The owner and operator of an illegal adult residential care home in Ocean View in Ka‘u has been issued a notice of violation and order.
Emily Lee was ordered to immediately cease and desist operations of the unlicensed facility and to pay an administrative penalty, according to the state Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance.
“Our priority is to ensure the well being of our kupuna by keeping them healthy and safe at facilities that are licensed and regulated,” Keith Ridley, OHCA chief, said through a media release. “State licensure ensures that caregivers are trained and experienced to provide care and have been cleared background checks. We encourage the public to contact the Department of Health if they suspect unusual activity or are uncertain whether the facility is licensed.”
Based on OHCA’s unannounced visit and investigation conducted in response to complaints, OHCA determined Lee was operating an illegal care home.
According to the office, the home was operating unlawfully as an adult residential care home because they provided living accommodations for at least one unrelated individual, 24 hours per day, for a fee, and the residents were receiving assistance with activities of daily living, personal care services, protection, and health care services, even though they did not have a valid license issued by OHCA.
In addition to requiring Lee to cease operations upon receipt of the NOVO, the company must also comply with other requirements, according to the release.
Lee had to safely transfer the residents from her unlicensed care home to a licensed adult residential care home or expanded adult residential care home by March 7, providing the name and address of the facility by March 4.
She must also pay a fine of $86,900 to the state Department of Health. That figure is based on a $100 fine for each day of unlicensed operation times 869 days as calculated from the date of admission of residents to the unlicensed residential care home to the date of transfer of all residents, inclusive from Oct. 13, 2017, through Friday.
In January, the DOH issued a cease-and-desist order on two unlicensed therapeutic living programs in Keaau.
Pacific Quest was fined $13,300 and ordered to relocate all residents.
The DOH defines an adult residential care home and expanded adult residential care home as any facility that provides and operates 24-hour living accommodations to adults unrelated to the family for a fee, and requires at least minimal assistance in the activities of daily living, personal care services, protection, and health care services, but does not need the professional health services provided in an intermediate, skilled nursing, or acute care facility.
A check of the Department of Health’s website showed 42 licensed adult residential care homes on the Big Island.
Under state law, Lee has 20 days to submit a written request to the Department of Health to request a hearing to contest the notice and order.