What is Home Care in Iowa
Home health aides provide in-home personal care to the sick, elderly and disabled. They help patients with prescribed exercises, give them medications and carry out other medical instructions. Often they assist with daily activities like personal hygiene, getting dressed, preparing meals and performing household chores.
DIA’s Health Facilities Division is responsible for surveying and licensing home health agencies in Iowa. The DIA is also responsible for investigating complaints against home health agencies and/or aides. Complaints about your aide or agency can be registered with the the DIA through (1) calling their toll free complaint intake line 877-686-0027 (2) Faxing the complaint to 515-281-7106 or (3) submitting your complaint by regular mail to:
Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
Health Facilities Division/Complaint Unit
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0083
Training to Become a Home Health Aide in Iowa
The DIA mandates that Iowa home health aides receive a minimum of 75 training hours and 16 clinical hours. This training can be carried out by a vocational school, college program, or agency of hire.
Training materials and education programs are offered through the following Home Health Aide organizations:
- The Iowa CareGivers Association
- The National Association of Health Care Assistants
- The Iowa Direct Care Workforce Initiative
Finding a Home Health Aide Agency in Iowa
Use the Direct Care Worker Search to evaluate all individuals qualified by education, training and testing to work as home health aides. Federal regulations require that Medicare and Medicaid certified facilities check the Direct Care Worker Registry to verify the employment status of certified nursing assistants to see whether they are eligible to work.
Another resource you can use is the Best Practices Program which was developed by the Department of Inspections and Appeals’ (DIA) Health Facilities Division (HFD) to encourage long-term care nursing facilities (entities) to share new and innovative approaches to resident care.
Eldercare.gov recommends the following questions when interviewing your home health aide:
When interviewing a home health aide, you should consider asking the following questions:
- How long has the agency you work for been in business?
- Does your agency offer a Bill of Rights brochure which includes the rights of both the agency and the senior in care? Does this also include written documentation of the services you offer and the cost of those services?
- Is the agency you work for an approved Medicare provider?
- Does the home health agency have any accreditation from local or national organizations?
- Does this HHA have a current license to practice, that is certified within the state of Iowa?
- What steps do you take to train and hire home health aides at this agency?
- What type of screening is completed on your employees before hire? Are there background checks given?
- Are you home health aides available 24/7? What procedures are in place if they are not available?
When financing your home health aide provider, you may be able to leverage the Affordable Care Act Section 6103. You can use the following resources to find your eligibility:
- Medicare Nursing Home Finder
- Iowa Department of Human Services – Iowa Medicaid Enterprise
- Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman – Consumer Page
- DRI – Disability Rights in Iowa