In-Home Care Provider Licensing Regulations are Final

June 11, 2014

After two attempts to develop workable licensing regulations for In-Home Care Providers (commonly referred to as “Private Duty Nursing” providers), the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC”) has finalized licensing regulations that will become effective on June 27, 2014. 

After two attempts to develop workable licensing regulations for In-Home Care Providers (commonly referred to as “Private Duty Nursing” providers), the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC”) has finalized licensing regulations that will become effective on June 27, 2014. These regulations implement the Licensure of In-Home Care Provider Act (the “Act”) enacted in 2011.

DHEC has not yet finalized any publicly available license applications or procedures to begin the initial licensing process, but in-home care providers should anticipate that these items will be available shortly after the June 27th effective date.

What is In-Home Care?

The Act defines In-Home Care to essentially mean “non-medical” care that is:

  • primarily intended to assist an individual with an activity of daily living or in meeting a personal rather than a medical need (excluding skilled care or specific therapy for an illness or injury)
  • given to assist an individual in an activity of daily living
  • personal in nature but not mandating continuing attention or supervision from trained and licensed medical personnel

Who Are In-Home Care Providers Who Must Be Licensed?

Any business entity that provides, for compensation (profit or not-for-profit), in-home care services through (i) its own employees or agents, (ii) independent contractors, or (iii) referrals of other providers in whom the referring entity or person has a financial interest.

Who is NOT an In-Home Care Provider?

  • Home health agencies, hospice programs and facilities, or other licensed health care facilities
  • Individuals or agencies providing house cleaning services only
  • Individuals hired directly by clients or clients’ families
  • Churches or other religious institutions that provide in-home care services without compensation or for nominal fees to cover incidental expenses
  • Certain programs operated by the S.C. Dep’t of Mental Health or S.C. Department of Disabilities & Special Needs

What Are the Requirements for Licensure?

Requirements for an In-Home Care Provider to be licensed include:

  • Liability insurance or surety bond
  • Criminal record checks and drug test results
  • Indemnity coverage
  • A random drug testing program
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Initial license fee ($1,000); annual renewal fee ($800)

What Are the Required Qualifications of In-Home Caregivers?

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass criminal background check; disqualified if prior convictions for: theft, abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child or a vulnerable adult or any drug-related crimes within past 10 years
  • Pass random drug testing
  • Undergo health assessments and annual TB screenings
  • Be trained in basic first aid, medical assistance, client confidentiality, recordkeeping, etc.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license and insurance (if transportation part of caregiver’s duties)

For more information on this Healthcare Alert, contact Andrea Heffernan Brisbin at abrisbin@hsblawfirm.com.

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