Types of Home Care Agencies

New York State licenses or certifies a variety of home care program types. Home care agencies and programs differ in the services they provide and the State agency that oversees their operation. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) sets standards for and regulates all home care agencies that provide supportive, health or medically-related services to people in their homes. DOH and the Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) jointly regulate agencies participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. DOH regulations require all home care agencies to meet the same standards relating to agency establishment, paraprofessional training, quality of care and consumer protection standards, including service delivery and personnel requirements. The following types of home care agencies require either a license or certification issued by DOH:
Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs)
Licensed home care services agencies (LHCSAs) offer home care services through personal care assistants, home health aides, nurses, and therapists, to patients that are covered by Medicaid or through private insurance. Services provided include homemaking, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, transferring from beds to chairs or wheelchairs, preparing meals, feeding, and routine skin care, among other services. LHCSAs may also subcontract with other home care providers to deliver services, particularly when delivering skilled care services through MLTC. LHCSAs may offer a full range of services from skilled to paraprofessional or may choose to focus on the delivery of one service or population, such as high-tech pediatrics or providing aides for seniors.
Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs)
Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHAs) provide care and support services to individuals who, for the most part, have home health care needs for a limited duration. These agencies provide nursing and home health aide services and provide or arrange for other professional services, including physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, medical social work and nutrition services.
Hospices offer home and inpatient care and counseling for the terminally-ill and their families. Hospices offer palliative care rather than curative care to treat disease. Under the hospice program, patients at the end of life and their families receive physical, psychological, social and spiritual support and care.
Altogether, there are more than 1,300 home care agencies in New York State, employing hundreds of thousands of paraprofessional, skilled, and administrative staff. In addition to professional nurses, therapists and assistants, home care agencies hire and train workers as home health aides and personal care aides, and offer these paraprofessionals additional opportunities for career growth.