Phoenix/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on April 17, 2024
Arizona Department of Health Innovates With New Licensing Bureaus for Behavioral, Assisted Living FacilitiesSource: Arizona Department of Health Services

To streamline and upgrade its services, the Arizona Department of Health Services has overhauled its licensing structure, now offering a more specialized approach to regulation. The shake-up sees the Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing dissolved into two distinct entities designed to zero in on the specific needs of behavioral health and assisted living facilities.

The new Bureaus of Behavioral Health Facilities Licensing (BBHL) and Assisted Living Facilities Licensing (BALF) aim to bring more targeted oversight and better resource utilization. The BBHL absorbs the responsibility for all behavioral health-related facilities, a task previously spread across three separate bureaus. Likewise, the BALF takes charge of assisted living facilities, under its dedicated umbrella, facilities like adult foster care homes, adult day health care facilities, and nursing-supported group homes find a common regulator, as reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services Director's Blog.

Driven by a mission to enhance the department's capability to safeguard patients and residents, the restructuring promises a more consistent approach to licensing and regulation. According to the state's health department blog, this realignment should ease the identification of emerging trends and offer superior customer service to licensees and the public.

The newly minted BBHL has already launched its website and is in the final stages of perfecting the BALF's online presence, which includes "creating new educational resources for licensees and the public, updating all related internal and public-facing systems," like the AZ Care Check and Licensing Portal. Despite a rigorous transition, the Department has remained communicative with impacted facilities to avoid any hitches in the process, ensuring a smooth handover to the new regulatory system, per the Arizona Department of Health Services.

For the public and industry professionals keen on the integrity of assisted living and behavioral health facilities, the Department has updated to include all necessary information on licensed providers. They further encourage those with concerns about a facility or provider to take advantage of their complaint investigation process, with forms available online to report any grievances regarding the conduct or safety of these establishments.