New Arizona Law Requires More Transparency from In-Home Care Providers

By Michael Klazema on 7/27/2015
Arizona-based in-home care services will be required to be more transparent about background checks and several other subjects going forward. Under a new law that went in effect recently, companies that provide home care for the elderly or handicapped are legally obliged to notify patients (or patients' families) about whether or not their caregivers have gone through background checks. The law also calls in-home care companies to tell patients what kind of training their caregivers have received, how much their services cost, and what sort of behaviors will result in the firing of a caregiver.

The bill, which was heavily supported by the Arizona In-Home Care Association (AZNHA), recently passed by a unanimous vote in the House and by a 51-8 vote in the Senate. Doug Ducey, Arizona's Governor, signed the bill into law on April 1st.

The new law makes it possible for the state to charge home-care businesses with a misdemeanor offense if they fail to disclose background check, training, pricing, and firing policy information to clients and prospective clients up front. According to Mark Young the President of AZNHA, the purpose of the law is to give families the information they need to make an "educated decision" about the care that their loved one will receive.

Young noted that, often, when families are looking to hire an in-home care company to care for a loved one, they are in a "crisis mode" of sorts. On one hand, they are emotional about having to get outside help to care for a family member, relative, or close friend. On the other hand, they usually need to find care on short notice. Add the fact that most clients don't know much about the caregiving industry. As a result, in-home care companies are sometimes able to get away without disclosing that they haven't run background checks on their employees, or that their caregivers have only had minimal training.

Overall, this new law is a great step forward that closes a pretty substantial loophole in Arizona's in-home care industry. When a family is looking to hire someone to come into their home and care for a loved one, they need and deserve to have all of the information about the companies they are considering. By putting in place regulations for in-home care companies, Arizona's legislation has gone a long way toward ensuring that the elderly and the disabled receive high-quality care from trustworthy and reputable caregivers.

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