May 28, 2013_ALF "Dear Administrator" Letters

May 28, 2013

ALTSA:  ALF #2013-010

Dear Assisted Living Facility Administrator:

In December 2012 the Department sent you a letter about inspection delays due to assisted living facility (ALF) staff being unclear about which rooms were licensed and which rooms were unlicensed.  The Department, based upon additional information, has decided to assess its systems and consider needed changes to:

  • How licensed rooms are identified during licensing inspections; and
  • The process for requesting and approving changes to licensed bed capacity.

In a recent meeting with Department of Health Construction Review Services (CRS) staff we identified the following related issues:

  • The building code changes every three years;
  • Unlicensed rooms previously determined to meet applicable building codes might not comply with current, updated codes.
  • Increases in capacity may not have been accompanied by an increase in the number of roll-in showers to meet the 25% requirement; and
  • Washington Administrative Code (WAC) requirements may not be clear.

Some relevant building and capacity regulations include:

  • WAC 388-78A-2800;
  • WAC 388-78A-2810;
  • WAC 388-78A-2880; and
  • WAC 388-78A-3030(8).

Over the next two years, the Department will be working to verify the accuracy of resident and room lists and confirm that licensed rooms comply with applicable building codes.

If it is determined that rules need to be clarified or revised, the Department will follow required procedures and inform all interested parties.  Thank you for your continued commitment to Washington's vulnerable population.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director 
Residential Care Services