Home health agencies must be licensed by the state. The Virginia Department of Health’s Acute Care Division is responsible for home health licensure. The rules and regulations for home care licensing are listed on the state’s Office of Licensure and Certification website.
Agencies must also meet federal requirements to be funded by Medicare or Medicaid, as per the conditions for participation of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS).
How to Become a Home Health Aide in Virginia
According to a report released by the Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice, there’s a shortage of home health and other direct care workers in the state (read the full report).
Qualifications and Requirements
In addition being able to read, write and speak English, nonlicensed home health aides performing skilled or personal care services in a patient’s home must meet one of the below requirements as outlined in 12VAC5-381-290:
1. Completed a general nursing education program.
2. Completed an approved nurse aide education program.
3. Be a certified nurse aide in the state of Virginia.
4. Be currently enrolled in a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse or practical nurse licensure, and already completed a clinical training course.
5. Passed a competency evaluation program that meets the criteria of 42 CFR 484.36 (b).
6. Completed training using the “Personal Care Aide Training Curriculum,” 2003 edition, of the Department of Medical Assistance Services (for aides performing personal care services only).
Home Health Aide Jobs in Virginia
The following online job sites can help you find a home health aide job:
- Indeed Home Health Aide Jobs in Virginia
- NursingJobs.org Home Health Aide Jobs in Virginia
- Career Builder Home Health Aide Jobs in Virginia
Finding a Home Health Aide in Virginia
Finding a home health aide in your area is as easy as picking up the phone book. Most home health care providers are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Aging” or “Senior Services.”
There are also many online directories that are useful for finding home health providers. Try using the filters on these directories to narrow down your search:
- CarePathways Virginia HHA Directory
- Medicare Home Health Compare
- NAHC Home Health Agency Locator
- Virginia Home Health Care Agencies
Additionally, your physician will be able to provide referrals for trusted home health care providers. You can also ask friends and family who have hired a home health aide for a loved one for their recommendations and advice.
Choosing a Virginia Home Health Aide
Once you’ve found a handful of HHAs in your area, you can begin the screening process. Be sure to craft your interview questions to find out if the agency or individual is following federal regulations. Below are some questions to help you when screening candidates:
- Are you licensed?
- State licensure is required for Virginia home health agencies.
- If yes, you can use the Virginia Department of Health Professional License Lookup to verify (for both agencies and individuals).
- What services do you provide?
- Home health aides providing skilled services require more qualifications than those that are just providing personal care.
- For agencies: Are you Medicare certified?
- This means the agency meets the conditions of participation for Medicare certification.
- For agencies: Is your agency accredited?
- If yes, ask to see their most recent survey from the accrediting body.)
- For agencies: What qualifications do you require of your home health aides?
- They should meet at least one of the requirements outlined in “How to Become a Home Health Aide in Virginia” at the top of this article.
Virginia HHA Regulating Agencies and Resources
The following sources used in this article can provide further information on home health care in Virginia:
- Regulations for the Licensure of Home Care Organizations
- Code of Virginia – Home Care Organization Licensing
- Virginia Department of Health Acute Care Division
- Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice
- Virginia Department for the Aging