Legislation being considered in California has launched home care advocates into a heated debate over proposed licensing, certifications and a caregiver registry—all of which would impact business for those who provide senior care within the state.
As many as 1,400 home care agencies could be impacted, according to a recent article in the New York Times, with 120,000 paid caregivers also susceptible to change under the new legislation.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 1217, passed through California’s state senate’s appropriations committee last week and will move forward in the legislative process as a result.
The question of home care background checks has been raised in recent months, the NY Times writes, citing a Northwestern University study published last year that found the vast majority of home care providers were not licensed and did not go through background checks before being hired.
Home care agencies have strongly opposed the efforts due to the impact on business in the state.
“What this is really all about is trying to unionize home care workers in California,” Kathy Janz, a nurse and executive director of Matched CareGivers, told the Times.
Yet others have come down on the other side of the issue, stressing a need for standards and certifications among participants in the industry.
“If they accept responsibility for training workers and maintaining standards, I wonder why they haven’t done it,” said Laphonza Butler, president of United Long Term Care Workers, to the Times.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker