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California Bill Requires Licensing and Regulations for Non-Medical Home Care Providers

June 20, 2013

A bill that has been making its way through committees in the California Assembly this spring would create the Home Care Services Act of 2013 to establish licensing and regulatory requirements for the state’s non-medical, private home care industry.

If passed, Assembly Bill 322, sponsored by Aging and Long-Term Care Committee Chair Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), would charge the California Department of Social Services (DSS) with implementing the law that would also require minimum training standards and provider background checks, an article reports.

Beginning January 1, 2016, home care aides, who provide in-home, non-medical services to elders and people with disabilities, would need to be licensed by DSS. Home care aides and organizations that violate the law would face a penalty of $400 a day.

The bill defines non-medical home care as services such as bathing, dressing, feeding, exercising, personal hygiene, assisting with self-administered medication, meal preparation, laundry, and companionship.

Under the Home Care Services Act of 2013, DSS would also be required to:

  • establish procedures for receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints against home care services providers
  • make a list of licensed home care providers available on its web site
  • assess licensing, renewal, and other fees for home care providers sufficient to cover the cost of the program

“The homecare industry has expanded significantly over the last few decades — to about 1,700 agencies statewide — yet it still lacks clear standards for training and background checks for the agency-based caregivers serving this vulnerable population,” Assemblywoman Yamada says in a press statement.

About 100,000 home care workers are employed in California, according to the bill, which is currently under consideration in the California Assembly Appropriations Committee.

For information on training standards for personal care aides in every state, see the PHI Personal Care Aide Training Requirements: Summary of State Findings.

— by Deane Beebe

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