Assisted living refers to services provided in conjunction with housing, for persons who cannot live independently. As the older population steadily increases, more and more people are turning to private pay assisted living facilities for housing. Assisted living facilities are regulated by state laws, which vary by state, as well as federal laws. In some states, "assisted living" is a new name for a pre-existing licensure category.
Pursuant to federal Medicaid law, Medicaid funds are used to pay for the care of residents suffering from medical conditions significant enough to warrant admission into a nursing home. Participation in the Medicaid program is voluntary for a health care provider. In agreeing to accept Medicaid reimbursement, a health care provider promises to comply with program participation rules, including rules prohibiting discrimination against Medicaid beneficiaries, and protecting beneficiaries' limited income and savings.