Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for Home Health Aide Training Programs (HHA Training Programs)

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AFL 20-57 From the California Department of Public Health 

June 19, 2020

TO: All Facilities

SUBJECT: Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for Home Health Aide Training Programs (HHA Training Programs)

AUTHORITY:  Proclamation of a State of Emergency (PDF) and Executive Orders N-27-20 (PDF) and N-39-20 (PDF)

All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL notifies all HHA Training Programs of a temporary waiver of specified statutory and regulatory requirements for HHA Training Programs due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20 (PDF) related to the COVID-19 state of emergency, the Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) may waive any of the professional certification requirements and amend scopes of practice of Chapter 8 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code (HSC) and accompanying regulations with respect to home health aides. Any waiver shall include alternative measures that, under the circumstances, protects public health and safety. CDPH is temporarily waiving the HHA Training Program requirement and suspending regulatory enforcement of the following provision:

Initial Theory Training

  1. Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 74747(c):  An HHA Training Program may provide up to 75 hours of required classroom training through an online or distance learning format and may begin providing online or distance learning training immediately upon electronic submission of notification to CDPH.

As a result of this temporary waiver, HHA Training Programs do not need to submit individual program flexibility requests for the waiver specified above. However, HHA Training Programs and nursing facilities are still required to notify CDPH of changes to core curriculum, training hours, program staff, or contracted services. Notification shall be submitted to the Professional Certification Branch, Training Program Review Unit (TPRU) via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov.

HHA Training Programs may also apply for waivers of other requirements not specified above, including alternative ways to conduct clinical training such as simulation or laboratory return demonstration. Requests for specific emergency waivers must be submitted to the Medical and Health Coordination Center via email at CHCQDutyOfficer@cdph.ca.gov using the CDPH form 5000A (PDF).

CDPH understands the importance of ensuring the health and safety of all Californians and maintaining vital access to health care services. CDPH encourages HHA Training Programs to implement contingency plans to address staff absenteeism and the rapid influx of patients. CDPH will continue to promote quality healthcare and provide technical assistance and support compliance with core health and safety requirements, pursuant to Executive Order N-27-20 (PDF). CDPH is taking this unprecedented action due to the significant challenges California’s health care system is facing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This waiver is valid until the end of the declared emergency.

CDPH will continue to investigate and conduct enforcement activities for allegations of the most serious violations impacting health and safety, pursuant to Executive Order N-27-20 (PDF).

If you have any questions about this AFL, please contact the Professional Certification Branch, Aide and Technician Certification Section via email at TPRU@cdph.ca.gov. Pease include reference to AFL 20-57: Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for HHA Training Programs in the subject line of the email.

Sincerely,

Original signed by Heidi W. Steinecker

Heidi W. Steinecker
Deputy Director

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