General Information

The Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section licenses nursing homes to operate in the state of North Carolina. An owner of a nursing home must have a certificate of need (CON) before applying for a license to run a nursing home. Once a CON is given, the Construction Section makes sure the building of the home meets construction rules. Following those steps, the owner sends documentation to this section for an initial review. During the initial licensure survey, section staff review the nursing home's policies and procedures, staff training and education and systems to see if nursing home rules are met. Licenses are in effect for one year.

The section licenses some nursing homes as "combination homes". These homes contain both adult care beds and nursing home beds under one roof.

A licensed nursing home may choose to apply for payment through Medicare and Medicaid under an agreement with the federal government. Ninety-seven percent of the nursing homes in North Carolina are in the Medicare/Medicaid program. Inspectors from this section, commonly called "surveyors," conduct an initial inspection to find out whether the home meets federal rules. When a home meets federal rules, the section notifies the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and a certification is given.

Routine inspections take place in nursing homes that receive payment through Medicare and Medicaid every nine to 15 months. Nurses, pharmacists, dietitians and social workers who have passed a federal test conduct these inspections. The surveys involve the review of the following areas: resident rights, admission and transfer rights, resident behavior and facility practices, quality of life, quality of care, nursing services, dietary services, pharmacy services, physician services, infection control, physical environment and administration.

Surveyors investigate complaints filed against a facility. This section receives about 2,000 nursing home complaints per year. Surveyors investigate complaints and the person who made the complaint receives a letter stating the findings from the investigation.

If the surveyors find a problem at the nursing home, they write a report called a "Statement of Deficiency." The home is required to provide a plan of correction for each problem cited. The home may be subject to other penalties. Surveyors follow up with the home to make sure the home corrected its problems.

In addition to inspection activities, the section provides documents on request. It provides training, and encourages improvements in care through a voluntary special licensure program. The section offers training on subjects such as resident assessments, new rules and the inspection process to nursing home staff, professional organizations, and other interested parties. The section awards grants for nursing home enhancement projects and the North Carolina New Organizational Vision Award (NC NOVA) special license to homes that participate in a program that requires them to exceed basic licensure requirements.

Contact Information

Chief: Beverly Speroff, Beverly.Speroff@dhhs.nc.gov

Physical Address: 1205 Umstead Drive Raleigh, NC 27603-2008

Mailing Address: 2711 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-2711

Telephone: 919-855-4520

Fax: 919-733-8274