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Lawmaker says there's a rise in unlicensed care homes and calls - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Lawmaker says there's a rise in unlicensed care homes and calls it a "major health concern"

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Big questions about who's caring for our Kupuna.

One lawmaker says there's a rise in unlicensed care homes, and calls that a "major health concern".

Rep. John Mizuno says there's a surge in illegal care homes but adds enforcement is difficult.

Some caregivers claim facilities that once had licenses turned them in to avoid paying fees or insurance, and say some people look for  unlicensed care because it's cheaper.

The Department of Health says while they do investigate, some homes refuse to allow entry.

"We feel that we need to have some additional statutory authority to conduct the investigations into these homes because certainly we want to prevent unlicensed homes from opening or remaining open," Keith Ridley, state Dept. of Health said. 

"This is a rogue industry. There is no consumer protection. We need to stop it now," Rep. John Mizuno, chair of health and human services committee said.

Rep. Mizuno says he has drafted a bill that would help mandate investigations into care facilities without a license or certificate.