Report: LTC assistants have more training hours than home health counterparts

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Training requirements for home health aides are not keeping pace with what's required of certified nursing assistants working in nursing homes, a new report finds.

Federal mandates say that both sets of caregivers should have 75 training hours, but 15 states require that home health and CNAs have training beyond that. Thirty states require CNAs, but not home health aides, to exceed the 75 hours, according to a new report from PHI, a direct-care worker advocacy group. For example, Missouri requires 75 hours of training for home health aides, but 175 hours of training for certified nurse aides.

This reflects that while the acuity level of home health clients is growing, training requirements may be lagging, the researchers said.

“Current federal training standards have not kept pace with changes in public policy and services delivery and do not adequately prepare the direct-care workers who provide the lion's share of paid hands-on long-term care,” said Steve Edelstein, PHI's national policy director.

The PHI report also found that by 2018, home and community-based direct-care workers are likely to outnumber facility workers by roughly two to one.

Click here to read the full report.