December 4, 2012_ALF "Dear Administrator" Letters

December 4, 2012

ADSA: ALF #2012-017

Dear Assisted Living Facility Administrator:

We have been made aware of some situations during inspections that slow down the process for both licensors and for the assisted living facility (ALF).  Issues identified include:

  • The ALF does not get the completed Resident Characteristic form to the licensors for several hours making it difficult for department staff to make informed choices when selecting residents for the sample.
  • In some cases, ALF staff are not able to differentiate between residents and non-residents.  If staff are not able to identify residents, there is a possibility that they may fail to meet their mandated reporting requirements, and they may do more for non-residents than the ALF is allowed under law to do.

If the ALF does not provide the Resident Characteristic form in a timely manner and staff cannot tell licensors who the residents are, licensors may select non-residents as part of the sample and follow them for a time, delaying the process.

We do not believe that any ALF is deliberately delaying or interfering with the inspection process.  However, the inspection process is likely delayed when necessary information is not provided in a timely manner.  The following Washington Administrative Code (WAC) requirements could apply in these situations:

  • WAC 388-78A-2440 Resident register.  (1) The boarding home must maintain in the boarding home a single current register of all boarding home residents, their roommates and identification of the rooms in which such persons reside or sleep.
  • WAC 388-78A-3140 Responsibilities during inspections.  The boarding home must:  (2) Provide requested records to the representatives of the department.
  • WAC 388-78A-3170 Circumstances resulting in enforcement remedies.  (1) The department is authorized to impose enforcement remedies described in WAC 388-78A-3160 if any person described in subsection (2) of this section is found by the department to have:  (k) Willfully prevented or interfered with or attempted to impede in any way any inspection or investigation by the department, or the work of any authorized representative of the department or the lawful enforcement of any provision of this chapter.

Please help the department to do your inspection as quickly and efficiently as possible by providing the requested information as soon as you can.  The Resident Characteristic form can be kept up by staff year round and used by administrative staff to view residents and their capabilities and challenges at a glance.  In that way the form would essentially be ready all of the time, and would only have to be updated when the licensors request it.

Please contact your local RCS Field Manager if you have any questions.  Thank you for your commitment to the ALF residents we both serve.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director
Residential Care Services Division