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Essential Home Care Regulations

There are numerous regulations regarding the home care industry. Keeping in compliance with these regulations can be difficult, especially when you are growing your business. Here are four pertinent federal regulations you should be aware of. Payment Regulations for Caregivers The Fair Labor Standards Act details specific payment obligations for caregivers, including pre-hire and orientation periods, on-call time, travel time and meal or break periods. Caregivers recently lost their companionship exemption. Live-in caregivers, including those hired for companionship, will now receive overtime pay. Agencies must either pay out overtime or assign more caregivers to cover long shifts. Regulations for Employee Payments You’re required to keep records on your non-exempt employees and their schedules. For example, if you have office workers, you must keep track of how many hours they work each week, state how their wages are paid (hourly/weekly) and their regular hourly pay rate. Safety Regulations The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently issued a final ruling that requires all healthcare providers, including homecare providers, to meet 17 national emergency preparedness requirements. You’re required to train your staff regarding client and employee safety. Training programs can be time intensive, labor intensive and costly, which is why we offer training modules for direct care agencies. Licensing Requirements Approximately three quarters of the states in the U.S. require caregivers and providers to be licensed. It’s a good idea to become a member of your state’s association to be kept informed of any changes to licensing requirements or new regulations. Regulations are constantly changing. If you’re a growing agency, you not only need to keep track of policy changes, you need to revisit existing policies as your number of employees increases in order to remain in compliance with all regulations, including the ACA. At DCI, one of our main objectives is to simplify this process for direct care administrators.

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