Introduction to Advanced Home Health Aides
The Advanced Home Health Aide (AHHA) is a new category of health care worker in New York, in addition to a certified New York HHA.
It can be argued that AHHA’s are the future of home health care, and will soon become ubiquitous as people age. They have a vast range of responsibilities with minimal education requirements and can make upwards of $25 an hour to start!
This article discusses how this new classification will impact healthcare providers and residents alike.
Home health aides are an important part of the healthcare industry. They provide assistance to patients in their homes, which can help them maintain independence and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
The demand for home health care workers has been increasing rapidly in recent years. Many of these positions are filled by licensed nurses / registered nurses.
This new classification of caregivers in New York means that aides will now be able to provide care for even more more seniors who can remain at home and avoid the cost, as well as stress of a nursing facility.
And this is a huge win for the AHHA: they can may much more money than a certified home health aide that requires not that much more additional training!
TO THE POINT
The State of New York now has a new category of worker: the Advanced Home Health Aide (AHHA).
Role of AHHA’s
AHHA’s are responsible for completing some tasks that were previously reserved for licensed nurses to ensure continuity and quality of care when patients reside in their own homes or other residential settings.
HHA NEWS IN NEW YORK!
New York Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2016 that created the new category of “advanced home health aide”, also known as AHHA. This law (Chapter 471 of the Laws of 2016) will help seniors in New York maintain independence by caring for them at home instead of in nursing facilities where they may need round-the-clock supervision and assistance with activities.
The AHHA is authorized to provide services, with supervision of a registered professional nurse. The Commissioner shall promote regulations regarding the role and scope of practice for an AHHA which is consistent with their status as a health care worker who provides home health care pursuant to this section.
The goal of the legislation is to enable more people who need assistance with daily living tasks to live in their own homes and provide support for family caregivers.
Advanced Home Health Aides are authorized to complete advanced tasks in accordance with regulations and after completion of training.
The law authorizing Advanced Home Health Aides specifies that Advanced Home Health Aides must be authorized to administer medication which are routine or prefilled or otherwise packaged in a manner that promotes relative ease of administration.
For instance, if there was no prior authorization for the use of an antibiotic (and it is not life-threatening), then the Advance Home Healthcare Aid would have been able to provide this type of treatment without needing approval from another health care professional.
The AHHA has to be qualified through competency examinations satisfactory for approval from the Commissioner of Education in consultation with the Commissioner of Health. They must meet other appropriate qualifications before being allowed to serve independently.
Tasks of New York AHHA’s
The tasks that Advanced Home Health Aides are able to perform may include:
An Advanced Home Health Aide must train on how to use medical equipment such as respirators (including noninvasive ventilation), nebulizers, urinary catheters/urinary bags) before beginning work.
The tasks a certified home health aide may perform vary from state to state. In some states, like New York, they are allowed to administer injectables while in others, the administration of medication is not permitted.
What are the requirements for becoming an Advanced Home Health Aide?
A certified home health aide may perform advanced tasks as an AHHA when he or she has:
- At least one year of experience providing home health or personal care services, or a combination of the same;
- Completed the requisite training and demonstrated competencies of an AHHA as determined by the Commissioner of Education in consultation with the Commissioner of Health;
- Successfully completed competency examinations satisfactory to the Commissioner of Education in consultation with the Commissioner of Health; and
- Meets other appropriate qualifications as determined by the Commissioner of Education in consultation with the Commissioner of Health.
It is important to note that only an individual who is listed in the home care services registry maintained by the Department of Health may perform advanced tasks and hold himself or herself out as an AHHA.
A voice of authority is necessary when performing a service. One who carries out tasks such as advanced medical care and self-identifies themselves as an AHHA, must come across with the air that they are capable in what they do.
In summary, the AHHA is a new class of health care worker in the state of New York who will have less higher education than an LPN, MPN or RN, but more training. More information can be found on the New York State Department of Health website.