To help inform senior care consumers on the availability and request process for state records on assisted living communities, we analyzed the openness and accessibility of such records in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Our analysis factored in: the amount of information available to the public, the ease of access to this information, and the frequency of state inspections or surveys.
We’ve compiled a directory of assisted living licensing websites by state, where you can find regulation standards in your state as well as individual assisted living facility inspection summaries and violation histories.
Update: January 2018
In many states you must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get assisted living records.
You must pay the state for each page printed in addition to an hourly service fee. Requesting information for a single community in Massachusetts can cost up to $20 per inquiry.
Mailed FOIA applications are required by Hawaii before they will process a request.
In Arkansas, you must be a legal resident of the state to obtain any assisted living records.
States with require consumers to submit requests via phone, fax or direct mail.
The only state which includes assisted living community pricing information on their state website is Wisconsin.
The most transparent states make all assisted living records available online.
To create our State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports, we assessed each state and the District of Columbia using more than a dozen objective criteria:
After our Regulatory Licensing Team established each state’s adherence to the criteria, we applied a rubric that assigned a value to each particular criterion based on its relative importance. This allowed us to apply an objective score for each level of transparency, in turn defining a rating:
Exceptional: Has a unified online searchable database for assisted living facilities and licensing and regulation data. Includes assisted living provider background and contact information.
High: Has separate searchable databases for assisted living facilities and licensing and regulation data. May lack information about inspections and regulatory actions.
Moderate: Has directories of licensed communities online but does not have a searchable database. May lack information about inspections and regulatory actions.
Basic: Lists assisted living facility information in a PDF or Excel file. Information about regulatory actions is usually not available. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request may be required to get information about the community.
Below you will find the rank each state received for its level of accessiblity in providing public information about assisted living facility reports.
The State Guide to Assisted Living Records & Reports project was undertaken to provide senior care consumers, elder advocates, and industry researchers something that has never before been available: a detailed snapshot of each state’s accessibility to public information regarding assisted living licensure, monitoring, and deficiency reporting.
For every state and the District of Columbia, the Guide outlines the assisted living regulatory agency’s process of providing public records, details the level of transparency within the records, and ranks how that compares to other states.
The data was compiled by A Place for Mom’s Regulatory Licensing Team, part of the company’s Legal Department. The Team is charged with confirming, twice a year that all communities in A Place for Mom’s referral network are licensed and in compliance with applicable State and Federal regulations.
This ongoing audit of communities requires using various methods of gathering public information released by each state. The process ranges from utilizing state websites and searching public databases to completing Freedom of Information Act request forms and speaking with numerous state representatives.
Auditing over the years has provided immensely valuable insight into the quality of agencies’ processes currently in place to provide this critical information to families. The Licensing Team collaborated with the A Place for Mom Content Team to publicize this insight in a way that would be useful for consumers: an interactive map providing an overview on transparency and instructions for obtaining information.
To rank the states’ accessibility, each agency was evaluated according to more than a dozen separate objective criteria. The criteria were weighted by relative importance, and the state was assigned an objective ranking.