Date Issued: November 3, 2014
- All Providers of OASAS Certified Treatment Services
- Local Governmental Units (LGUs)
Section 32.05 of the Mental Hygiene Law prohibits a provider of services from operating a residential program without an OASAS Operating Certificate. This includes a community residence for the care, custody, or treatment of persons suffering from chemical abuse or dependence. The purpose of this Bulletin is to articulate OASAS’ policy with regard to the conditions under which a residence for chemical abusing/dependent individuals requires certification by OASAS.
OASAS certified providers (including affiliated entities) and other operators of residences should carefully review and apply this policy in evaluating whether any existing non-certified residence or planned operation of a new residence for chemical abusing/dependent individuals requires certification by OASAS.
Residential services constitute a portion of the overall chemical dependence service delivery system that OASAS oversees. If chemical dependence counseling services are being provided at a residential facility, not otherwise authorized to do so by law, an OASAS Operating Certificate is required. In the absence of chemical dependence counseling services, a variety of other factors may also be present which indicate that an OASAS Operating Certificate is required. Such factors may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- requirement that residents have a diagnosis of chemical dependence or abuse
- referral or mandate that residents attend an authorized or certified chemical dependence service(s) as a condition of continued stay in the residence
- integration and coordination of the residence’s services with an authorized or certified chemical dependence service(s)
- maintenance of rules of behavior, geared toward sobriety and the non-use of drugs by residents
- monitoring the sobriety and drug-free status of residents
- prescription medication management, custody and/or safekeeping on behalf of residents
- protective oversight and supervision of residents
- oversight of residents’ progress in recovery from addiction
- a hierarchical structure rather than an internal body governed by the residents
- overlapping or otherwise interrelated ownership and/or administration of the residence with an authorized or certified chemical dependence service(s)
- promotion of the residence as a service for chemical abusing/dependent individuals
- promotion of the residence as a component of an authorized or certified chemical dependence service provider
The above factors, when present alone or in some combination, may indicate the existence of a service that is subject to OASAS certification. To avoid violation of the Mental Hygiene Law and associated penalties, including the issuance of a cease and desist order, OASAS certified providers (including affiliated entities) and other operators of residences should seek assistance from OASAS in determining the necessity for OASAS certification of existing or planned residences for chemical abusing/dependent individuals. Violation of the Mental Hygiene Law is a crime (a misdemeanor) and as such the penalties can include fine and /or imprisonment.