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Center for Health Care Quality

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​Center for Health Care Quality (CHCQ) Home 

CHCQ’s Mission: To protect the quality and safety of health care for all ​Californians.

The Center for Health Care Quality ​is the largest center in CDPH, with over 1,500 employees in 17 District Offices across all 58 California counties. CHCQ also supervises over 300 Los Angeles (LA) County enforcement agents. The Center is responsible for regulatory oversight of licensed health care facilities and health care professionals to ensure safe, effective, and quality health care. CHCQ fulfills this role by conducting periodic inspections and complaint investigations of health care facilities to oversee compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

CHCQ licenses and certifies over 14,000 health care facilities and agencies in California in 30 different licensure and certification categories. In addition, CHCQ oversees the certification of nurse assistants, home health aides, hemodialysis technicians, and the licensing of nursing home administrators.

Beyond the regulatory role of CHCQ, the Center also serves California with public policy and prevention activities. In this capacity, CHCQ writes Title 22 and other health care facility regulations, serves as technical assistance for policy and legislation, and has a robust Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Response Office. In addition, the Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Program has teams who partner with local public health agencies in reducing HAIs at the local level and assist in emergency disasters throughout the state.

CHCQ Licensing and Certification (L&C)

The Licensing and Certification (L&C) Division is responsible for regulatory oversight of licensed health care facilities and health care professionals.

The Centralized Applications Branch provides standardization and consistency of state licensing and federal certification through the application process. They review, analyze, and evaluate requests for facility licensure and/or certification, as well as process other license-associated transactions submitted by facility providers for approval.

The Healthcare Workforce Branch consists of the Professional Certification and Training Section, Nursing Home Administrator Program (NHAP), and the Staffing Audit Section (SAS). The Branch administers the approval of certification of nurse assistants (CNAs), home health aides (HHAs), hemodialysis technicians (CHTs) and their training programs and continuing education. It also oversees the licensing and regulation of nursing home administrators and conducts investigations of complaints. The Branch further has administration and oversight of the SAS. The SAS conducts audits of over 1,100 freestanding skilled nursing facilities to ensure facility compliance with the state mandated minimum staffing requirements.

There is a new CNA portal for online applications. Please visit this link to the CNA portal for more information: Certified Nurse Assistant portal​.

The Investigations Branch is comprised of three main teams: the Criminal Background Section (CBS), the Investigation Section (IS) and the Medical Breach Enforcement Section (MBES). The CBS is responsible for conducting criminal record reviews on prospective certificate holders, licensees, and direct care staff. Teams in IS are responsible for investigating complaints against certified nurse assistants (CNAs), home health aides (HHAs), and certified hemodialysis technicians (CHTs). MBES is responsible for conducting investigations on complaints and/or entity reported incidents regarding the potential breach of patients’ medical information.

CHCQ Public Policy & Prevention

The Public Policy & Prevention Division teams research, analyze, and communicate policies and requirements of law to internal and external audiences to support safe, effective, and quality health care for all Californians.

Stakeholders and Policy Makers ​Information

This page provides information and resources for stakeholders and policy makers on:

  • ​Obtaining stakeholder meeting information
  • Accessing legislative, budgetary, and fiscal reports
  • Learning about new health care requirements and/or guidance via All Facilities Letters
  • Accessing quality improvement initiatives and performance metrics      

CDPH All Facilities Letters

An All Facilities Letter (AFL) is a letter from the California Department of Public Health to health facilities that are licensed or certified by the state of California.

Centralized Program Flex Unit

The Centralized Program Flex Unit review, analyze, and research requests for program flexibility submitted by health care facilities.

Provider Technical Assistance Section​

The Provider Technical Assistance Section ​provides health care facilities and the public with interpretation of regulatory state and federal laws, regulations and other standards; and provides consultation services to long-term care facilities and general acute care hospitals, to meet the requirements of Health and Safety Code section 1417.3. The Provider Technical Assistance Section also supports home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities in the required administration and submission of patient assessments required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Healthcare-Associated Infections Program (HAI)

The Healthcare-Associated Infections Program (HAI) improves care quality and patient safety through the prevention of infections in California health care facilities. HAI accomplishes this through assistance with prevention activities, development of infection prevention recommendations, and implementation of mandatory public reporting of healthcare-associated infection data.

CHCQ Field Operations

The Field Operations Divisions (North and South) have regulatory oversight of skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and many other health care facilities. They include more than 920 Health Facility Evaluation Nurses, physicians, and other medical consultants who regularly survey facilities and investigate complaints to determine compliance with state laws and regulations. Our survey teams also consider compliance with federal statutes if the facilities receive Medicare or Medi-Cal reimbursement.

CHCQ Field Operations District Offices

The Field Operations Branch is comprised of 17 district offices throughout the state. Each office is responsible for the oversight of licensed health care facilities and agencies.​​

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