The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has published final regulations and application materials governing the new licensure category for Assisted Living Communities (ALC). As explained in our previous article, available by clicking here,1 the Assisted Living Licensure category was established by the passage of the Georgia General Assembly’s Senate Bill 178 in 2011. An ALC is a personal care home with a minimum of 25 beds that applies for a license to provide additional services such as administration of medications and retention of certain non-ambulatory residents. These additional services may allow residents to remain in place for a longer period of time.  

The final rules governing ALCs, found at Ga. Comp. R. & Reg. 111-8-63, were approved by DCH on December 8, 2011 and were recently published along with the application materials. A personal care home applying to become an ALC must meet all regulatory requirements prior to receiving an ALC permit. DCH has also developed interpretive guidelines to further explain the regulations and provide guidance regarding surveys, which are available by clicking here.2

An existing personal care home that otherwise meets the new regulatory requirements must apply to obtain a new ALC license. The application packet is available by clicking here.3 Once an application is submitted and deemed complete, DCH will conduct an on-site inspection to determine compliance with all regulatory requirements. For facilities that are already licensed as personal care homes, the facility’s history will be reviewed and DCH will determine whether an inspection will be conducted.  

Note, prior to obtaining an ALC permit, a facility that plans to offer medication administration services must employ certified medication aides, who, at a minimum, must be listed in good standing on the Georgia Certified Medication Aide registry and have no record of being terminated for cause relating to the performance of medication aide tasks.

Existing personal care homes should become familiar with the requirements for ALCs and determine if they want to apply to become an ALC. Homes that have decided to make the transition into an ALC should become familiar with the new regulations and begin compliance. DCH has not indicated how long the licensure transition process will take, but there will likely be a large number of applications submitted in the coming months so facilities should begin submitting application materials as soon as possible.