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This is a general overview of assisted living regulations in Ohio.  If you are a member and would like more in-depth information, please visit the Members Only section of our website.  For more general  information, please visit our Consumer section, What is Assisted Living? and Frequently Asked Questions.


In Ohio, assisted living communities housing seventeen or more individuals are licensed as residential care facilities (RCFs).  The Ohio Department of Health issues this license.  Smaller assisted living communities that want to provide one or more skilled nursing care services must also be licensed as residential care facilities.  Interested persons can find the licensing standards for RCFs in rules 3701-17-50 to 3701-17-68 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC).  These rules are available on ODH’s website at and can be accessed by clicking the “Rules” button and then “Final Rules”.  Several other rules also apply to RCFs, such as the rules that set forth a resident’s rights (Chapter 3701-61 of the OAC), and the criminal records check requirements for persons providing direct care to residents (Chapter 3701-13 of the OAC).  These rules may be accessed through links to the Ohio Revised Code (law) and the Ohio Administrative Code (rules) from the ODH Rules page.  Additionally, rules 4723-27-01 through 4723-27-14 cover the Certified Medication Aide Program and rules 173-39-01 through 173-39-08 and 5101-3-1-06.5, 5101-3-33-02 through 5101-3-33-07 cover the Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver.  Interested parties can purchase hard copies of the rules by calling 614-481-1950, or e-mailing us at:


Recently,  the licensure and oversight of smaller communities providing housing and personal care services, was transferred from the Ohio Department of Health to the Ohio Department of Mental Health. The rules for these facilities, Adult Care Facilities (ACFs) and Adult Foster Homes (AFoHs) can be found in OAC 5122-33-01 through 5122-33-27.


Besides complying with the above referenced rules, assisted living facilities classified as RCFs or “homes” have to meet all applicable state requirements.  For example, the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) contains several statutes that apply to assisted living facilities, including the Ohio Building Code (Chapter 3781 and Chapter 3791 of the ORC), the State Fire Code (Chapter 3737 of the ORC), and the statute that grants residents’ rights (Section 3721.13 of the ORC).  Interested parties can find the rules that carry the building code in Chapter 4010:2 of the OAC and that carry out the fire code in Chapter 1301:7-1 of the OAC.



OALA's Rule Binder  


OALA publishes a rule binder incorporating the RCF rules along with other rules and laws impacting Assisted Living providers.  It includes the AL Medicaid Waiver and MyCare managed care rules; along with the criminal background check, DNR, medication aide rules, and pertinent sections of the Ohio Revised Code.  Updated rules, with an introduction for each section and a numbered table of contents are included ...allowing for easy reference.    


Click here to Order & Pay  or call the OALA office to order

or e-mail Patty at

Cost: $115 Members, $165 Non-Members

RCF Regulations