Advanced Health Care is licensed by the Department of Health (DOH) as a Home Health Agency. That means we are required to follow the laws, rules and regulations in Chapter 70.127 RCW and Chapter 246-335 WAC.
RCW stands for the Revised Code of Washington. The RCW is the compilation of all permanent laws now in force in Washington State. It is a collection of Session Laws (enacted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor or enacted via the initiative process), and arranged by topic.
WAC stands for Washington Administrative Code Regulations of executive branch agencies are issued by authority of statutes. Like legislation and the Constitution, regulations are a source of primary law in Washington State. The WAC codifies the regulations and arranges them by subject or agency.
Periodically the DOH reviews the existing WACs or rules to revise and update. Earlier this year the DOH “opened” or began the review process of In-Home Services (IHS), which includes Home Care, Home Health, Hospice, and Hospice Care Centers. This review or “rule making” process involves the DOH as well as the public and includes workshops and hearings.
Advanced Health Care, along with other agencies, is working collaboratively with the DOH in this process. We’re meeting about once a month at the DOH offices in Tumwater. The last time the DOH reviewed the WACS for IHS was in 2002, so there are many issues to be addressed. For additional explanation on the rules making process follow this link: http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/FacilitiesNewReneworUpdate/HomeHealthAgencies/RulesInProgress
Currently hot topics in these workshops include:
- Issues regarding nurse delegation and medication assistance and administration
- Issues defining the differences between Home Care and Home Health agencies
- Issues regarding supervision of care
- Issues regarding supervision of employees
- Issues regarding employee credentialing, specifically HCAs, NARs and NACs
- Issues regarding employee scope of practice
- Issues regarding TB testing as well as Hep B and flu immunizations
- Issues regarding the POLST and end of life care
This process is expected to take about 18 months, so we’re about half way through. Please let us know if you have questions or comments. We are happy to share our thoughts and welcome yours as well!