gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 82

{ } AGING with an Attitude State Licensing … how it affects you Dorie Sugay is the Executive Director of Visiting Angels, a company that provides living-assistance services to seniors and adults-in-need who wish to stay in their own home or receive one-on-one care within a facility. This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It was written independently of Visiting Angels. The names of clients and caregivers were changed to protect their privacy. 82 I n October of 2015, agencies that provide in-home healthcare were informed by the Department of Social Services that by January 2016, all had to be licensed to operate and could only hire caregivers who were registered with the State. Here it is a year later and the challenges continue—the whole process has affected many who need non- medical caregiving services. Let’s go through how these new requirements (and new laws that were passed) may affect you in the near future, if they haven’t already. There is also a shortage of caregivers that agencies can hire because the Department of Social Services is so inundated with work, and the process is very slow. A small error causes further delay and worse—sometimes it is considered a misrepresentation so the caregiver has to provide an explanation for the error and wait yet again. Sadly, some caregivers end up taking jobs elsewhere rather than wading through this process. If your agency has no fill- ins when your caregiver falls ill, any of these could be the reasons they do not have some- one in the wings ready to jump in. THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF CAREGIVERS! Caregivers who have been working are not necessarily qualified for registration. If your caregiver had to stop working for you, that could be the case. The Department of Social Services either allows someone to work while they go through their process, or they may direct employers to suspend the caregiver from working. Agencies that do not comply face a $250 penalty per day that someone who has no authority to work is put to work. Please be reminded that HIPAA and the Privacy Act prevent your agency from divulging the reason a caregiver has to stop working for you. The Live Scan (background check) goes back to age 18 and if a potential care- giver’s background triggers a concern, it does not matter how old it is, they have to file an exemption application. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) records are reviewed. Some are approved, some are not. If the exemption application is rejected, there is an appeal process. All this takes time. It seems that caregivers with old infractions have waited from two to six months for a ruling and those with more recent infractions could wait up to a year to receive a decision. Even if records were expunged, the caregiver has to go through this process. An agency in Pleasanton had a 63-year- old employee who had a misdemeanor when she was 22 years old (nothing else) and her application for exemption was rejected. The exemption application of another caregiver in her late 30s with three pages of infractions committed when she was in her early 20s, received an approval in five months. Decisions vary depending on which analyst is handling the case. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 AGENCIES WERE SLAPPED WITH HUGE UNEXPECTED EXPENSES. Agencies were informed in October, and by January, they had to come up with a license fee that was not in their budget. Furthermore, new laws have also hit agency budgets with require- ments to pay caregivers for sick time, travel time and mileage between two different clients. Also providing more paid-training is a hit to the budget. Of course, insurance costs have risen. All these expenses have compelled many agencies to increase cost of services. State licensure is good for the industry, and protects our seniors. When the process starts to work, the State will have a system t )ɽѕ́չх丁ɕٕ́)䁄͕ݥٔѡɽ՝)͍ɕɽ̰ѡЀٽٕ́ѡɽ՝)͍ɕѡȁɽչȁɅѥ)ѡЁձͥɕѡɕЁѼѡͅ)ȁձ̵ȁ̸͕Q)ͽ͕ɥ䁹յ́ݥٕɥѡ)ɥЁѼɥٔݥѡ)MхєݥɔѡЁɕѕɕɕٕ́ٔ)ѡхєɕեɕQѕиMձɔ)ٕȁЁɅѥɥݡɕ̴)ѕɕѡѵЁMM٥̀ML)ݥѽѥ䁉ɵЁѡ́ѥ)Ёɕٕ́ɔЁɕեɕѼ)ɕѕɕЁѡɔ́хѡЁѡMLݥ)ͥѡи%ԁѼɕ)ѼݽɬݥѠЁɅѽȁ)ԁչѕȁݡ͕́Ѽɕѕ)ѱ䰁ѡЁ́̄<9=P)MMU5ѡЁɕٕ́ݡɔɕѕɕ)ٔɽՅѥ̸Q͍ɕ)ЁՑՅ她ѡȁѡȁѼ)ɽ٥ɔQ́́ѡMхїé݅Ѽ)͍ɕЁѡ͔ݥѠɽչ́ѡЁɕ͕)ɥͬѼȁ͕́ձ̵)ѽ乍