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Big Rule Changes Proposed for DCF Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Centers

substance abuse licensingBy: Jacqueline Bain

On December 29, 2017, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) submitted comments for proposed changed to rule 65D-30, governing licensed substance abuse service providers. The proposed rule includes significant changes as compared to old 65D-30, and should be reviewed as soon as possible by all DCF-licensed substance abuse service providers.  Comments must be received by DCF on or before January 19, 2018, and can be submitted via the form at the bottom of THIS LINK .The proposed changes are substantial, and we strongly recommend someone in each licensed service provider reviews them as soon as possible in order to ensure timely compliance.

This article will focus on changes in the licensing component of DCF’s rules.

Licensed Substance Abuse Providers – Key Proposed Changes

Rather than issue service provider licenses by premises, DCF will now electronically issue separate licenses for each service component offered by a provider. Licenses will be amended each time a new component is added or terminated. Licenses must be conspicuously displayed on the service provider’s premises. License numbers must be included on a service provider’s website and describe each component licensed.

Service providers shall be required obtain accreditation by an organization recognized by DCF. Currently recognized organizations are: Green Apple Accreditation of Children’s Services; Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities; Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations; or Council on Accreditation.

In the event that a service provider changes names, the service provider shall submit such name change to a DCF regional office within 60 days prior to the effective date of the name change. DCF shall issue a confirming letter along with an amended licenses listing the correct facility name.

With regard to licensing process, applicants must admit at least one patient for services during a probationary license period in order to have a regular license issued and to avoid having to re-apply for licensure. Regular licenses will be valid for twelve month periods; however, licenses for all service components will expire on the same date regardless of when they are issued. If a regular license follows a probationary license, the regular license will expire twelve months after the probationary licenses was first issued. DCF will issue interim licenses for up to ninety days, but only upon the following occurrences:

  • A service provider (or one of its licensed components) is less than 90% compliant with licensing standards;
  • A service provider has failed to provide proof of compliance with local fire, safety or health requirements; or
  • A service provider is involved in license suspension or revocation procedings.

Licenses are non-transferrable. Any acquisition of a new owner (even a 1% owner) will trigger a “change in ownership” requiring approval and a new license from DCF. At least 30 days prior to any transfer of ownership interest, the service provider must submit a new application for licensing. Moreover, DCF must be notified in advance of any addition of or change in a management entity of a service provider.

Licenses to be renewed must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the expiration date on the current license. Applications submitted between 30 and 60 days prior to the expiration date on the current license will be assessed a late fee. In the event that a service provider is shuttering operations, it must notify DCF in writing 30 days prior to closing and aid DCF in finding alternative placement for each of its clients.