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Matching Registries Gaining Steam

March 29, 2012

Michigan is a step closer to establishing a permanent statewide home care registry, and a law to create a registry in West Virginia was just passed.

Michigan Petition Approved

The Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, which advocates for elders and people with disabilities in Michigan, has cleared the first hurdle in its efforts to create the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, a statewide registry that would help connect home care consumers with independent home care providers — and vice versa.

On March 19, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved the format and language of an initiative petition to amend the state’s constitution to establish the Quality Home Care Council. The question could appear on the November 6 ballot.

The next step in order to get the initiative placed on the ballot is for supporters to gather at least 322,609 signatures and submit them to the Michigan Secretary of State by July 9, according to Ballotpedia.

“The permanent establishment of a home care council will help to assure that Michigan’s citizens who have disabilities and those who are aging can connect with and choose from providers who have been screened, are compatible, and are looking for work,” said Dohn Hoyle, executive director of The Arc Michigan and treasurer of Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care.

“We also support the training available for providers to address their safety and acquisition of skills, as well as the training offered to those who need supports and assistance regarding the selection and direction of their workers,” Holye said.

Should the Michigan Quality Home Care Council be established through an amendment to the state constitution, home care workers who register would be required to undergo background checks and have access to training. The workers would also have limited collective bargaining rights, according to a Michigan Department of State Ballot Proposal Status document (pdf).

The new registry would permanently replace the existing Michigan Quality Community Care Council, a pilot matching services registry program designed to help people with Medicaid locate personal care home care workers.

“Our previous efforts demonstrated how well a quality registry benefits those who provide these critical services so they can find enough work to make a living and stay in this field, and allows those who need the supports in order to remain in their own homes to find the right person to support them,” Hoyle said. “And, the trainings have shown the efficacy and value for the person who needed services as well as the person who provided them.”

West Virginia to Establish Home Care Registry

In West Virginia, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (R) signed a bill [HB4062] into law on March 22 to establish a statewide home care registry through the state’s Bureau of Senior Services.

The West Virginia home care registry would be responsible for creating and maintaining a list of certified home care workers who meet the eligibility criteria established by the Bureau and approved by the legislature. Eligibility requirements would include educational and certification requirements and the completion of a criminal background check, according to the bill.

To learn more about home care registries, visit the PHI Matching Services Project site.

— by Deane Beebe

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