Behavioral Health Agencies (BHA)

Inspection Process

The state licenses more than 900 behavioral health agencies in Washington to provide care within the minimum health and safety standards established by state law. The Department of Health is required to inspect these agencies as part of the initial licensing process and at regular intervals.

Our inspection staff includes nurses, public health advisers, substance use disorder professionals, and mental health professionals.

Our inspectors are trained to inspect BHAs to confirm compliance with appropriate state regulatory standards found in chapter 246-341 WAC and other applicable laws. They look for indications of deficiencies that pose patient safety risks.

After the inspection is completed, the facility is provided with a report indicating the standards that were met and the deficiencies that were identified. The inspection team works with the facility to explain how the deficiencies were identified and requires that the facility provide an adequate written plan for addressing the deficiencies.

In accordance with RCW 71.24.037, agencies that are accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation organization that has a current agreement with the department are eligible for deeming through the department. Deemed agencies are reviewed by the accrediting organization rather than receiving regularly scheduled inspections by the department. Currently, we have agreements with the following organizations: