Recent reports concerning Hermitage Cremation Provider, a cremation service with no facility located in Colorado but heavily marketed in the state, was labeled “willfully dishonest” by Colorado’s Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration, after complaints by two families surfaced. Both believed that the cremation would be performed locally, but in fact Heritage outsources embalming and cremation services to third party establishments out of state.
The Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration pulled the license of Hermitage Cremation Provider last December, but the company’s website is still online and Google provides a Colorado Springs address. Their website states: Like you, home is where our hearts are. Our staff is very community-minded. We are involved in many projects and organizations in our area. Unlike some corporate entities, our funeral home supports and participates in our community.
One of the reasons for this is consumer deception is that Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) which regulates all licensed professions and occupations in Colorado, does not license or regulate morticians, funeral directors, embalmers, or cremationists.
Within DORA/DPO, the Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration regulates funeral homes and crematories in the state of Colorado. Program activities include annual registration of funeral home and crematories, investigating complaints, and enforcing disciplinary actions against those who violate the Mortuary Science Code and the program’s rules. However, the continuing operations by Hermitage in Colorado demonstrate how without licensing, and thus personal accountability, on the part of a director or other mortician, there is little to protect consumers.