At its meeting on October 21, the Connecticut Legislature’s Homemaker Companion Task Force received presentations from the Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP) and Public Health (DPH). The Homemaker Companion Task Force has scheduled a public hearing for Friday, November 4, and HCAOA Connecticut Chapter representatives plan to testify.
Three HCAOA Connecticut members currently serve of the Homemaker Companion Task Force – CT Chapter Chair Mark McGoldrick, as well as members Maria Cerino and Michael Savoie.
The Legislative Program Manager for DCP discussed the requirements to register as a homemaker-companion agency in Connecticut and the recently enacted DCP proposals, including background checks.
Currently, there are 903 HCAs registered in the state of various types and sizes based on employees—this is an increase from 380 in 2012. DCP officials also reported on the agency’s role in education and enforcement, complaints and the investigation process, and the state’s aging population. DCP staffing levels have increased to two full-time investigators and three part-time staff, but the agency has only received a limited budget increase.
DPH representatives distinguished the differences between home health aides, which the Department regulates, and homemaker companions regulated by DCP. DPH and DCP conduct joint reviews-investigations when an entity exceeds the scope of its authority such as when a HCA advertises services that include other credentialed staff, such as a RN/LPN. States that do not license these facility types require CMS certification for home health agencies.
DPH currently licenses approximately 2,000 facilities, including more than 120 home health entities, with a full staff for processing applications, inspections, and complaint investigations.
According to officials, requiring HCAs to be licensed would double DPH’s caseload, requiring a new team of staff members, which is beyond their current appropriations. DPH lost nearly half of its staff this year due to early retirements.
Join the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter for our meeting on November 15, featuring officials from the Department of Consumer Protection at the Sheraton Hartford South, in Rocky Hill, on November 15.