Home care organizations in California will be required to post a $10,000 home care employee dishonesty bond effective January 1, 2016. Gov. Brown signed the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (HCSCPA) into law in October 2013, but requested its enactment be delayed until 2016. Home care aides assist elderly and disabled persons with daily, non-medical tasks including bathing, eating, shopping and exercising. The surety bond requirement guarantees that home care agencies and their employees will not mishandle their clients’ money.
The HCSCPA also requires the following in addition to the $10,000 home care employee dishonesty bond:
- background checks for all home care aides
- aides must complete 5 hours of entry level training, 2 hours of orientation, 3 hours of safety training, and 5 hours of annual competency training
- home care aides must be free of active tuberculosis
- home care agencies must hold general and professional liability insurance of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 in the aggregate (in total)
- home care agencies must be licensed according to Section 1, Article 6 of the HCSCPA
In addition, home care aides must apply to be included in the registry maintained by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Applications are still being developed by the CDSS. Violating these or any other provisions of the HCSCPA can result in fines of up to $900 per violation per day and is considered a misdemeanor.
This attempt to closely regulate California’s home care industry followed a 2011 study requested by the California Senate Health Committee that detailed cases of abuse and neglect by home care aides. The study revealed that many of the aides were rarely or poorly background checked which often lead to the cases of abuse, neglect and theft. Many non-medical home care agencies could previously operate legally with only a simple business license. The new regulations will ensure the safety of the home care industry’s vulnerable clientele.
For more information, the CDSS has assembled a list of HCSCPA FAQs. To learn about becoming a certified home care aide, consult the Department of Public Health. Visit our dedicated page and click the Buy Now button to purchase a California home care employee dishonesty bond today.
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