Code of the District of Columbia

§ 44–501. Definitions.

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter the term:

(1) "Ambulatory surgical facility" means any facility, other than a hospital or maternity center but including an office-based facility, at which there are performed outpatient surgical and related procedures that have been classified in accordance with [§ 44-504(h)] due to their complexity or the degree of patient risk.

(2) "Assisted living residence" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 44-102.01(4).

(3) "Community residence facility" means a facility that provides a sheltered living environment for individuals who desire or need such an environment because of their physical, mental, familial, social, or other circumstances, and who are not in the custody of the Department of Corrections. All residents of a community residence facility shall be 18 years of age or older, except that, in the case of group homes for persons with intellectual disabilities, no minimum age shall apply, unless this requirement is waived in accordance with [§ 44-505(e)].

(4) "Group home for persons with intellectual disabilities" means a community residence facility that provides a home-like environment for at least 4 but no more than 8 related or unrelated individuals who on account of intellectual disabilities require specialized living arrangements, and maintains the necessary staff, programs, support services, and equipment for their care and habilitation.

(5) "Health professional" means a person licensed, registered, certified, or permitted to practice a health occupation regulated by a licensing board in the District of Columbia.

(6) "Health professional's employer" means any entity, including a facility, agency, assisted living residence, private office, health care provider, or group home, in the District of Columbia, that employs health professionals or utilizes the services of a health professional who is contracted with a third party or is self-employed, including those engaged in the practice of pharmacy.

(7) "Home care agency" means an agency, organization, or distinct part thereof, other than a hospice, that directly provides skilled nursing services and at least one other therapeutic service to an individual, in his or her home or in a community residence facility, who is sick or who has a disability.

(8) "Hospice" means an agency, organization, facility, or distinct part thereof, primarily engaged in providing a program of in-home, outpatient, or inpatient medical, nursing, counseling, bereavement, and other palliative and supportive services to terminally ill individuals and their families.

(9) "Hospital" means a facility that provides 24-hour inpatient care, including diagnostic, therapeutic, and other health-related services, for a variety of physical or mental conditions, and may in addition provide outpatient services, particularly emergency care.

(10) "Maternity center" means a facility or other place, other than a hospital or the mother's home, that provides antepartal, intrapartal, and postpartal care for both mother and child during and after normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.

(11) "Nursing home" means a 24-hour inpatient facility, or distinct part thereof, primarily engaged in providing professional nursing services, health-related services, and other supportive services needed by the patient/resident.

(12) "Professional incompetence" means a health professional's unfitness to continue in the health professional's profession, or to provide one or more services ordinarily provided as part of the profession, as demonstrated by:

(A) A lack of knowledge, skill, or judgment; or

(B) Disregard for the welfare of a patient or client.

(13) "Renal dialysis facility" means any place, other than a hospital or the patient's home, that provides therapeutic care for persons with acute or chronic renal failure through the use of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or any other therapy that clears the blood of substances normally excreted by the kidneys.

(14) "Therapeutic service" includes physical, speech, or occupational therapy; medical social services; or personal care services.

(b) The Mayor shall have the authority to define variant types of facilities and agencies reasonably classified within the broader categories defined in subsection (a) of this section, and may issue rules under § 44-504 with respect to these subtypes. The Mayor shall make the final determination of whether a particular facility or agency falls within a category defined in subsection (a) of this section or a subtype defined by the Mayor pursuant to this subsection.

(c) When used throughout this subchapter, the terms “facility” and “agency” and their plural forms shall, unless contextually inappropriate or subject to specific exception, apply to all of the facilities and agencies defined in subsection (a) of this section as well as those subtypes defined by the Mayor. The Mayor shall make the final determination of whether a provision is contextually inappropriate for a particular agency or facility.

(Feb. 24, 1984, D.C. Law 5-48, § 2, 30 DCR 5778; Mar. 14, 1985, D.C. Law 5-154, § 2(a), 32 DCR 7; Sept. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-26, § 2(a), 32 DCR 3615; Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-215, § 2(a), 34 DCR 893; July 8, 1988, D.C. Law 7-131, § 3, 35 DCR 4106; Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-199, § 3, 36 DCR 3; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 69, 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 28, 59 DCR 5567; March 26, 2014, D.C. Law 20-96, § 202, 61 DCR 1184; June 24, 2020, D.C. Law 23-116, § 2(a), 67 DCR 5081.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 32-1301.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-220.05, § 3-405, § 3-1205.01, § 4-204.61, § 4-205.49, § 7-701.01, § 7-703.02, § 7-832, § 7-1531.01, § 7-2341.01, § 8-2031, § 21-2202, § 21-2209, § 44-102.01, § 44-151.01, § 44-631, § 44-651, § 44-801, § 44-1001.01, § 44-1051.02, § 47-1261, and § 50-1641.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a), pars. (4) and (5), substituted “persons with mental retardation” for “mentally retarded persons”, and in par. (7), substituted “individuals or individuals with disabilities” for “or disabled individuals”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “intellectual disabilities” for “mental retardation” wherever it appears in (a)(4) and (a)(5).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-96 rewrote (a)(7); and added (a)(10).

Cross References

Funeral directors, list of funeral services establishments authorized to receive human remains for care or preparation, see § 3-405.

Health-care decisions, provider limitation, see § 21-2209.

Mentally retarded citizens rights, statement of purpose, see § 7-1301.02.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) authorization of autopsies, see § 3 of the Mandatory Autopsy for Deceased Wards of the District of Columbia and Mandatory Unusual Incident Report Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-309, April 7, 2000, 47 DCR 2730).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2 to 4 of the Mandatory Autopsy for Deceased Wards of the District of Columbia and Mandatory Unusual Incident Report Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-493, December 18, 2000, 48 DCR 65).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Mandatory Autopsy for Deceased Wards of the District of Columbia and Mandatory Unusual Incident Report Temporary Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-104, May 9, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 4341).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Mandatory Autopsy for Deceased Wards of the District of Columbia and Mandatory Unusual Incident Report Temporary Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-244, April 3, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3486).

Section 7(b) of D.C. Law 13-244 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

“This act,” referred to in the first sentence of subsection (c), is D.C. Law 5-48.

Editor's Notes

Because of the enactment of subchapter II of this chapter by D.C. Law 12-238 and the designation of the preexisting text as subchapter I, “subchapter” has been substituted for “act” in the introductory language of (a).

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to D.C. Law 5-48, the Health-Care and Community Residence Licensure Act of 1983, see Mayor’s Order 2009-120, June 29, 2009 ( 56 DCR 6871).