State orders illegal care homes to cease and desist

The state has slapped a cease-and-desist order and fine on a company it says is operating two unlicensed special treatment facilities, or therapeutic living programs, in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

According to a written statement from the Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance, a notice of violation order has been sent to Pacific Quest Corp. and its principals, Christopher Kaiser, Michael McKinney, Suzanne McKinney and Mark Agosto.

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The statement said Pacific Quest is operating two illegal facilities at 15-1943 4th Ave. and 15-1736 22nd Ave. in Keaau.

OHCA made unannounced visits and investigated the facilities in response to complaints, determining that both care homes for adolescents and young adults with a range of problems were operating unlawfully and didn’t apply for or hold licenses from the agency for either facility.

Pacific Quest has been ordered to transfer or discharge all residents to licensed facilities or to their legal guardian within seven days of receipt of the order and to pay a fine totaling $13,300, which is $100 for each day of unlicensed operation from Aug. 27, the date the state verified the unlicensed operations, to Jan. 17, the discharge date on the order.

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“We cannot stress the importance for families to research licensed special treatment facilities or therapeutic living programs for their loved ones in need of care,” said Keith Ridley, OHCA chief. “If they are uncertain whether the facility is licensed or suspect unusual activity, they should contact the Department of Health.”

Under state law, Pacific Quest Corp. has 20 days to submit a written request to the Department of Health to contest the notice and order.

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