A new bill in Washington State could bring positive change to home care with increased access and timeliness of training and testing for home caregivers. Senate Bill 5278, sponsored by Senator Lynda Wilson, was introduced last week and HCAOA’s Washington lobbyist, Leslie Emerick, met with Sen. Wilson shortly afterward to express the association’s support for the bill.
The Seattle Times published an article on the introduction and importance of the bill, highlighting the many challenges that home care agencies and their prospective caregivers face in light of the industry’s ever worsening shortage of home care aides. The article also details positive changes that could be coming if SB5278 is passed.
Under the bill, the Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), must devise a system to reduce delays between training and testing for home care aides that includes:
The bill would also allow DOH more discretion in grading and administering the home care aide certification examination. A preliminary report on this work from DOH, in consultation with DSHS and other relevant participants, is due to the Governor and appropriate committees of the Legislature no later than December 1, 2023, and a final report is due no later than June 30, 2024.
“The HCAOA Washington Chapter is proud to support this bill to allow the Home Care Aide Certification program more easily accessible to home care providers and their employees. The Chapter appreciates these efforts that aid us in growing our workforce,” said HCAOA Washington Chapter Chair Sharla Bode.