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General Laws

Section 19. (a) The department shall issue for a term of two years, and may renew for like terms, a license, subject to revocation by it for cause, to any private, county or municipal facility or department or ward of any such facility which offers to the public residential or day care services and is represented as providing treatment of persons who are mentally ill and which is deemed by it to be responsible and suitable to meet applicable licensure standards and requirements except that: (1) the department may license those facilities providing care but not treatment of persons who are mentally ill, and (2) licensing by the department is not required where such residential or day care treatment is provided within an institution or facility licensed by the department of public health under the provisions of chapter one hundred and eleven unless such services are provided on an involuntary basis. Whether or not a license is issued under clause (1), the department shall make regulations for the operation of such facilities. The department may grant the type of license which it deems suitable for the facility, department or ward. The department shall fix reasonable fees for licenses and renewal thereof.

(b) Each facility, department or ward licensed under the provisions of this section shall maintain and make available to the department such statistical and diagnostic data as may be required by the department.

(c) Each such facility, department or ward licensed by the department shall be subject to the supervision, visitation and inspection of the department, and the department may make regulations for the proper operation of such facilities, departments or wards.

Such regulations shall provide that no such facility, department or ward shall discriminate against an individual qualified within the scope of his license when considering or acting on an application of a licensed independent clinical social worker for staff membership or clinical privileges. Such regulations shall further provide that each application shall be considered solely on the basis of the applicant’s education, training, current competence and experience. Each such facility, department or ward subject to such regulations shall establish, in consultation with the director of social work or, if none, a consulting licensed independent clinical social worker, the specific standards, criteria and procedures to admit applicants for staff membership and clinical privileges.

(d) The department may refuse to grant, suspend, revoke, limit or restrict the applicability of or refuse to renew a license granted under this section, subject to the procedural requirements of section thirteen of chapter thirty A, for any violation of its regulations or standards concerning such facilities, department or ward. The department may temporarily suspend a license prior to a hearing in cases of emergency if it deems that such suspension would be in the public interest; provided, however, that upon request of an aggrieved party, a hearing pursuant to section thirteen of chapter thirty A shall be held after the license is suspended. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the department under this section may appeal in accordance with the provisions of section fourteen of chapter thirty A.

(e) No facility nor any department or ward of any such facility, for which a license is required under paragraph (a), shall provide residential or day care services for the treatment or care of persons who are mentally ill, unless it has obtained a license under the provisions of this section. The superior court sitting in equity shall have jurisdiction, upon petition of the department, to restrain any violation of the provisions of this section or to take such other action as equity and justice may require. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars and for subsequent offenses by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two years.

(f) Each patient shall be granted protection from commercial exploitation of any kind. No patient shall be photographed, interviewed or exposed to public view without either his expressed written consent or that of his legal guardian.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (f), inclusive, any child care center, family child care home, family child care system, family foster care or group care facility as defined in section 1A of chapter 15D, shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

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