Do you know the caregiver training requirements in your state?

by | Feb 13, 2018

Caregiver training requirements can be complex. Home care agencies must be aware of their state’s caregiver training requirements and take the necessary steps to manage and track caregiver certification,  ensure compliance, and protect the wellbeing of their senior clients and caregivers. Whether you are a startup home care agency or opening offices in multiple states, training and certification will be central to your business’ growth. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out your needs.

Three Levels of Caregiver Certification

Typically, there are three levels of caregiver certification that we have termed – high, medium and low. While we’ve simplified the categories, you must look at the requirements on a state-by-state level and then delve deeper to determine how those requirements change by certification type and by payment method (i.e. Medicaid, vs Medicare vs Private Pay).

  1. High requirements:
    Some states like New York, Washington and Georgia have very stringent requirements for initial training, in some cases requiring forty or more hours of training. Washington, D.C. for example, requires 75 hours of initial training whereas New York requires 40 hours of initial training. Additionally, some of these states also require state approval of any training or in-services programs by the state’s Department of Health or Department of Education. For annual recertification, the required hours drop significantly, but like with initial training, the topics are regulated.
  2. Medium requirements:
    States like Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California require that caregivers complete a certain number of hours on specific topics to gain certification. For example, California requires five hours of initial and annual training while both Pennsylvania and Colorado require eight hours of initial and annual training. However, content is regulated to earn caregiver certification.
  3. Low requirements:
    States like Massachusetts, Florida and Texas have little or no training requirements for initial training if you work for private-pay agencies and higher requirements if you are a Medicaid-covered agency. Regardless of the requirements, training caregivers before entering the field is always recommended to ensure the safety of clients and caregivers.

Standardizing Caregiver Training

If you are an agency or franchise that crosses state lines, it can certainly be a challenge to ensure compliance across caregivers and agencies. Currently, there is no universal standard for caregiver training, but it doesn’t stop you from developing your own standard training program that either meets or surpasses state mandates. This can be done by leveraging an existing provider or creating your own in-house program that can be implemented throughout all of your locations. Many agencies are turning to online training programs as an effective tool for rapidly and consistently onboarding and upskilling caregivers.

Standardizing training has many benefits: it will help attract new caregivers and ensure they have the necessary skills to enter the field; it will help retain caregivers who want to advance their career, and finally, it will help you live up to your brand promise to deliver the best care to your clients.

How to Determine the Requirements for Your State

It’s imperative that you understand the parameters of your state’s mandates to ensure compliance.

If you want more specific information about your state, book a 15-minute demo with CareAcademy.

Caregiver Career Path Infographic

To help you illustrate how rewarding a career in caregiving can be, we’ve created an infographic that charts one possible path. Share this with your caregivers to start the discussion and use this as a recruitment tool to demonstrate how your agency views the role of the caregiver over the next forty years.

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