You Snooze, You Lose

Time Is Running Out

 for Caregiver Agencies

to Meet July 1, 2016 Licensing Deadline

 

The Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act (HCOCPA) requires Home Care Organizations (HCO) to receive a license from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) by July 1, 2016.   Health & Safety Code 1796.61(b) and (c).

The law mandated that HCOs file licensing applications, as well as registration applications for all their caregivers – dubbed Home Care Aides (HCA) by the law – with the Home Care Services Bureau (HCSB) of the CDSS by March 1.  See “Caregiver Agencies Must File License” (concerning March 1 filing deadline) and “Caregiver Agencies Must Comply with Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act or Cease Operation” (containing an overview of law).

For those that procrastinated and have not yet filed their applications, there is both good and bad news.

First, the good news.  The HCSB is accepting applications from late filers.  The Bureau is providing technical assistance to all applicants to help them complete their applications and obtain their licenses.  Up through July 1, the HCSB will notify applicants of any errors or deficiencies and give them reasonable deadlines to comply, but will not engage in enforcement actions.

Unfortunately, the HCSB cannot guarantee that it will be able to process late applications by July 1.  If an HCO does not receive its license by then, it will be in violation of the law.  If the HCSB receives a complaint about an HCO after July 1, it will investigate.  At some time after that date, the HCSB also will begin to send inspectors into the field to do routine inspections of HCOs for compliance with the HCSCPA.

If you operate an agency providing caregivers for people in their homes and have not filed your license application, you should not delay any longer.  Find out now if you are subject to this law, and if so, get your license and registration applications in immediately.  There is also another business model – a domestic referral agency (DRA) – that you may be able to adopt if the requirements for obtaining a license do not work for you.  If you decide to do that, you should begin steps immediately to switch over to a DRA.

Our office has been working with owners of caregiver agencies on the requirements of this new law and on opening domestic referral agencies.  Contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth, or Helena Kobrin for more information.

Helena Kobrin, April 6, 2016

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