THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1378

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO UNLICENSED CARE HOMES.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to expand protections for vulnerable senior citizens, the public at large, and residents of care homes by ensuring compliance with licensure requirements by clarifying the group of professionals who are prohibited from knowingly referring or transferring patients to an uncertified or unlicensed care facility, and by repealing the landlord exclusion.

The department of health has conducted investigations on 221 alleged unlicensed care homes during the past 48 months and has closed 11 homes and assessed $2,489,800 in administrative penalties. Investigations on 89 unlicensed homes are underway or pending. Meanwhile, unlicensed care homes continue to operate and pose a danger to the public and to frail, elderly, and vulnerable populations. Licensed care operators and other persons continue to refer or transfer patients to unlicensed care homes unbeknownst to patients. This practice places patients at risk and better enforcement on the sources of these referrals must be put in place. In addition, at least 21 unlicensed care homes have used the landlord exclusion to avoid the departments consumer protections through its regulatory oversight. This, too, places patients at risk. By repealing the landlord exclusion, the department has the ability to conduct an investigation to determine whether unlicensed activity is occurring or not.

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 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 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 "knowingly" includes, but is not limited to, failing to determine whether the care home, agency, or facility, has the required certificate or license; provided further 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 321488, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

["[S321-4881 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. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act, upon its approval, shall take effect on July 1, 2023.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

BY REQUEST


 


 

Report Title:

Care Homes; Unlicensed; Landlord Exclusion

 

Description:

Clarify the group of professionals who are prohibited from knowingly referring or transferring patients to an uncertified or unlicensed care facility, and repeal the landlord exclusion.

 

 

 

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