HOME CARE AGENCIES/HOME CARE REGISTRIES   
 
 
 
 
Act 69 of 2006 was signed on July 2, 2006; Act 69 amends the Pennsylvania Health Care Facilities Act to include Home Care Agencies (HCAs) and Home Care Registries (HCRs).  Click to view the amended Health Care Facilities Act.
 
The regulations for HCAs and HCRs were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as final rulemaking effective December 12, 2009 and can be viewed by clicking here or by accessing the posting on the Pennsylvania Bulletin website
 
To view general regulatory requirements applicable to HCAs, HCRs, and all other Health Care Facilities under Title 28 Pa. Code Chapter 51
 
Home Care Agencies and Home Care Registries provide non-skilled services to individuals in their homes or other independent living environments.
 
Home care services include:
  • Assistance with self-administered medications
  • Personal care such as assistance with personal hygiene, dressing, and feeding
  • Homemaking such as assistance with household tasks housekeeping, shopping, meal planning and preparation, and transportation
  • Companionship
  • Respite care such as assistance and support provided to the family; and
  • Other non-skilled services   

The Department is now accepting applications for licensure.  To view/access the application package, click here or on the left side navigation bar titled "Home Care Licensure Information."

Please note:  An entity operating a home care agency or home care registry or both as of the effective date of the regulations may continue to operate after the effective date of the regulations provided it submits an application for a license to the Department within 60 days of the effective date of the regulations.

An HCA/HCR that has submitted an application for licensure in accordance with the requirements of the regulations may continue to operate a home care agency and/or a home care registry until such date as the Department may refuse the application for licensure.  If the Department grants the application for licensure, the home care agency and/or home care registry may continue to operate in accordance with the requirements of the regulations.

Entities established after the effective date of the regulations must obtain a license prior to providing home care services.

All of the regulations and application links noted above are in pdf format and are viewable with Adobe Reader.  If you need the free viewer, please click here and follow the download instructions.

Following is a summary of the regulations for Home Care Agencies and Home Care Registries.
 
An HCA or HCR is required to:
  • Conduct criminal background checks and child abuse clearances, if applicable on all staff.
  • Conduct TB screens for all direct care workers, contractors and office staff with direct consumer contact.
  • Ensure the competency of individuals that provide care by making sure they:
    • Possess a valid nurses license; or
    • Demonstrate competency by passing a competency examination developed by the HCA/HCR; or
    • Have successfully completed at least one of the following:
      • The nurse aide certification and training program sponsored by the Department of Education
      • A home health aide training program meeting the requirements of 42 C.F.R. 484.36
      • A training program developed by an HCA/HCR, or other entity that meets the requirements
      • A training program meeting the training standards imposed on the HCA/HCR by virtue of their participation as a provider in a Medicaid Waiver or other publicly funded program providing home and community based services
      • A program approved by the Department and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin or posted on the Department's website
  • Ensure that current direct care workers employed by the HCA and rostered by the HCR are in compliance with one of these competency requirements by 12/12/2011
  • Maintain documentation to show direct care workers have required skills, criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, if required and required TB screening
  • Maintain documentation to show that owner(s) and office staff have criminal background checks, child abuse clearances if required; and that owner(s) and office staff with direct consumer contact have required TB screening
  • Review direct care worker competency at least annually, more frequently if warranted, to ensure direct care workers have the proper skills to provide the care required by consumers
  • Provide information to consumers regarding:
    • Right to be involved in the service planning process
    • Right to receive services with reasonable accommodations
    • Right to receive ten (10) calendar days advance notice of termination of service(s)
    • Less than 10 days written notice if consumer has failed to pay, despite notice and is more than 14 days in arrears; or if health and welfare of the direct care worker is at risk
  • Provide information to the consumer concerning:
  • the services that will be provided, the identity of the direct care workers that will provide the service, the hours when services will be provided, fees and total costs
  • DOH contact information regarding licensure requirements
  • DOH complaint hotline number
  • Telephone number for the local Ombudsman and competency requirements for direct care workers
  • Whether the direct care worker is an employee or independent contractor
  • Tax obligations and employment responsibilities of HCA/HCR and consumer with regard to the direct care workers
  • Documentation that demonstrates personal face-to-face interviews with all direct care workers or independent contractors
HCAs or HCRs may not:
  • Assume Power of Attorney or guardianship over a consumer utilizing the services of the HCA or HCR
  • Require a consumer to endorse checks over to the HCA or HCR
The Department is required to:
  • Collect an annual licensing fee
  • Determine HCA/HCR compliance with licensure requirements through on-site surveys, interviews with office staff, direct care workers, consumers and other individuals providing care, and review of all relevant files, documents, policies and procedures
  • Identify deficiencies
  • Require plans of correction for deficiencies
  • Accept or reject plans of correction
  • Investigate complaints

*Home Care Agencies/Registries Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) 

Information pertaining to criminal background checks.: You may also contact the Department of Aging's Criminal History Background Check Unit at (717) 265-7887.
 
Information pertaining to child abuse clearances.: You may also contact the Department of Public Welfare's Childline at (717) 783-6211.
 
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertaining to Act 179.:  If you have any questions or would like more information regarding home care agencies, home care registries, and/or the HCA/HCR licensure program, please contact the Division of Home Health at (717) 783-1379.
 
Thank you for your interest in Home Care Agencies/Home Care Registries.