A newly implemented law is about to change the status quo for Californians who receive home care services, as well as their family and professional caregivers. The Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (HCSCPA), voted into law over two years ago and signed by Governor Jerry Brown, became effective January 1, 2016. The legislation adds California to the list of 29 states that require licensure or certification of home care agencies.
In a nutshell, HCSCPA provides for licensure and regulation of designated home care providers and their direct care employees. Any organization designated as a Home Care Organization (HCO) is covered by the legislation. The intent of the legislation is two-fold:
1) To provide greater protection to consumers of home care services, including frail elderly and disabled individuals.
2) To provide greater employment protection to home care workers; e.g., provision of training, clarification of employee status and benefits.
And yes, Homecare California is considered an HCO. We are in the process of implementing all required regulations and policies called for in the legislation.
Just what is an HCO? Given that we are talking about government and social service agencies, now might be a good time to define several terms and acronyms (as defined by the California Dept. of Social Services and/or the law):