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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 for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, diagnostic and treatment center, rehabilitation center, infirmary, community mental health center, Crisis Triage Center, Boarding Homes, 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 to obtain and read a copy of the appropriate regulation set for your facility type.

Letter of Intent

To begin your process you will need to submit a letter of intent (LOI) to Please be sure the letter of intent includes a valid email and a designated contact person. Once your letter of intent is complete, please email it to the attention of the licensing manager at

Program Narrative

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

Application Packet

Once the Letter of Intent is approved, an application packet will be emailed to the contact specified. 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.

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

Apply for Licensure

Directions for submitting all required documents are provided with the application packet. An assigned clerk is available to assist throughout the application process Be sure to include the name, telephone number, and email address of a person to contact if any further information is needed.

Mail the information to:

Department of Health - DHI/POB
Licensing Dept
P.O Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM 87502

NOTE: : Life safety codes apply to all facility types except for home health agencies and home health hospice agencies.

  • Description of the characteristics of the population to be served.
  • Description of the services and care to be provided.
  • Description of anticipated contract services you will use.

Abbreviated steps included in the application process

Annotated Policy and Procedure Manuals

Submit annotated policy and procedure manuals with a crosswalk to the rules to the licensing department

Mail the information to:

Department of Health - DHI/POB
Licensing Dept
P.O Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Or email to

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 for life safety coder review and approval. After construction of the facility is completed and prior to authorizing the life safety code inspection, 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 Inspection

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 Inspection will be scheduled to determine if the facility is in compliance with the applicable DOH requirements, and able to accept residents or treat patients. If needed the life safety code surveyor will issue a letter of deficiencies that require correction before the facility license can be issued.

Upon successful completion of this Life Safety Code Inspection, you will be issued a temporary license. You may then begin providing services to a limited number of patients/residents.

Initial Health Survey

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

At the time of your initial health 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 health survey, an annual license will be issued.

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.