The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has drafted advertising guidelines that would regulate services home care agencies can offer. Among other things, the document, “Advertising Guidelines: Homemaker Companion Agencies; Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection,” prohibits certain memory-related services that agencies may advertise and caregivers may provide to persons suffering from cognitive disorders.
For instance, according to the document, an HCA cannot advertise that its staff is specially trained to assist or care for clients with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, which DCP views as medical conditions and would therefore exceed the scope of the registration credential. Even the term ‘memory care’ may not be used in advertising because it would be deceptive to consumers. Also, the guide states that a HCA cannot advertise personal care attendant services or promote services offered to Department of Social Services clients.
An agency and its caregivers can, however, offer and provide help with dressing, showering and toileting as well as remind clients to take their medication.
The guidelines follow the defeat of legislation proposed by the Department in 2021 that would have banned the use of healthcare related terms in HCA business names and advertising. HCAOA Connecticut and many agency owners opposed the bill.
The Department plans to adopt and implement the guidelines in the coming weeks and publish them on the agency’s website shortly.
HCAOA Connecticut plans to meet with Department officials about the guide. If Chapter members would like to share any questions, comments or concerns about the guide, contact HCAOA lobbyist Matthew Hallisey, firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 978-7346, by Feb. 4. Commenters won’t be identified.