HCA Pursues Online Aide Training 

Situation Report | September 8, 2020

Last week, HCA, the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (HCP), LeadingAge New York and a group of provider members met with the state Department of Health (DOH) to discuss a proposed hybrid model of online and in-person training for personal care aides (PCAs) and home health aides (HHAs).

The proposal derived from member efforts to address the total shutdown of existing aide training programs and/or reduced class sizes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements. This decline in training capacity coincides with a contraction in the overall aide workforce during COVID-19, impairing the ability of agencies to provide HHA and PCA services.

The multi-association proposal would allow existing DOH-approved aide training programs to provide online instruction for the didactic portion and in-person instruction and assessment for the supervised practical training components.

DOH was very receptive to the proposal and plans to bring it to the attention of Executive staff.

The Department asked the associations and providers how long it would take to develop policies and procedures and other actions to implement online training programs. The associations and members will be meeting again this week to discuss these matters including: trainee authentication procedures; RN nurse instructor orientation to virtual instruction; and the use of online technology for this purpose. We also plan to develop a timeline for these specific policies and procedures.

HCA thanks DOH for its interest in the proposal and the following HCA members who helped in its development: Americare, Partners in Care, Elara Caring, People Care, and Selfhelp Community Services.