New Regulations for California’s In-Home Care Providers

By Guest Contributor February 1, 2016 16:58

caregiver handsBy Sandy Uslander 

There is a lot of attention focused on home care organizations like Seniority Lifecare at Home these days, particularly in California.

As of Jan. 1, 2016, the state requires organizations to be licensed and their Home Care Aides (also known as caregivers or personal care assistants) to be trained, background checked, fingerprinted, Tuberculosis-tested and registered.

Yes, this is a lot of adjustment and expense on the part of organizations like ours, but we welcome the standards because we are committed to meeting and exceeding state regulations to make sure our clients, and all clients of home care organizations, are safe and well cared for.

Specifically, our registered Home Care Assistants (HCA) will have had an extensive nationwide background check of their entire working and personal history.  This is a more stringent check than required for many medical care professionals.

HCA’s will have passed a TB test and are required to have a minimum of five hours of training annually. Seniority Lifecare at Home has always provided at least 12 hours of initial training and regular ongoing training for its caregivers. Finally, an HCA will be included on a registry where you can look them up by name to see that they are currently registered.

Home Care Organization (HCO) owners are also required to pass background checks.  They will need to keep required records of their caregivers, and will have to pass periodic inspections by the state.  They will also have to pay a bi-annual licensing fee of about $5,000.  Any individual or business that sends out caregivers is required to be a licensed HCO in California.

California has also passed stricter laws about compensating caregivers for overnight shifts, overtime and sick leave.  Seniority Lifecare at Home again meets and exceeds these requirements for its employed caregivers.  It is all a part of honoring the work of caregivers and the value of caring for our seniors and the disabled.

The bottom line is that home care is being taken more seriously, and caregivers are now recognized for their crucial role in our communities.  That’s a very good thing. We want our most vulnerable seniors and disabled adults to be protected and provided excellent care. We also want our caregivers to be supported as professionals and to understand the value of their work.

To learn more about the new law, visit the California Department of Social Services Home Care Aide Registry online, dss.ca.gov/ccld/hcsregistry/About.aspx. Click on this link for answers to frequently asked questions.


sandy uslanderAbout the Author

Sandy Uslander is Executive Director of Seniority Lifecare at Home, based in Sonora, California. Contact her at (209) 532-4500, senioritylifecare.com.

 

By Guest Contributor February 1, 2016 16:58
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