America is getting older. In 2011, over 8,000 people will celebrate their 65th birthday each day, with the nation’s senior population expected to soar to 72 million by the year 2025.
Although it seems new homecare agencies are cropping up daily, a survey conducted by the National Private Duty Association found that nearly 70% of agencies reported having been in business for 5 years or more. What does this mean for agencies and clients? Homecare is an industry that is in high demand, and well-managed businesses have staying power. But, what exactly is required in regards to state certifications to begin providing care for the elderly?
State Variations in Certification
Each state has a different set of regulations regarding the certification and tracking of private duty homecare agencies.
- Every state except for Idaho, South Dakota, and Vermont requires home health agencies to go through some type of certification.
- For non-medical home care agencies, far fewer states have certification requirements.
- Agencies providing any services covered by Medicare must be certified and monitored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Relevancy to New Homecare Agencies
- To find out just what is required, contact your state’s Department of Human Services or Bureau of Licensing and Certification. Most state agencies provide homecare managers with a simple chart or checklist to determine what licenses are required to conduct business as a legitimate non-medical care provider.
- If certification or licensing is not required in your state, consider at least joining a national trade organization to let clients know that you’re committed to keeping up with industry standards. Also consider having employees certified as Home Health Aides. States like California provide certification programs that will help clients feel like caregivers have been properly trained.
Coupling the proper certifications with the use of ClearCare care management software will provide consumers with the greatest available level of comfort. While paper certifications are required, ClearCare technology is a statement to your commitment to providing real time oversight of your caregivers. With the integration of ClearCare’s task tracking, available for viewing by both agency managers and family members, you will be able to assure clients that their loved ones are being cared for properly, efficiently and safely.
Relevancy to Consumers
Before choosing a homecare agency, research the requirements for homecare licensing or certification in your state. Note whether or state regulations require agencies to conduct caregiver background checks, and if not, ask if specific agencies do.
Just like in any industry, the best providers are committed to providing their clients with top notch service and that means going above and beyond minimal certification requirements. Ask if the agency utilizes ClearCare and request a demo to see how you can check on the progress of care while you’re away via internet and telephony updates.