January 11, 2017
PHI recently submitted a response (pdf) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) request for information related to facilitating access to quality home and community-based services (HCBS). CMS sought input on a range of issues, including implementing minimum training requirements for personal care aides, ensuring the quality of HCBS, and addressing the direct care workforce shortage.
Training and Advancement Recommendations
PHI’s response highlights a set of proposals to strengthen the direct care workforce which, in turn, facilitates access to needed services. Our recommendations include the following:
- Establish minimum federal requirements for competency and training of personal care workers;
- Update home health aide minimum training requirements;
- Improve on-the-job supports;
- Make career advancement opportunities available for direct care workers; and
- Create a federal home care aide advocate or ombudsman program.
Additionally, PHI recommends that CMS create minimum standardized performance measures for HCBS that would include key workforce measures that go beyond “a measure indicating whether the aide arrives on time or a measure assessing client satisfaction.”
Funding to Assess Workforce Shortages
Finally, to address workforce shortages, PHI would like to see CMS provide states with matching funds to conduct landscape studies examining the their current and future workforce needs and to conduct pilot projects addressing the workforce shortage.
Combined, these recommendations will help to create quality jobs for direct care workers, and empower them to provide quality care for their clients.
-- by Allison Cook