HHS Item 2
February 9, 2012
Health and Human Services Committee
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Worksession: Bill 40-11, Group Homes - Developmentally Disabled Adults
Bill 40-11, Group Homes Developmentally Disabled Adults - Licensing, sponsored by
the Council President at the request of the County Executive and Councilmember Ervin, was
introduced on December 6, 2011. A public hearing was held on January 24 (see testimony, ©9
Bill 40-11 would exempt certain group homes for developmentally disabled adults which
are licensed by the state from the County group home licensing law. Reasons given in the hearing
testimony for repealing this requirement include duplication of effort by County and state licensing
agencies and cost savings for group home providers.
1) Why only "de-license" this category of group homes?
An issue raised by, among others, civic activist Max Bronstein (see letter, ©25) is what is
DHHS' rationale for no longer licensing this category of group homes (developmentally disabled
adults) while both the County and the state continue to license other types of group homes. Neither
DHHS nor the other advocates for this Bill addressed this issue in their hearing testimony.
2) Does the state effectively perform its licensing function?
A recent state legislative audit of the state group home licensing agency, the Office of
Health Care Quality (OHCQ)
the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) (see
excerpts, ©19-24), found that, from February 2008 through August 2010, the agency failed to
inspect 76% of the licensed facilities for the developmentally disabled. If one rationale for the
County no longer licensing these facilities is that the state will effectively do so, this data tends to
call that rationale into question.
its response to the audit, OHCQ concurred with the auditors'
finding and attributed its failure to inspect to staff shortages - a deficit of 28 inspectors in the DD