Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Licensing and Certification for Behavioral Health Agencies

NOTICE:  Beginning July 1, 2013 new administrative rules for behavioral health services were in effect for agencies providing treatment services for chemical dependency, mental health and problem and pathological gambling.  The new rules are intended to streamline administrative requirements and improve client care. All behavioral health agencies were required to comply with the new rules by September 1, 2013.

=====================================================================

DBHR administers licensing and certification programs and regulates chemical dependency, community mental health (voluntary and involuntary commitment services), and problem and pathological gambling treatment agencies.    The DBHR Certification, Licensing, and Customer Service Section supports the governor and administration's goals by improving the services provided to vulnerable adults.  The health and safety of communities is enhanced through access to behavioral health care and medical services.

There are approximately 580 certified chemical dependency treatment agencies, 225 community mental health agencies offering treatment services at 450 sites, and 21 problem and pathological gambling treatment agencies.

DBHR certification and licensing activities mitigate health risk factors for patients and family members by ensuring that chemical dependency, community mental health, and problem and pathological gambling treatment agencies are:
- Surveyed within 12 months of initial approval and every 3 years thereafter.
- In compliance with applicable regulations.
- Evaluated rapidly when DBHR receive patient complaints.

In 2013 DBHR conducted on-site surveys of 210 chemical dependency agencies, 150 community mental health centers, and 17 problem and pathological gambling agencies. These activities decrease the risk of patient health and safety problems, support providers, and increase quality of patient care.