I. Home Health Aide Regulations in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, Home Health Agencies (HHAs) are licensed and regulated by the PA Department of Health. This state agency enforces Home Health Aide standards by mandating requirements, and conducting periodic, unannounced state licensure surveys of these agencies.
To qualify as an individual Home Health Aide agent in Pennsylvania, you must complete a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction. This training can take place prior to, or during the first 3 months of employment at a state certified Home Health Aide agency. Once you’ve completed training, you also need to pass criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, and if direct consumer contact is required you need to pass TB screening.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health lists the following requirements, that Home Health Aides Agencies must provide information to the consumer concerning:
- What services will be provided
- The identity of the direct care workers that will provide the service
- The hours when services will be provided
- Total cost of services provided
- Department of Health contact information regarding licensure requirements
- Department of Health complaint hotline number
- Telephone number for the local Ombudsman and competency requirements for direct care workers
- Whether the direct care worker is an employee or independent contractor
- Tax obligations and employment responsibilities of HCA/HCR and consumer with regard to the direct care workers
- Documentation that demonstrates personal face-to-face interviews with all direct care workers or independent contractors
II. How To Get Trained as a Home Health Aide in Pennsylvania
There are multiple ways you can receive training as a Home Health Aide in Pennsylvania. For example (1) Pass a competency examination developed by the Home Health Care agency you are employed with (2) Pass a nurse aide certification and training program sponsored by the PA Department of Education (3) Complete a program approved by the PA Department of Health and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Pennsylvania has a number of Home Health Aide training programs that you can complete at a local college. For more information, please contact one of the colleges listed below:
|Home Health Aide Training||Address||Phone|
|All State Career||50 W. Powhattan Avenue
Essington , PA
|CCAC Home Health Aide Training Program||Allegheny Campus Jones Hall Room 316
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
|Delaware County Community College||901 S. Media Line Road
Media, PA 19063
|Indiana County Technology Center||441 Hamill Road
Indiana, PA 15701-1465
|Northampton Community College||3835 Green Pond Road
Bethlehem, PA 18020
|Home Health Aide Career Training||910 East Church Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19138
|Pampering Plus Home Health Aide Institute||1522 Old York Road
Abington , PA 19001
|Professional Healthcare Institute||1333 W.Cheltenham Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19142
III. How to Find a Pennsylvania Home Health Care Aide
Pennsylvania has a number agencies that assist you in finding the best HHA for your family.
The primary state HHA association is the The Pennsylvania Homecare Association, which represents more than 500 home health agencies. The department offers a “Locate a Homecare Provider” page which allows you to search for HHA agencies or individual home health aides throughout PA. You can search by county, zip code, services offered, agency name, or individual name.
Another resource is VNA, a large agency with a staff of certified nurses and personal care providers. VNA serves communities throughout western Pennsylvania, including Butler, Armstrong, Mercer and Northwest Westmoreland counties, as well as portions of surrounding counties.
IV. How to Choose Your PA Home Health Aide
Based on the regulations mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, it’s important that you ask the following questions when interviewing a home health aide:
- How many hours of classroom training have you completed? (a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction is required)
- Can you provide proof of a criminal background check, child abuse clearances, and TB screening? (state requirement)
- Can you list the services you provide, the hours when service will be provided, and the total costs of services provided? (state requirement to provide documentation)
- If interviewing an agency, request documentation that demonstrates personal face-to-face interviews with all direct care workers or independent contractors.
V. Pennsylvania HHA Regulating Agencies and Resources
- PA Department of Aging
- PA Department of Public Welfare
- Pennsylvania Homecare Association
- National Association of Home Care
- Quality Insights of Pennsylvania
- PA Department of Health