Michigan At Home Care Regulations

Michigan’s Department of Community Health oversees home health agencies, but there is no state regulating body for home health care. Although Michigan does not require state licensing for home health agencies, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) – Division of Licensing and Certification makes recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) regarding whether or not a home health agency meets their standards for participation. For more information on becoming a Medicare/Medicaid certified home health care provider, see the certification process for HHAs.

Becoming a Home Health Aide in Michigan

With one of the highest baby boomer populations in the U.S., the need for home health aides in Michigan is on the rise. Starting out as a home health aide in Michigan is relatively easy, since the state does not require any training or qualifications.

Qualifications and Requirements
If you’re working for a Medicare/Medicaid certified agency, you will be subject to the CMS’ training requirements for home health aides. In most cases, this training will take place on the job once you’re employed.

Per Public Act 28 of 2006, all employees of home health agencies must undergo background checks and fingerprinting.

Voluntary Training and Certification
Some Michigan colleges and vocational schools offer home health aide courses and certificate programs. For example, Southwestern Michigan College has a  19-credit Home Health Aide Certification Program which includes supervised clinical experience. The American Red Cross of Southeast Michigan offers a 90-hour Home Health Aide Training Module which meets the requirements of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

The National Association of Home Care and Hospice home health aide certification program includes training, skills evaluation, and a written exam. Call (202) 547- 7424 for more information about the NAHC home health aide program.

HHA Organization Membership
The Michigan Home Health Association is the leading organization for home health care providers, with more than 300 certified organizations as members.  The association “provides a unified voice for all components of home health care and promotes high standards of patient care in the delivery of home health services.” For more on becoming a member of the MHHA, click here.

Find a Home Health Agency in Michigan

The best way to find a home health provider is obvious — ask doctors, family and friends for recommendations. There is also a wide range of directories available for finding the best home health aide based on your needs.

  1. The MHHA Membership Directory is a great place to start when selecting a home health care provider. You can search by county, services provided, Medicare/Medicaid certification, and more. This directory provides a good mix of agency and private duty home health options, all of which meet the MHHA’s standards for membership.
  2. Another solid option is the Care Pathways directory of home care agencies in Michigan, where you can search for both private payor and Medicare/Medicaid certified agencies in each city.
  3. The Medicare Home Health Compare is a valuable tool for comparing Medicare certified home health agencies in your region.

How to Choose a Michigan HHA

After locating agencies and independent home health aides that meet your criteria, you’ll need to determine the best fit for you and your loved one. The following questions can help you narrow down your selection and ensure you’re choosing a qualified home health aide.

What to Ask a Home Health Agency

  • Is your agency Medicare certified? (This means the agency meets the conditions of participation for Medicare certification)
  • Is your agency accredited? (If the agency is accredited, ask to see their most recent survey from the accrediting body.)
  • What kind of training do your home health aides receive?
  • Do you perform background checks on your home health aides? (This is required for anyone working for a home health agency)
  • Will I have any input on which home health aide will be assigned to the patient?
  • Who will supervise my assigned home health aide? (There should be periodic checks to evaluate how your aide is performing)

What to Ask an Independent Home Health Aide

  • What services do you provide?
  • What kind of training have you received?
  • What types of patients have you worked with in the past? (Some aides specialize in caring for seniors, disabled, and juvenile patients)
  • Do you have a clean driving record? (This is important if your aide will be transporting your loved one)
  • Do you hold any certifications? (At the very least, your home health aide should have First Aid and CPR training, in addition to hands-on experience)
  • Do you have any patients I could speak to as references? (An experienced home health aide should be able to provide strong references)

Sources
Department of Community Health
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Michigan Home Health Association

Photo Credit by D. Stenvers