Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (HCSCPA) Now in Effect

Legislators in California have passed a new bill aimed at increasing the safety of those receiving home care services.

The Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (HCSCPA), in effect as of January 1, 2016, requires regulation of home care organizations and background checks of home care aides in the state of California.  The Home Care Services Bureau (HCSB) and Caregiver Background Check Bureau (CBCB) are working together to move implementation of the bill forward, according to the California Department of Social Services.

Under this provision, home care aides will be required to submit a criminal background check and register with the Home Care Aide Registry. This is a requirement that applies to both new applicants and current home care providers not already on the registry. Only one background check per employee is required.

Provisions regarding who qualifies under the background check policy are substantial. Any potential employee convicted of anything other than minor traffic violations may not be registered without being granted a criminal record exemption, according to HCSCPA’s frequently asked questions sheet. This consideration is limited, as those convicted of serious crimes aren’t eligible for exemption.

There may be cause for concern when it comes to the cost of background checks for HCOs in the state of California. Fingerprint fees, the main fee associated with background checks, and an application fee are required costs of the registration process. The overall cost of these fees can range depending on where the checks are administered. Either the home care aide registering or their representative home care organization is responsible for payment, according to the frequently asked sheet.

Another potential obstacle for home care organizations is the lack of carry-over with these newly implemented regulations. Organizations that have already conducted their own private background and motor vehicle checks can not “grandfather” their certifications to save from paying the fees associated with the new registry checks, according to the frequently asked sheet. Instead, they must pay potentially thousands of dollars to have their employees recertified.

The insurance requirements for home care organizations under this policy are as follows:

  • Worker’s compensation policy covering home care aides
  • General and professional liability service of at least $1 million per occurrence, $3 million in the aggregate
  • Employee dishonesty bond
  • Bond includes third party coverage, minimum limit $10,000

While this new policy can seem complicated and more work for home care organizations and their employees, its objective is simple: keep home care beneficiaries safe and ensure those helping them can be relied on. These new measures are an attempt to do just that.

Sources:

  1. Home Care Services Overview Page
  1. Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act FAQ 

At Manchester Specialty Programs, we offer insurance policies that often include discounts on background check services, as well as loss prevention and control as relates to the hiring and screening employees.  For more information, you or your local insurance broker can call us today at 1-855-972-9399