HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO HEALTH.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the prevalence of unlicensed care homes and facilities in the State continues to pose significant health and consumer protection issues for Hawaii's elderly and vulnerable populations. Over the past three years, the department of health has received hundreds of complaints regarding unlicensed care homes and facilities, which has resulted in the closure of several homes and facilities and the significant collection of fines by the department. Since December 2019, the department has closed at least seven unlicensed adult residential care homes and two unlicensed special treatment facilities or therapeutic living programs and imposed over $800,000 in fines.
The legislature further finds that licensed care home operators and other persons are still referring or transferring patients to unlicensed care homes and facilities unbeknownst to the patient. This illegal practice has cost some patients thousands of dollars due to denied insurance reimbursements and endangers patients' health and safety since unlicensed care homes and facilities do not have to follow required health and consumer protection regulations.
The purpose of this Act is to bolster the department of health's enforcement activities to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the State's elderly and vulnerable populations by:
(1) Clarifying the group of professionals who are prohibited from knowingly referring or transferring patients to an uncertified or unlicensed care facility;
(2) Repealing the provision that a landlord, under specified conditions, shall not be deemed to be providing home care services or operating a care facility that requires a license; and
(3) Requiring the department of health to prioritize complaint allegations based on severity for investigations of state-licensed or state-certified care facilities.
SECTION 2. Section 321-487, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) It shall be unlawful for [
a certified or
licensed healthcare provider or certified or licensed care facility] any
person, corporation, or any other entity in the health care or human services community
to knowingly refer or transfer patients to an uncertified or unlicensed care
facility. The department may impose a
fine on any [ certified or licensed healthcare provider or certified or
licensed care facility] person, corporation, or any other entity in the health
care or human services community that knowingly refers or transfers
patients to a care home, agency, or facility operating without a certificate or
license as required by law; provided that the fine shall be no more than:
(1) $500 for the first violation;
(2) $1,000 for the second violation; and
(3) $2,000 for the third and each succeeding violation."
SECTION 3. Section 321-488, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.
[§321-488] Exclusion. For purposes of this chapter, a landlord, as
defined in section 521-8, shall not be deemed to be providing home care services
or to be operating a care facility requiring a license under this chapter
solely due to a landlord permitting a tenant to receive care services from
persons licensed to provide care services, if licensing is otherwise required
by law, and the landlord does not require a tenant to use or pay for care
services as a condition of the rental agreement. For the purposes of this section, an operator
means an individual or entity that operates or manages a healthcare facility or
similar facility that provides care services in that facility."]
SECTION 4. Section 321-1.9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§321-1.9[ ]] Inspections; visits; state-licensed or
state-certified care facilities. (a)
The department of health shall conduct unannounced visits and
inspections, including inspections for relicensing or recertification, for the
following state-licensed or state-certified care facilities on an annual basis
and at such intervals as determined by the department to ensure the health,
safety, and welfare of each resident:
(1) Adult day health centers;
(2) Adult day care centers;
(3) Community care foster family homes;
(4) Developmental disabilities domiciliary homes;
(5) Adult foster homes;
(6) Long-term care facilities, including but not limited to:
(A) Adult residential care homes;
(B) Expanded adult residential care homes;
(C) Assisted living facilities;
(D) Intermediate care facilities;
(E) Nursing facilities; and
(F) Skilled nursing facilities; and
(7) Special treatment facilities.
(b) Unannounced visits may be conducted during or outside regular business hours. All inspections relating to follow-up visits, visits to confirm correction of deficiencies, or visits to investigate complaints or suspicion of abuse or neglect shall be conducted unannounced during or outside regular business hours. Annual inspections for relicensing or recertification may be conducted during regular business hours or at intervals determined by the department. Annual inspections for relicensing or recertification shall be conducted without notice.
(c) Consistent with subsection (b), the department shall prioritize complaint investigations based on the degree of severity of the allegations and shall give highest priority to allegations of actual harm or potential harm.
(c)] (d) The
department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to effectuate the purposes
of this section."
SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2060.
Care Facilities; Uncertified Care Facilities; Unlicensed Care Facilities; Landlord Exclusion; Complaint Allegations
Clarifies the group of professionals who are prohibited from knowingly referring or transferring patients to an uncertified or unlicensed care facility. Repeals the landlord exclusion. Requires the department of health to prioritize complaint allegations based on severity for inspections of state-licensed or state-certified care facilities. Effective 7/1/2060. (HD2)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.