Home Health & Hospice

Q: Could you provide clarification regarding whether or not it is required to complete a basic skills check on all home health aides each year?

Homecare Insider, September 23, 2013

Q: As the year end approaches, could you provide clarification regarding whether or not it is required to complete a basic skills check on all home health aides each year?

A: The Interpretive Guidelines for §484.36(b)(2) of the Conditions of Participation say that an agency is “not required to conduct a yearly competency evaluation of its aides, but it is required to do a performance review of each aide at least every 12 months.”

A basic skills check is not necessary, but the agency must ensure that its aides are competent to perform assigned duties. The procedure for the annual performance review must incorporate different measures to achieve that objective. One important element is the findings from supervisory visits. However, because home health aides do not have to be present during supervisory visits for patients receiving skilled care, the agency may have to go beyond supervisory visit findings.

Consider developing a comprehensive procedure for annual performance reviews, incorporating comments from the supervisory visits and other key findings to ensure that aides are competent and fulfill their roles as assigned.