Nationwide, with the push for more home care as opposed to the costs of hospitalization, home health aides are again taking center stage in the field of routine day to day homecare services. In the state of New York, proposed legislation which is currently in the hands of Governor Andrew Cuomo, essentially allows home health aides to begin taking on more advanced homecare tasks that would generally fall outside of the scope of their duties. These tasks include but are not limited to, providing and administering to patients a host of pre-filled medications.
The proposed legislation would place authority with the state Education Department for training, qualifications review, and the regulation of these duties with aides. Those who support the bill, state that the aides and much of their activity would be supervised by nurses employed by home care agencies. With this arrangement, the burden of proper protocol would still be in the hands of certified nurses and the agency itself, with aides acting simply as the administrators of the protocols and prescribed medications.
If the Governor signs off on the new bill, it is expected to have a positive impact on homecare, with aides being allowed to handle a wider array of tasks thus expanding the capabilities of providing quality care by agencies. While it is projected that the provisions (if approved) would not begin until early 2018, some agencies are already preparing for additional training and other administrative details.
The AARP is in support of the measure, which if successfully implemented in New York, similar bills will likely begin to show up in other states. After negotiations with other lawmakers, legal consultants and the Governor’s administration in New York there seems to be a positive consensus among all parties involved. It is expected that the bill’s expansion of homecare aide duties and allowances will ultimately assist in easing the strain on over four million uncompensated family members. These individuals often lack even basic homecare training, but out of necessity are administering many of the duties associated with providing their ailing family members with medications and other services.
With regard to this uncharted area of homecare, New York is set to become a model for many more states to come. We will update the status of this bill here on the Alora Homecare Software blog should it become signed into law.
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