California Requirements for Home Health Care Providers

By Danielle Smyth - Updated August 08, 2018
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There is a great deal of regulation surrounding the home health care industry in California, both for the protection of patients and their families. Fortunately, getting a home health care license in California is fairly straightforward and for qualified individuals. In addition to the license required, a criminal clearance and the completion of training are mandatory before going to work for a California home health agency.

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Home health aides are required to complete a training program of at least 120 hours and undertake a minimum of 20 clinical hours of nursing work as part of the home health application. You’ll need to pass a criminal background check and obtain a formal certification, then register with the state.

How to Open a Home Health Agency in California

According to California Health and Safety Code 1725, all organizations that provide skilled nursing services to patients at home are required to obtain a home health agency license issued by the Department of Public Health. In order to obtain this licensure, an agency must illustrate it can provide skilled nursing services to patients at home. In addition, it must have at least one registered nurse on staff. This nurse must be assisted by California-certified home health aides.

There is a long series of forms that must be filed with the California Department of Public Health before you can open a home health agency in California. In addition to licensing forms, there are several you must complete to become eligible to participate with Medicare and Medicaid. To be certified as a hospice provider, there are several additional forms that must be completed.

How to Become a Certified Home Health Aide in California

Anyone wishing to work as a home health aide is required to complete a training program of at least 120 hours. The content of the program must be approved by the California Department of Public Health. In some instances, these requirements may be waived if you complete what is deemed a comparable program.

As part of your home health application, a minimum of 20 clinical hours of nursing work are required before you will be permitted to work in California, as well. You’ll need to pass a criminal clearance to ensure that your background is clean, and then you must obtain a formal certification and register with the California Department of Public Health.

Home Health Aide Certification Expiration

In most instances, a home health aide certification expires two years after it was approved. Every two years thereafter, the worker must renew his certificate. This can be done through the state Department of Public Health. If the health aide does not renew the certificate within four years after its expiration, it can no longer be renewed or otherwise reinstated. At that point, the only way to become a licensed home health aide again is to start from scratch and complete a second round of the above requirements.

About the Author

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. Her experience includes years of work in the insurance, workers compensation, disability, and background investigation fields. In addition to being the content writer and social media manager for Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, she has written on legal topics for a number of other clients. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing legal articles and blogs for clients in related industries.

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