New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

Licensing a Health Facility

The term "health facility" refers to a public hospital, profit or nonprofit private hospital, general or special hospital, outpatient facility, adult daycare facility, assisted living facility, freestanding birth center, nursing home, intermediate care facility, diagnostic and treatment center, rehabilitation center, infirmary, community mental health center, hospice or a home health agency.

It does not include the offices and treatment rooms of licensed private practitioners.

  1. Staff can assist potential health care providers to understand how to meet all requirements to open a new facility.
  2. Quality of care is assured through the regulatory process and monitoring of facilities.

Health compliance officers inspect all licensed and certified facilities to ensure safety and health of individuals. Life safety code surveyors conduct fire safety inspections. A licensed architect and architect technician review and approve health facility construction plans.


How to License a Health Care Facility in New Mexico

The procedure for initial health facility licensure is described in detail below.

NOTE: While the following instructions are generally applicable for any type of facility, different regulations apply to different facility types. Please see NMAC 7.1.7.14 to obtain and read a copy of the appropriate regulation set for your facility type.

Application Packet

The application packet and process varies by facility type. To request the application packet, you must submit a letter of intent describing the type of facility you plan to open.

Letter of Intent

Please be sure the letter of intent includes a valid email or mailing address where you'd like the application packet sent. All application packets have step by step instructions. Once your letter of intent is complete, please sent it to the attention of the program operations bureau business office specialist supervisor at our 505-476-9048 fax number.

If you need further assistance with obtaining an application packet please call 505-476-9025.

Apply for Licensure

Submit the program narrative, annotated policies and procedure manuals, completed application packet and required fee the address below. Be sure to include the name and telephone number of a person to contact if any further information is needed.

Mail the information to:

Business Operations Specialist Supervisor
Survey Processing Section, Program Operations Bureau
2040 S. Pacheco, Second Floor, Room 202
Santa Fe, NM 87505

NOTE: Life safety codes apply to all facility types except for home health agencies and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) facilities.

Program Narrative

When you are ready to begin your project, write a program narrative for your facility which includes all of the following information.

Annotated Policy and Procedure Manuals

Submit annotated policy and procedure manuals with a crosswalk to the rules to the program operations bureau business operations specialist supervisor.

Mail the information to:

Business Operations Specialist Supervisor
Survey Processing Section, Program Operations Bureau
2040 S. Pacheco, Second Floor, Room 202
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Facility Building Plans, Inspection & Safety

Early in your planning phase, and prior to beginning any construction, contact the program operations bureau architect in Santa Fe at 505-476-9041 to discuss your project and your anticipated opening date.

Arrange to provide the architect a copy of building plans for approval. The architect will need your certificate of occupancy, local fire department inspection, and New Mexico Environment Department inspection if applicable, prior to authorizing the life safety code inspection.

The life safety code inspection is required before a temporary license can be issued.

Board of Pharmacy Approval

If your facility will handle drugs, board of pharmacy approval will be required prior to licensure. You can contact the board of pharmacy at 505-841-9102.

Life Safety Code Visit

After your application packet, policy and procedure manual and program narrative have been approved, and the building construction has been completed, an on-site life safety code visit will be scheduled to determine correction of any building deficiencies noted in the architect's plan review, if one was required, and determine your readiness to accept individuals into your facility.

Upon successful completion of this life safety code visit, you will be issued a temporary license. You may then begin providing services.

Initial Health Survey

When your facility is in full operation, and has served a sufficient number of residents to implement your full range of services, you must make a written request to the district office for the initial survey.

At the time of your survey, you must have available Purified Protein Derivative (PPD) skin test certificates or chest x-rays results, for all staff who have any resident contact, and current licenses for all staff who are required to be licensed by the State of New Mexico.

Annual License

Upon successful completion of your initial survey, an annual license will be issued.

Thereafter, you are responsible for notifying this Bureau in a timely manner of any changes in program, location or administration and if you are subject to life safety code requirements, any alterations to your facility.

NOTE: The application, P&P and plan review are good for one-year, which begins from the date of receipt of application fee. At the end of the one-year period if a license has not been issued, the provider may be required to submit a new application and begin the process from the start. If providers must begin the process over, this will push their survey to the end of the schedule list.