Abby Services is a Nurse Registry licensed and overseen by the Agency fo Healthcare Administration.
One important rule for in-home healthcare providers is requiring in-home caregiver health screenings for every HHA & CNA who enters a senior’s home.
The Agency for Healthcare Administration or (AHCA) safeguards seniors is by enforcing these laws, rules, and regulations in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and other licensed entities including Abby Services.
So what is an in-home caregiver health screening?
AHCA or The Agency For Healthcare Administration lays out guidelines that are designed to help protect the population we serve. One such example is the requirement of a health statement from a health care professional certifying that an individual is “Free of communicable disease”. The exact verbiage can be found here under FAC59A-18.005(6). This is required for every caregiver who enters a seniors home.
What does a health statement screen for?
That’s a fair question. Abby Services follows all state requirements for caregiver screening and selection. Including the requirements for in-home caregiver health screenings.
That being said, clients often ask “Will my caregiver be screened for HIV?”, Will my caregiver be screened for the Flu?”, Will my caregiver be screened for TB or Tuberculosis?”, “What are you doing about the Zika Virus?”. There are many other valid questions related to health screening.
These are very good questions. The reality is that it is impossible and cost-prohibitive to effectively screen for every possibility, which is why we defer to the regulations and requirements that govern our industry. That’s why we rely on a general practitioner’s judgment to screen for a caregiver’s general wellbeing.
What if I want my caregiver to have additional health screenings?
One of the most common requests, beyond a general Health Statement, is for Tuberculosis Screening, specifically when a caregiver is caring for a patient residing in a Nursing Facility. While some facilities may choose to further protect their residents by requiring TB (tuberculosis) screening.
AHCA phased out the requirement for this testing in our industry years ago in favor of the health statement from a medical professional screening a caregiver for a number of ailments.
Clients may request whatever additional testing they believe is necessary from their caregiver, however, both client and caregiver should consider the cost and benefit of insisting on safeguards above and beyond those required by The Agency for Healthcare Administration.
For those interested here is a link to our local Department of Health’s TB testing program. The Department of Health also has other immunization programs available for those who are interested.
Should you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to speak with Scott Strachan who is an RN and one of the owners of Abby Services. He is well versed in our state requirements and how to help seniors remain safe and independent in their homes.