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Oahu unlicensed adult care facility fined $828,000 amid effort to rein in the industry

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii health department inspectors showed up at an Oahu home unannounced after a complaint and found it was operating an adult care facility without a license, leading to a fine of more than $800,000.

The $828,000 fine against Island Promise Homes LLC announced Thursday is part of a larger effort in recent years to rein in an industry that has skirted health and safety regulations, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Health officials have fined at least seven adult residential care homes over the past two years and ordered them to stop operating.

Registered nurse Anita Felipe, who operates three licensed adult residential care homes, owns Island Promise Homes, the newspaper reported.

According to the health department, she admitted she was providing care for people in the unlicensed facility.

She didn’t respond to a request for comment, the newspaper reported, and has 20 days to contest the order and seek a hearing.

Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Felipe on Friday weren’t immediately successful.

The announced fine is $1,000 for each day the Waipahu facility was in operation from April 24, 2018, to July 29, 2020 — or 828 days.

State law requires a license for an adult residential care home that charges a fee to provide accommodations to unrelated adults who need help with daily living and health care.

State legislators passed Act 148 in 2018, which authorized the health department to investigate and enter unlicensed care facilities. Health care providers who knowingly refer people to unlicensed care homes can also be fined.

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