CHAPTER 360

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT, ESTABLISHMENT AND ENFORCEMENT OF STANDARDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF HOSPITALS AND THE LICENSING THEREOF.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Title 16, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new chapter reading as follows:

CHAPTER 10

HOSPITALS

§ 1001. Definitions

A. As used in this chapter "Hospital" means a place devoted primarily to the maintenance and operation of facilities for the diagnosis, treatment, or care for not less than 24 hours in any week or four or more non-related individuals suffering from illness, disease, injury, or deformity, or a place devoted primarily to providing for not less than 24 hours in any week of obstetrical or other medical or nursing care for two or more non-related individuals, but does not include Sanatoriums, Rest Homes, Nursing Homes, or Boarding Homes.

B. "Government Unit" means The United States, State, County, Municipality, or other political sub-division, or any department, division, board or other agency of any of the foregoing.

C. "Person" means person, firm, association or corporation.

D. "State Board" means Delaware State Board of Health.

§ 1002. Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the development, establishment, and enforcement of standards for the construction, maintenance, and operation of hospitals, which, in the

light of advancing knowledge, will promote safe and adequate treatment of such individuals in hospitals.

§ 1003. License requirement

No person or government unit, acting severally or jointly with any other person or government unit shall construct, establish, conduct or maintain a hospital in this State without a license under this law.

§ 1004. Application for license

An application for license shall be made to the State Board of Health upon forms provided by it and shall contain such information as the State Board may reasonably require, which may include affirmative evidence of ability to comply with such reasonable standards, rules and regulations as are lawfully prescribed hereunder.

§ 1005. Issuance and renewal of license

Upon receipt of an application for license and the license fee of Twenty-five ($25.00) Dollars, the State Board shall issue a license if the applicant and hospital facilities meet the requirements established under this law. A license, unless sooner suspended or revoked, shall be renewed annually without charge upon filing by the licensee, and after approval by the State Board, of an annual report upon such uniform dates and containing such information as the State Board may reasonably require. Each license shall be issued only for the premises and persons or governmental units named in the application and shall not be transferable or assignable.

§ 1006. Denial or revocation of license; hearings and review

The State Board shall have the authority to deny, suspend, or revoke a license in any case where it finds that there has been a failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations issued under this chapter.

Before any license issued under this chapter is denied, suspended or revoked, notice shall be given in writing to the holder of the license setting forth the particular reasons for such action.

Such denial, suspension, or revocation shall become effective thirty days after the mailing by registered mail or service of the notice, unless the applicant or licensee, within such thirty-day period shall give written notice to the State Board requesting a hearing, in which case the notice shall be deemed to be suspended. If a hearing has been requested, the applicant or licensee shall be given an opportunity for a prompt and fair hearing before the State Board. At any time at or prior to the hearing, the State Board may rescind the notice of denial, suspension, or revocation upon being satisfied that the reasons for the denial, suspension, or revocation have been or will be removed. A copy of the decision of the State Board setting forth the finding of facts and the particular reasons for the decision shall be sent by registered mail, or served personally upon the applicant or licensee. The decision shall become final thirty days after it is so mailed or served, unless the applicant or licensee, within such thirty clay period, appeals the decision to the Superior Court in accordance with Section 1014 hereof.

The procedure governing hearings authorized by this section shall be in accordance with rules promulgated by said State Board with the advice of the Hospital Advisory Council.

A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings, and all testimony shall be reported but need not be transcribed unless the decision is appealed pursuant to Section 1014 hereof. A copy or copies of the transcript may be obtained by an interested party on payment of the cost of preparing such copy or copies. Witnesses may be subpoenaed by either party and shall he allowed fees at a rate prescribed by the aforesaid rules.

§ 1007. Rules; regulations and enforcement

The State Board shall adopt, amend, or repeal regulations governing the establishment and operation of hospitals. These regulations shall establish reasonable standards of equipment, capacity, sanitation and any conditions which might influence the health care received by patients or promote the purposes of this chapter.

§ 1008. Effective date of regulations

Any hospital which is in operation at the time of adoption of any applicable regulation or standard under this act shall be

given a reasonable time, not exceeding five years, by the State Board, within which to comply with such regulations and standards.

§ 1009. Inspections and consultations

The State Board shall make or cause to be made such inspections and investigations as it may deem necessary.

§ 1010. Hospital advisory council

The Governor shall invite the Department of Mental Health, Delaware Academy of Medicine, Medical Society of Delaware, Health Facilities Planning Council, Delaware Osteopathic Medical Society, Association of Delaware Hospitals, and the Delaware Nurses Association each to submit names of no less than three nominees for membership on the Advisory Council. From each list, the Governor shall select one individual who shall serve initially for one, two or three years as the Governor may decide. The Executive Secretary of the State Board shall be an ex-officio member without vote.

The Council may appoint not more than six other individuals who shall serve for terms of three years except when appointed to complete an unexpired term. Members whose terms expire shall hold office until appointment of their successors. Members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed by the State Board for actual traveling and incidental expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties. No voting member of the Council shall succeed himself as a member of the Council.

§ 1011. Functions of hospital advisory council

The Hospital Advisory Council shall have the following responsibilities and duties:

(a) To consult and advise with the State Board in matters of policy affecting administration of this chapter and in the development of regulations, and standards provided for hereunder.

(b) To review and make recommendations to the State Board with respect to regulations and standards authorized hereunder.

(c) To meet on no less than two separate days per year.

§ 1012. Information confidential

Information received by the State Board through filed reports, inspections, or as otherwise authorized under this chapter, shall not be made public in such manner as to identify individuals or hospitals, except in a hearing pursuant to Section 1006 or when otherwise required by law or federal regulation.

§ 1013. Annual report of State Board

The State Board shall prepare and publish an annual report of its activities and operations under this chapter.

§ 1014. Judicial review

Any applicant or licensee who is dissatisfied with the decision of the State Board as a result of the hearing provided in section 1006 may, within thirty (30) days after the mailing or service of the notice of decision as provided in said section, file a Notice of Appeal to the Superior Court in the office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court of the County in which the hospital is located or to be located, and serve a copy of said Notice of Appeal upon the State Board. The State Board shall promptly certify and file with the Court a copy of the Record and decision, including the transcript of the hearings on which the decision is based. Proceedings thereafter shall be governed by the rules of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.

§ 1015. Penalties

Any person constructing, establishing, conducting, managing, or operating any hospital without a license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense and not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each subsequent offense, and each day of a continuing violation after conviction shall be considered a separate offense.

§ 1016. Injunction

Notwithstanding the existence or pursuit of any other remedy, the State Board may, in the manner provided by law, maintain an action in the name of the State for injunction or other

process against any person or governmental unit to restrain or prevent the establishment, conduct, management or operation of a hospital without a license.

§ 1017. Waiver

Any person which has presented plans for a hospital and received approval of them by the State Board prior to the enactment of this chapter shall be eligible for licensing until the fifth anniversary of the effective date of this law.

Approved June 28, 1968.

NOTE: This Act has been codified as Chapter 10A, Sections 1021 through 1037, Title 16, Delaware Code.