of you! You are doing your homework reading this book! You are almost there.

Schedule Fire Safety Plan Inspection And Evaluation With The Local Fire Marshall You need to call your local fire station and request a facility inspection for an Assisted Living Facility. If you request it in writing, find out whom you need to email.

During your scheduled inspection, the following will be inspected

  • The fire safety evacuation plan (download a free approved sample on my website) is clear, concise, understandable, and easy to follow.
  • Your windows in the facility, their heights, and sizes, can they open? Some cities require a specific height off the ground. Verify that number with the City before installing any new windows or scheduling the inspection. You would need a permit for window installations.
  • Exit signs: clear exit pathways.
  • Life safety signs are posted in the facility: so people know where and how to exit in case of a fire. 
  • Exit plan: Egress and Ingress, primary and secondary evacuation routes.
  • Fire extinguisher with current inspection tag with date and company information that completed the inspection.
  • Sprinklered system: If your home has a fire sprinkler system, the inspection rules are different for homes that do not have a fire sprinkler system. Check with your fire marshal for specific requirements.

This is a pass or fail inspection. If you fail, you will be given a list of deficiencies to fix to pass during the re-inspection. The re-inspection timeframe will depend on how long it takes you to cure the defects. Remember, you are the one who will make contact for the re-inspection. They usually take about a week to come out for the inspection.

You will need to submit the following for review to the Emergency Management Division if you haven’t already done so.

It can take up to 60 days for the review process to be completed. Ensure the information you submit is as correct as possible to avoid delays.

  • Emergency Environmental Control Plan (EECP): the generator plan or that form that was approved, you don’t need to re-submit the form you completed about your generator type and how many hours of fuel time you have onsite. The requirement is at least 96 hours of fuel time must be at the facility.
  • Emergency Management Plan– if you didn’t submit this in advance.
  • Emergency shelter plan & agreement: This is a plan specifying that you will shelter with your residents if you must evacuate your facility during an emergency. The sheltering facility must be licensed; what licensed ALF facility do you have an agreement with? You and the ALF owner or responsible party must have a letter signed. You must also have that facility\’s floor plan and fire safety information.
  • Fire Safety Plan: with approval letters from the local fire marshal.
  • Facility Policies and Procedures– your facility specific plans. For example, about sick leave and whether you want staff to wear an ID and unforms.
  • Elopement policies and procedure– what happens if a client wonders and leaves the facility without staff knowing.

All of the above are different parts that make up the complete Emergency Management Plan.

Files and forms you will need:

  • Facility files
  • Admission files
  • Resident files
  • Employee files

You will make a folder of each of the following files or records. AHCA will inspect the files during your initial license inspection to ensure you have the necessary information to admit your first resident. You should also have your facility plans written in advance to avoid delays. An ALF Consultant is your best resource for writing your plans.

Be wise and choose one with knowledge in the industry. I also recommend asking for a sample plan so you can see their work first. To send your application to AHCA, the only plan you must have approved is your generator plan (the form you completed about your generator and gas tank information at your facility). The rest of the plans will be approved in conjunction with the emergency management plan, and you will receive an approval letter to send to AHCA after your AHCA initial license is issued.

Ensure all plans are written and sent to the Emergency Management Division before sending your application to the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA); this will ensure your plans are approved quickly. AHCA will not require you to submit these plans directly; they only need the approval letters from the Departments that reviewed and approved your plans. For example, the Emergency Management Division will need your Fire Safety Plan Approval Letter and the letter stating no fire safety hazards are at the facility from the Fire Marshall\’s Department. And AHCA will require the approval letter from the Emergency Management Division stating your plan is approved.

You will also need to submit that letter to AHCA. Once your Emergency Management Plan is approved, you will receive another letter. There are two different approvals from the Emergency Management Division; the first is your generator plan or that form- you need to send your initial application for your license to AHCA. The second is the detailed step-by-step emergency preparedness plan usually completed by an ALF Consultant because of the complexity of the procedures. 

While your application is being reviewed with AHCA, the Emergency Management Division will continue to review the rest of your emergency management plan. After AHCA issues your license and you have a license number, provide that information to the Emergency Management Division so they can issue your final emergency management plan approval and issue another approval letter. Again, you must send that letter to AHCA. The Emergency Management Division will not approve the final plan until you are approved for the initial license and receive a license number. Therefore, the Emergency Management Division requires the license number before issuing your final plan approval letter. Once approved by AHCA, you will need to pay a fee to the Emergency Management Division before you can receive that letter

STEP 3: AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION APPLICATION

In this process, you will deal directly with authority with the power to issue or deny the license you\’ve been seeking and have spent so much on. Like in every step of this process, you must follow directions and correctly provide all of the information requested.

  • Licensed Dietitian: You need a licensed Dietitian to establish the menu you will use to feed your residents daily. You will need copies of the menus, along with the credentials of the Dietitian- Their state license.
  • Financial Ability To Operate: Research shows most applications are rejected, and facilities are delayed in getting their license because of the financial ability to operate form and the requested paperwork. I strongly encourage you to hire a CPA with a background in assisted living communities or previous experience completing this form.

Do not skip this step or be cheap about this step. So far, you have spent a lot of money, but please take my advice. You must verify this information, match the receipts you will send to AHCA; otherwise, you will not be approved. Do the calculations of your receipts with the information of the financial ability to operate form. Ensure the numbers are correct and match.

  • Review The Numbers: After you have received this form back with your numbers (calculated by the CPA), make sure to take the time to review this information, ask questions, and double-check your numbers to ensure this information matches with your receipts.

Do NOT blindly mail this form and assume the numbers are correct. If you don\’t verify, it will be rejected, and remember, you only have three attempts to get kickbacks, and your application will be rejected, you lose your application fee, and you must send a new application with a new payment.

  • Expenses: Your CPA will ask you for a list of your expenses. They will only accept or count the costs directly related to the Financial Ability to Operate categories. You will have to mail those receipts they calculated to AHCA with your application.

This is why you want to match your numbers. Calculate the receipts you will send with the numbers you received from the CPA to ensure there are no miscalculations.

 

  • Keep The Receipts: keep all the expenses you are making to prepare your facility; this also includes consultant fees, the fees to prepare the Financial Ability Forms, permits, contractors, applications, and license fees. All of the payments.
  • Avoid Rejections: Some states limit the times they will allow you to make corrections to your initial application for a license before they reject your application, meaning you lost the application fee. 
  • There is also a probationary period: after you have submitted the wrong information for a certain amount of time, AHCA will place you on a probationary period, meaning you cannot apply again until after that timeframe, even if you have all of your information corrected this time.

You do not want to mess with AHCA; they will not waste time reviewing your application over and over because you cannot get it together. After the probationary period, you will need to start the whole application process again and pay a new application fee.

  • Avoid Delays: This delay also means your zoning approval is at risk. If someone else is approved for zoning for the same area, you are seeking the license and obtain their license from AHCA before you do; if they meet the distance requirement from your facility, you will no longer receive zoning approval! The timer is on for who can receive the license first. Most cities will not reserve your zoning, and some will only reserve it for a specific timeframe, usually 3-6 months.

You must reapply after the timeframe. This means you did all of this work, spent all of this money, and now you can no longer have the Assisted Living Facility in that house. This could be devastating to you! So, take my advice, make sure your paperwork is correct the first time and only time. 

You may say, how could AHCA know? I already have my zoning approved. AHCA will ask for updated zoning before issuing your license to ensure your facility still meets the distance requirements, and the information is correct and updated. They do not make going to make a mistake.

IMPORTANT NEEDS

Plans You Will Need

  • Generator plan
  • Fire safety plan- you will need to contact your local fire department to approve this plan. They have jurisdiction over this. They are the only authority who can approve or deny this plan. They are going to issue two letters. One stating your fire safety plan is approved, the other stating your facility meets fire safety evacuation rules and regulations.
  • Emergency management plans
  • Facility operation plans
  • Administrator plan
  • Elopement plan

Files And Forms You Will Need

  • Employee file
  • Admissions file
  • Resident file
  • Facility file
  • Fire Safety file

My advice is to hire an ALF Consultant who can do both your facility plans and your facility files. As you start looking for a consultant, you will find that some do not do both. Find someone with industry knowledge because you will need them even after you are licensed. You will run into some things you don\’t fully understand as you go through the on-the-job training, per se.

Now that I\’ve been through the process. I have hired a couple of consultants to guide me through. I recommend hiring a consultant who has or is operating the type of ALF you are trying to open and manage. For example, if your focus is a 6-8 bed residential ALF, focus on a consultant who has done that work. Find out if they have opened and managed a smaller ALF, have experience with the operational aspects of smaller ALFs or are experienced with larger ALF only. Larger ALF operates differently from smaller ALFs; the difference is night and day, rain and sunshine; the plans may be the same or very similar, but the operational aspect is entirely different.

TYPES OF INSPECTIONS YOU WILL ENDURE

  • Installations– fire alarms, fire sprinkler, generator, gas installations from the underground
  • Health and safety inspection from the local Health Department
  • Fire safety inspection and fire safety plan review from your local fire department
  • Initial License inspection from AHCA

 

EXPENSES TO PREPARE FOR

  • Building cost: the home mortgage or rent, light and water bill.
  • Items to prepare the facility: the generator, fire alarms, fire sprinkler, home repairs, furniture, food supplies, etc.
  • Fees: Contractor fees, permits, inspections, application fees
  • Consultant fees: to write your plans and provide your facility files and ongoing support after you open.
  • Staffing: The payment from your first and only resident may not be enough to cover the income you will pay your staff to cover the shift while you seek your following residents. Factor this cost as you are planning for less stress. 

Congratulations! I am so proud of you. You are getting closer to your license than you believe! Give yourself some credit for taking the time to invest in the knowledge provided in this book. This book is saving you time, frustration, aggravation, tears, and money, yes, money.

You picked the right home, have conquered the city hall zoning process, your home is free of radon gas, and you have passed the Health Department Inspections. With permits and inspections passed, you have correctly completed your repairs and installations for the fire alarms, fire sprinkler, generator, and underground gas tank. In addition, you have successfully passed the fire safety inspection.

You received the generator plan approval. You submitted your Emergency Management plan to be reviewed before you begin the initial license application with AHCA. Finally, you submitted your Initial Application packet to AHCA with all of the required information. Your soon-to-be licensed facility is finally looking nice and smelling fresh; Lord, you are so excited! Put on your boots and helmet, you are going to battle with the initial licensing process, but you got this. Let\’s go! You are finally at the FINAL steps!

FINAL INITIAL APPLICATION REVIEW

After the Agency for Healthcare Administration AHCA is finished reviewing your application and is satisfied with the information you submitted, they will move you to the next and final step. The central office reviewing your initial application will forward your information to the closest field office in your area to conduct the physical survey inspection of your facility. Once you\’ve been successful with the central office, they will send your file to your local survey office so that office can schedule your physical survey inspection. 

Congratulations! This physical survey inspection is the last step to getting your license!

INITIAL SURVEY INSPECTION

AHCA will verify that you did everything correctly with the City, the Health Department, and the Emergency Management Division in this process. This inspection is mostly a verification process to ensure no tricks got through- meaning you did what you were supposed to do in the earlier process. This inspection focuses on your facility files and records. Make sure you have what you need to accept your first resident.

The field office will schedule this inspection; you must confirm via email. During the inspection, the AHCA\’s inspector\’s job at this point is to verify EVERYTHING. AHCA will review all the files to ensure you have all the necessary documents in the facility files.

The inspector will furthermore confirm you are prepared and capable of accepting clients immediately after your license is issued; they will spend a few hours at your facility during this inspection. Expect to answer a lot of questions. You did your homework; you will be okay. If you are missing files or information, you will have to provide that information before the field office issue the license. There is no failure at this point; deliver the missing information on time to get your approval.

In the worst-case scenario, the inspector will reschedule another inspection of your facility to ensure the deficiencies are corrected.  

Congratulations again! You did your homework and passed the initial survey inspection! You are now a licensed ALF! Go and look for your first client. I am so proud of you!

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