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Current law requires a new assisted living facility to pass a building inspection, a life safety inspection, hire and train a full staff, and admit more than one and no more than three residents before it requests the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to conduct a final health inspection.
The bill would amend Chapter 247 of the Health and Safety Code by authorizing DADS to issue an initial assisted living facility license that would not require an on-site health inspection to an applicant considered in good standing. Applicants would be required to submit policies, procedures, verification of employee background checks, and employee credentials. The bill would require DADS to conduct a survey of these facilities within 90 days after the date the license is issued. Until DADS conducts the survey, the facility would be required to inform incoming residents that DADS has not yet conducted the survey.
The bill would define a license applicant in good standing as a license applicant who has operated an assisted living facility in Texas for at least six consecutive years, has not had a violation that resulted in actual harm to a resident or a violation that posed an immediate threat of harm, and has not had an administrative sanction.
The primary objective of the legislation is to reduce the waiting period before an assisted living facility can admit more than three residents, provided the applicant meets the good standing threshold. The bill's good standing definition establishes a reasonable bar intended to prevent bad actors from inflicting harm on residents. The bill alleviates an administrative burden on assisted living facilities while ensuring strict qualifications are met in order for assisted living facilities to start admitting additional residents. We support SB 785.