AFL 20-49.1 From the California Department of Public Health
July 10, 2020
TO: All Facilities
SUBJECT: Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for Home Health Aides (HHAs) (This AFL supersedes AFL 20-49)
All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary
- This AFL notifies all facilities of a temporary waiver of specified statutory and regulatory requirements for HHAs due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- This AFL has been updated to provide a deadline for HHAs to complete Live Scan submission requirements following the resumption of Live Scan services.
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 HHAs. Any waiver shall include alternative measures that, under the circumstances, ensure the facility treats patients while protecting public health and safety. CDPH is temporarily waiving specified HHA requirements and suspending regulatory enforcement of the following provisions as described below:
1. HSC sections 1736.2(c):HHAs in an active status are encouraged to renew following normal timelines. HHAs seeking certificate renewal may continue to work without completing the application process until the end of the declared emergency.
2. HSC section 1736.2:HHAs whose certification expired within the previous 2 years, or whose certification will expire during the state of emergency, may work as an HHA for the duration of the declared emergency without renewal. All facilities must check CDPH’s online verification page to verify employment eligibility. Only those HHAs with a status of “active” or “employable during state of emergency”, or who have a copy of their certificate that has been expired within the previous 2 years may be employed.
Criminal Record Clearance
3. HSC sections 1736.1(a)(2), 1736.5(a), 1736.6(a)(1) and (g): All HHA applicants who submitted an initial application without a completed Live Scan form due to the previous inability to obtain Live Scan services, must submit a completed Live Scan form as soon as practicable but no later than 60 days after the publication of this AFL. If CDPH does not receive a copy of the HHA’s completed Live Scan form (BCIA 8016) showing they have completed this requirement in the timeframe provided, the status of the HHA’s record will be changed to inactive and the HHA will not be allowed to work until this documentation is received.
As a result of this temporary waiver, facilities do not need to submit individual program flexibility requests to employ HHAs using the waivers specified above. Requests for waivers not specified in this AFL shall be submitted using the CDPH 5000A (PDF).
CDPH understands the importance of ensuring the health and safety of all Californians and maintaining vital access to health care services. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include reference to AFL 20-49: Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for HHAs in the subject line of the email.
Original signed by Heidi W. Steinecker
Heidi W. Steinecker