Tuesday, December 13, 2011

States Require More Training For CNAs Than Home Health Aides

States Require More Training For CNAs Than Home Health Aides

Patrick Connole

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Only 15 states mandate home health aides to have more training hours than are federally mandated, yet 30 states and the District of Columbia require certified nurse assistants (CNAs) to have more training hours than the federal requirements, according to a recent report by PHI, a direct-care workforce nonprofit.

In 1987, the federal government set a training standard of 75 hours, including a minimum of 16 hours of clinical training, for both home health aides and CNAs who are employed by Medicare-certified nursing homes or home care agencies.

“Our analysis shows that state home health aide training requirements have not kept pace with their nursing home [CNA] training requirements,” said Steve Edelstein, PHI national policy director.

“Although it is clearly time to revisit the federal standards, having states move ahead on their own to upgrade training requirements is a step in the right direction.”

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2008 recommended that the federal minimum training requirement be raised to at least 120 hours for both CNAs and home health aides and that competency in elder care be demonstrated as a criterion for certification.

PHI also discovered in its report that four states meet the IOM-recommended training standard for home health aides; 14 states meet the IOM-recommended training standards for CNAs; and 13 states require more than 16 hours of clinical training for home health aides—the federal minimum training requirement.

Of the states that exceed the federal training standard, nine require home health aides to be CNAs, and four allow CNAs to become home health aides with supplementary training.

PHI also looked into the future in its analysis and predicted that by 2018, home- and community-based direct-care workers are likely to outnumber facility workers by nearly two to one.

To compare the training requirements for home health aides and CNAs in each state, go to http://phinational.org/policy/wp-content/uploads/2011-state-hha-training-requirements.pdf. ​

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