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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Home Care Industry in California Is Growing and Largely Unregulated

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The home care industry is growing rapidly and coincides with increases in the growth of the elderly population, who are more frequently chronically ill and disabled and need assistance. This policy brief provides a profile of the home care industry and patients/consumers of these services in California, assessing available data on licensure and certification as a mechanism for promoting safety and quality of care. The findings indicate a dearth of information on the characteristics and care delivery of home care agencies and individual providers of nonmedical home care. The findings also illustrate that licensure and certification of home health agencies may enhance the capacity for improvements in quality of care. Establishing licensure and basic safety standards for home care agencies is a reasonable public health policy for reducing the potential for adverse consequences among the growing aging and disabled populations.

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