Care at Home Overview for Wisconsin

Wisconsin Home Health Regulations

Home health care facilities in Wisconsin are licensed and regulated by the state’s Department of Health Services, under the following statutes and rules:

  1. Wisconsin Statutes – Home Health Agency Licensing and Regulation
  2. Wisconsin Administrative Code – Home Health Agencies

How to Become a Home Health Aide in Wisconsin

Most Wisconsin home health care laws apply to aides working in agencies. Below are the main requirements for being a home health aide working for an agency, as required by the state’s statutes and rules.

1. Training Curriculum. Home health aides employed by an agency must complete a training that meets the curriculum minimums required by DHS 133.17 (4) (a) and is directed by a registered nurse. The subjects covered in the training must include the following:

  • The role of a home health aide
  • In-home personal care, for both the sick and daily living activities (such as personal hygiene)
  • Needs and characteristics of the elderly and disabled
  • Meal preparation, including special diets
  • Best practices for maintaining a clean, safe living environment
  • Possible emotional problems affected those who are ill
  • When and what to report to a supervisor
  • Record keeping

2. Background Checks. All home health aides are required to undergo background checks, per the Wisconsin Caregiver Law.

3. Orientation. Agencies must also hold orientation for all new home health aides, as required by DHS 133.06 (4) (a). The orientation must include an overview of the agency’s policies and objectives, the employee’s specific job duties, how the roles within the agency function with one another, information about emergency medical services, and patient confidentiality/rights.

4. Continued Training and Evaluation. All home health aides working at an agency shall be provided a program for continuing education relative to their job duties. Aides must also be evaluated periodically by the agency.

Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry
Home health aides who wish to be listed in the state’s nurse aide registry must complete the training and testing as outlined by the Department of Health Services. For more information on becoming a registered nurse aide, see the list of approved nurse aide training programs and this comprehensive guide about the nurse aide registry.

Home Health Aide Jobs in Wisconsin
For help finding a home health aide job in your area, try searching the following online job boards:

How to Find a Home Health Aide in Wisconsin

When starting your search for a home health aide, there are many online directories that can help you filter out an agency that meets your needs and is in your area.

You can also call the Wisconsin Home Health Hotline at 1-800-642-6552 to find home health providers in your area.

How to Choose a Wisconsin Home Health Aide
You should carefully consider your options when choosing a home health aide. At the very minimum, you should be confident the agency and aide you select are abiding by the law. The questions below can help you probe whether or not an agency in compliance with state laws.

What to Ask a Home Health Agency

  • Are you licensed with the state? (This is required)
  • Is your agency accredited? (If yes, ask to see their most recent survey from the accrediting body.)
  • What kind of training do your home health aides receive? (All aides must complete a training  program as outlined in DHS 133.17 (4) (a))
  • Do you evaluate your home health aides’ competencies on a regular basis? (This is required)
  • Do your home health aides undergo background checks? (This is required)
  • Will we receive a patient care plan? (This is required)
  • Is the aide assigned to me listed on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry? (This is not required, but shows the aide has a higher level of training)

If you have complaints about any home health care services, please visit the DHS resource about how to file a complaint.

Wisconsin HHA Regulating Agencies and Resources

For more information about Wisconsin HHAs, the sources used in this article may be of further assistance:

Photo Credit by Steve Slater