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California's oversight of skilled nursing facilities is the most rigorous in the nation and the most comprehensive for any category of provider in the state. The California Department of Public Health plays a lead role in licensing and regulating care providers. 

Providers must meet state licensure standards, and are also governed by a stringent set of federal requirements. In addition, several other federal, state and local agencies – including the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, state departments of Aging, Justice and Consumer Affairs, Office of State Health Planning and Development and the State Fire Marshal – also review facility services in California.

Facilities must demonstrate compliance with hundreds of very detailed regulations. To ensure compliance with these standards, CDPH surveyors annually conduct thorough inspections of each facility. 


California's assisted living facilities are regulated by the California Department of Social Services and designed for people who do not require continuous medical care.  Assisted living is an alternative to nursing home care and is a non-medical model which provides a homelike environment with supervision.

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