Standards for Accreditation by the
Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts
To gain accreditation from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, organizations providing home care services in the state must verify that they meet the following standards;
- The agency has and utilizes a written information security policy to safeguard the personal, health and financial information about their clients and employees consistent with the requirements of the Massachusetts Privacy Law (201 CMR 17).
- The agency establishes a service plan for each client, in consultation with the client and/or client representative. The plan shall include: the type and/or scope of services provided; identification of any functional limitations of the client and their relevance to the service plan; any information received from the client and/or client representative regarding the physical and mental status of the client that may be relevant to the service plan. The client or client representative receives a written copy of the service plan and explanation of the cost of service. Service plans are reviewed periodically.
- The agency has and uses a procedure to accept, investigate and respond to client or employee complaints. Written information about this procedure is available to clients and employees upon request.
- The agency trains all client service staff in identifying and reporting suspected abuse and follows a written procedure to respond swiftly and compassionately whenever client abuse, neglect, or theft is suspected or alleged, in accordance with 105 CMR 155.
- The agency directly employs or contracts with agencies that directly employ, essentially all its client service staff and maintains workers compensation insurance coverage for all employees. If the agency uses any independent contractors for infrequently needed professional services, it ensures that they carry their own liability and workers compensation insurance.
- The agency maintains a payroll process which includes prompt payment at established rates for all work performed, reporting of employment wages to the appropriate governmental agency, collecting state and federal withholding payroll taxes, and payment of these taxes and all other state and federal payroll taxes to the appropriate governmental agencies.
- The agency ensures that, prior to assignment, any worker who provides client services has received training for each task to be performed for the client. In addition, all client service workers will have received training and orientation (reviewed at least annually) in the following areas:
a. Confidentiality/privacy and client’s rights
b. Infection control and communicable diseases
c. Handling of emergencies, including safety and falls prevention
d. Observation, reporting and documenting changes in client needs and environment
- The agency ensures that all workers whose duties include assistance with personal care have met one of the following training or equivalency requirements:
a. Successful completion of a 75-hour home health aide training program including 16 hours of supervised practical training that meets the requirements of the federal Medicare Conditions of Participation of Home Health Agencies at 42 CFR Part 484.36; or
b. Successful completion of a 60-hour Homemaker/Personal Care training program equivalent to the standards issued by the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs; or
c. Successful completion of at least 10 hours of personal care training overseen by a RN; or
d. One year or more experience providing personal care services in a supervised (home care agency or facility) setting; or
e. Two years or more experience in providing private personal care services.
- The agency ensures that all employees who provide personal care for agency clients are competent in the following areas:
a. Observing, reporting and documenting the care provided to their client
b. Understanding of their client’s base level of function and the appropriate reporting of changes in function.
c. Understanding of the needs of their client in order to maintain that client at his/her optimal level of functioning.
d. Safe and appropriate techniques in the provision of care for the safety and well being of both the client and the employee.
- The agency verifies current licensure with appropriate professional licensing board for all individuals employed as RN, LPN, Physical or Occupational Therapist, Physical or Occupational Therapy Assistant, Social Worker or any other profession requiring licensure, and uses a re-verification system to ensure that such personnel maintain current licensure.
- The agency ensures that supervisors are accessible by telephone during any hours that client service workers are providing services, and that workers know how to contact them in case of emergency.
- The agency conducts on-going quality assurance/supervision visits for all client service workers on a regular basis.
- The agency conducts background screening checks upon hire for all direct care employees, including at a minimum:
a. Massachusetts CORI through the MA Criminal History Systems Board; the agency does not assign direct care staff to provide client care until the results are received in accordance with 803 CMR 3
b. State or county criminal history screenings for each location in which the applicant is known to have lived or worked during at least the last five years
c. Social security number verification and trace
d. Office of the Inspector General Exclusion List
e. Nurse Aide Registry or Professional Licensing Board for each state in which the applicant is know to have worked within the last five years.
f. Verification of at least two professional references
g. Verification of work history
h. Verification of eligibility to work in the US
i. For all employees who transport clients, verification of motor vehicle registration, auto insurance and driving license, and driving record for a minimum of the last five years.
- The agency maintains liability insurance including coverage of at least the following:
a. General and professional liability: $1 million per occurrence/$3 million aggregate
b. Sexual abuse and molestation: $100 thousand/$300 thousand
c. Automobile liability: $1 million per occurrence
d. Employee dishonesty including coverage for third parties: $25,000.
- The agency conducts business in accordance with fair business practices and complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and with the Code of Business Ethics of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.
Note: Documentation required for each of these 15 standards.