A private psychiatric hospital is a privately owned and operated establishment or institution exclusively for observing, diagnosing, or caring for people with signs or symptoms of mental illness.
A psychiatrist is the medical director, and is responsible for directing and supervising medical treatment and patient care 24 hours per day. In addition, the hospital must have on staff at least a mental health professional, psychiatric nurse, social worker, and an occupational therapist.
- Licensing Information
All licensing applications are reviewed within a few days of receipt. If there is missing or incomplete information, a Department of Health staff member will notify you via the email address on the application. If you didn't provide an email address, the department will mail you a letter.
Processing time varies for each application. It depends on how complete the application is, and how quickly the licensing requirements are met.
- Inspection Process
Psychiatric hospitals are inspected annually. Our inspection staff includes both nurses and public health advisors. For more information, contact us.
If your hospital was recently inspected we'd appreciate your feedback; please take a moment to complete an anonymous Web-based survey.
- Psychiatric Hospital Inspection and Investigation Reports
All licensed facilities undergo surveys, inspections and investigations. It is required that DOH make these available to the public. Reports and information may be found on our website.
- Applicable Regulations
- Chapter 71.12 RCW - Private Establishments
- Chapter 246-322 WAC - Private Psychiatric and Alcoholism Hospitals
Psychiatric Hospitals may also be Medicare certified under special conditions for coverage.
CMS State Operations Manual
- Appendix A (PDF) – Psychiatric Hospitals
Code of Federal Regulations
- 42 CFR482.1 Part A – Basis and Scope
- 42 CFR482.11 Part B – Administration
- 42 CFR482.21 Part C – Basic Hospital Functions
- 42 CFR482.51 Part D – Optional Hospital Services
The federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) applies to all Medicare certified and critical access hospitals. This act requires that any hospital must respond to a person's emergent medical condition by determining the nature of the condition. If an urgent condition exists, it must be treated to the best of the facility's ability regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Patients may then be transferred as appropriate after stabilization of the condition.
See Regulation 42 CFR 489.24 (PDF) for more information.
- Find a Psychiatric Hospital
For a real-time list of licensed psychiatric hospitals, see the facility search webpage.
Under the “Facility Type” choose “Hospital Psychiatric License” and select “search”. All of the hospital listings will populate.
- File a Complaint
Anyone with knowledge about an incident or event that happened in one of the agencies or facilities regulated by DOH may file a complaint.
- What Hospitals Must Report to the Department of Health
Psychiatric hospitals must report to the department:
- Adverse events
- Unprofessional conduct
- Reportable operational or maintenance events
- Notifiable conditions
- Accreditation decision
See what hospitals must report to the Department of Health for more information.
- Related Links
- Current Topics
- The department has collaborated with stakeholders and partners to establish rules regarding assessing civil fines on a psychiatric hospital for repeat violations. This work was done in order to implement the rulemaking requirement in HB 2426. The rules became effective on February 24, 2022. Please see the CR-103 (PDF) and the Concise Explanatory Statement (PDF) for additional information and details. The new language can be found in WAC 246-322-025.
- The department adopted/released an Interpretative Statement titled “Release of Voluntary Individuals from Inpatient Behavioral Health Settings (PDF).”
Contact and Connect
- Contact the program or join our GovDelivery.
Psychiatric Hospital Program Manager
P.O. Box 47852
Olympia, WA 98504-7852
Town Center 2
111 Israel Rd. S.E.
Tumwater, WA 98501