Home Care Aide Certification Update

Dear Providers,

With the passage of E2SHB 1694 and 5278 significant changes are coming to the home care aide certification process.

One of the notable changes in E2SHB 1694 is the date of hire. E2SHB 1694 defines the date of hire as “the first day the long-term care worker is employed by any employer.”  This new defintion would remove the provision that “the date of hire is specific to each long-term care worker, not to the employer, and does not change if the worker changes employers,”  as defined in WAC 246-980-010.

Additionally, as a result of the above legislations, DOH will automatically renew HCAs that have been expired for at least 6 months but less than 2 years. Auto renewal for expired HCAs will start September 1, 2023, and end July 1, 2025. Once the expired HCAs have been renewed, DOH will notify affected individuals. You don’t need to take any action to get your HCA renewed. If your HCA has been expired for at least 6 months, it will automatically be renewed for you. It’s important to also note that you are not required to meet continuing education requirements in order to have your HCA automatically renewed. E2SHB 1694 directs DOH and DSHS to ensure that continuing education is not a barrier for individuals seeking to get their HCA reinstated, so DOH and DSHS have decided not to require continuing education be met before reinstatement.

Lastly, if your HCA has expired for more than 2 years but less than 5 years, you can reinstate it as long as you pay all applicable fees. Once again, no continuing education requirement needs to be met. Long-term care workers with HCAs that have been expired for more than 5 years will be required to redo training and testing. As DOH and DSHS continue to work on implementing E2SHB 1694 and 5278 we will be sure to update you.

Additional Updates:

  • Timelines for completion of training for long-term care workers will expire September 9, 2023
  • The emergency rule that temporarily suspended the requirement for the home care aide certification testing to occur within two years of training has expired as of June 14, 2023. Therefore, long-term care workers will need to successfully pass both portions of the certification examination within two years of completing their required training. Here is a link to the current training and certification deadlines
  • The Home Care Aide Application fee has increased from $85 to $100 for both new applications and HCA credentials expiring on/after June 1, 2023