(a) Any licensee or applicant aggrieved by an order issued pursuant to sections five, six, ten or eleven of this article may request a formal or informal hearing with the secretary or program manager in order to contest the order as contrary to law or unwarranted by the facts or both. If the contested matter is not resolved at the informal hearing, the licensee or applicant may request a formal hearing before the secretary. An informal hearing is not a prerequisite for requesting a formal hearing.
(b) Informal hearings shall be held within twenty business days of the secretary's receipt of timely request for appeal unless the licensee or applicant consents to a postponement or continuance. In no event may the informal hearing occur more than thirty business days after the secretary receives a timely request for appeal. Neither the licensee or applicant nor the secretary may be represented by an attorney at the informal hearing. Within ten business days of the conclusion of the informal hearing, the secretary, program manager or designee shall issue an informal hearing order, including the basis for the decision. If the order is not favorable to the licensee or applicant, the licensee or applicant may request an appeal and a formal hearing. The secretary shall notify the administrative hearing examiner of the request for appeal within five business days of receiving the request for an appeal and a formal hearing.
(c) If the applicant or licensee requests a formal hearing without a prior informal hearing or if an applicant or licensee appeals the order issued as a result of the informal hearing, the secretary shall proceed in accordance with the department's rules of procedure for contested case hearings and declaratory rulings and the pertinent provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(d) Following a formal hearing, the secretary shall make and enter a written order either dismissing the complaint or taking other action as is authorized in this article. The written order of the secretary shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law as specified in section three, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and a copy of the order and accompanying findings and conclusions shall be served upon the licensee and his or her attorney of record, if any, by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the secretary suspends an assisted living residence's license, the order shall also specify the conditions giving rise to the suspension to be corrected by the licensee during the period of suspension in order to entitle the licensee to reinstatement of the license. If the secretary revokes a license, the secretary may stay the effective date of revocation by not more than ninety days upon a showing that the delay is necessary to assure appropriate placement of residents. The order of the secretary shall be final unless vacated or modified upon judicial review of the order in accordance with the provisions of section thirteen of this article.
(e) In addition to all other powers granted by this chapter, the secretary may hold the case under advisement and make a recommendation as to requirements to be met by the licensee in order to avoid either suspension or revocation. In such a case, the secretary shall enter an order accordingly and so notify the licensee and his or her attorney of record, if any, by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the licensee meets the requirements of the order, the secretary shall enter an order showing satisfactory compliance and dismissing the complaint and shall so notify the licensee and the licensee's attorney of record, if any, by certified mail, return receipt requested.