HCOs and the Heat « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

HCOs and the Heat

California Home Care Organizations Facing Unannounced Inspections and Possible Fees Increase:

California’s Home Care Services Bureau (HCSB) licenses and oversees Home Care Organizations (HCOs) that provide employee caregivers to private clients. See: You Snooze, You Lose (April, 2016) and Home Health Care Organizations Last Chance to Continue Operations After June 30, 2016 (June, 2016).

In its May, 2017 webinar, the HCSB confirmed that unannounced inspections of HCO administrative offices are in progress. HCSB analysts – the HCSB staffers assigned to specific HCOs – conduct these inspections. As a word for the wise, the three most common problems analysts reportedly encounter are: (1) no licensee or designee is present or office closed during stated business hours; (2) training is not documented; and (3) forms are not complete.

An HCO is required to specify on its licensing application the individual licensee as well as any other person(s) who can act as representative or “designee” in the absence of the licensee. See Application Instructions for a Home Care Organization License. To accommodate such unannounced inspections, the HCSB requires an owner/licensee or a designee to be on the HCO’s office premises and available during all office hours that the HCO stated in its application.

Thus, in advance of any such sudden visit from the state, an HCO should: (a) verify those listed on its application as licensee(s) and designee(s) along with office hours stated; and (b) ensure it has at least one of these people present and the office open during those hours. Changes in designated persons or office hours are possible but require notification to the HCSB.

Notably, if an HCO is not open to the public more than eight consecutive hours on any day during a month or is open by appointment only, an analyst will notify the HCO’s contact person at least two hours before arriving for an inspection. That HCO must then have its licensee or a designee at the office at the appointed time to meet with the analyst.

The HCSB’s recent webinar also reported that analysts are frequently finding Home Care Aide (HCA) training has been done but the training logs are out-of-date. The solution is of course obvious, with records updated and maintained as current before any analyst shows up to inspect.

As for incomplete forms, HCOs should be using the HCO inspection checklist to prepare for an inspection. The HCO needs to ensure that it has all specified forms ready to provide to the analyst. The time to check for that is before the analyst arrives. These should be final versions of each form, not drafts.

The HCSB also advised in that webinar that it has proposed application/registration fee increases to meet rising expenses. If approved, the HCA fee will go from $25.00 to $50.00 every two years while the biannual HCO fee will go from $5,165.00 to $5,803.00.

For further information, contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin

May 25, 2017

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