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AGO 1952 No. 229 - January 24, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

NURSING HOME LICENSES FOR BEDS OR WARDS IN GENERAL HOSPITALS SET ASIDE FOR PATIENTS WHO COULD BE ADEQUATELY SERVED IN NURSING HOMES.

Hospitals, although they may maintain certain beds or wards for the chronic or convalescing patient and charge a nursing home rate rather than a hospital rate to such patient, are not subject to licensing as nursing homes under chapter 17, Laws of 1951.

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                                                                 January 24, 1952

Honorable J. A. Kahl, M.D.
Acting Director
State Department of Health
Smith Tower
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                               Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 229

Dear Sir:

            We are in receipt of your letter of January 2, 1952, wherein you request an opinion of this office as to whether or not hospitals which set aside a few beds or wards for chronic or convalescing care, and charge a nursing home rate rather than a hospital rate to patients for such care, should be licensed as nursing homes under chapter 17, Laws of 1951.

            Our conclusion is as follows:

            Hospitals, although they may maintain certain beds or wards for the chronic or convalescing patient and charge a nursing home rate rather than a hospital rate to such patient, are not subject to licensing as nursing homes under chapter 17, Laws of 1951.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 2 (1), chapter 117, Laws of 1951, in defining a nursing home provides in part as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "* * * Nothing in this definition shall be construed to include general hospitals or other places which provide care and treatment for the acutely ill and maintain and operate facilities for major surgery or obstetrics, or both: * * *"

            Giving the above provision of the statute its plain and ordinary meaning, it is clear that general hospitals which provide care and treatment for the acutely ill and maintain and operate facilities for major surgery or obstetrics, or both are not to be licensed under the nursing home act.  This is so despite the fact that the hospitals maintain beds or wards for chronic or convalescing care and charge a nursing home rate rather than a hospital rate to patients receiving such care.

            Accordingly, therefore, it is the opinion of this office that hospitals are not subject to licensing as nursing homes under chapter 17, Laws of 1951.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

BARBARA L. OHNICK
Assistant Attorney General

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