The owner of three licensed care homes in Honolulu has been cited and fined $828,000 by the state for providing care for individuals at an unlicensed residential care home.
Anita Felipe, owner of Island Promise Homes, was issued a notice of violation and order last week by the Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance.
Health inspectors conducted two announced investigations in December 2018 and July 2020 after a complaint was filed. During both investigations, the health department confirmed that four unrelated residents were receiving care at the unlicensed facility. Felipe, a licensed registered nurse, admitted to the violation.
Hawaii law requires licensure for all adult residential care homes that provide 24-hour living accommodations to unrelated adults for a fee. The state’s residential care homes provide assistance with activities of daily living, personal care services, protection and healthcare services.
Following the second investigation, Felipe transferred the four residents from the unlicensed care home to one of her licensed care homes. The health department stated there currently are no residents at the unlicensed facility.
Felipe was fined an administrative penalty of $828,000 — $1,000 for each day the unlicensed facility was in operation, totaling 828 days from April 24, 2018, to July 29, 2020. She has 20 days to submit a written request for a hearing.
According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, state health officials began cracking down on senior living and care settings following the passage of Act 148 in 2018, which authorized the health department to enter and investigate unlicensed care facilities. At the time, as many as 200 unlicensed care homes were thought to be operating throughout the state. More than 460 licensed care homes are operating in the state.
Lawmakers were told in 2019 that unlicensed care homes continued to operate despite passage of the law. Health officials have fined at least seven adult residential care homes in the past two years and ordered them to cease operations, according to the media outlet.
Felipe could not be reached for comment by the publication deadline.