Private Duty Agencies Protest New State-Run Registry

The training and education requirements differ for home care workers who appear on the state registry versus private in-home care employees in Oregon, spurring home care agency owners to advocate for new legislation.

Owners of private in-home care agencies in the Beaver State are voicing support for legislation that would add regulatory and training requirements for independent care workers registered under a new state program.

House Bill 3145 would require private pay home care workers registered with the state’s Home Care Commission to be subject to “at least same standards as licensed in-home care agencies.”

The state’s Home Care Choice Program expanded the Oregon Home Care Commission Registry and Referral System so that all Oregonians, not just those on Medicaid, could use the registry to find a home care worker rather than go through a private agency.

“But, private agencies argue the state essentially created a new publicly-run agency that doesn’t have to follow the same rules as the private sector,” local media report

“The state in essence has decided to go in competition with private in-home care agencies but they are exempting themselves from all the rules and regulations,” said Kathleen Schonau, president of Aging Wisely with Heartfelt Hands, according to The Lund Report

But Melissa Unger, political director for SEIU, told The Lund Report the goal of the Home Care Choice Program “was not to create a publicly-run home care agency but let people choose their own care workers by hiring from those on the registry. The state could handle payroll for those workers, but the person hiring the caregiver would remain the official employer.”

Read The Lund Report article here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell