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 departmentꞌs 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 321—488, 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.
Care Homes; Unlicensed; Landlord Exclusion
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.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.