This is a great question we get asked quite often!
Assisted living facilities are regulated at the state level. The laws in each state can vary depending on which state you are in. It is always advised to double check with your specific state governing agency about the laws and regulations that pertain to an assisted living facility. You might also want to be sure to note that most states have separate definitions for assisted living facilities and home care companies. They are classified and sometimes regulated differently.
The facilities are also indirectly regulated federally by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Amendments Act. These acts ensure to protect elderly residents who require ADA accommodations and also serve to protect against discrimination against ones handicaps or disabilities.
In the majority of state, all assisted living facilities are inspected once a year to ensure they meet the requirements outlines by state law governing these facilities. All of these visits are unannounced and sometimes in response to complaints filed with the state. In most states there is a public file available that listed all the assisted living facilities. You can search this for a facility you might be considering to get full information on it.