The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will not withdraw guidance it issued in late January that bans home care agencies from using the word “care.” In a meeting with HCAOA Connecticut Chapter leaders last week, an agency official said the Department would only withdraw the guidance if the legislature required it to do so by a change in the law.
The official said that current law, as interpreted by DCP, requires the guidance and if the law changes the guidance will be amended.
The Connecticut Legislature’s Aging Committee unanimously amended and approved Senate Bill 1025, which implements the home care task force recommendations and effectively overrules the guidance. DCP vigorously opposes the bill because it allows a homemaker-companion agency to use the term “care” in its business name and advertising to describe the services it provides, as well as any words deemed appropriate by the DCP commissioner to describe having employees trained to provide services to people with memory difficulties. It also specifies that the homemaker services provided by HCAs are in-home care services.
Lawmakers are considering a proposed amendment that would allow HCAs that currently have the term “care” in their business name to continue to do so (a “grandfather” clause) and require any use of the term in advertising to be immediately preceded by the term 'non-medical'.
HCAOA Connecticut continues to urge the state to withdraw the ban of the word “care.” To send your message asking the same, click here to send a pre-drafted email to your legislators via HCAOA’s Legislative Action Network.
In February, HCAOA sent a letter to Governor Lamont asking him to direct the DCP Commissioner to withdraw the guidance accordingly, but the Chapter has not received an official response. In the meantime, Chapter representatives have had several meetings with key lawmakers and the Governor’s general counsel and policy staff.
Also in the meeting with DCP officials reference above, Chapter leaders expressed significant concerns with House Bill 6767 (see details in this Home Care Insider article). The bill establishes stringent, impractical and burdensome notice requirements by HCAs to clients or the Department for caregiver information, rate changes, and prior to ceasing operations.
HCAOA will continue to monitor these issues and keep members updated.