Ethics and Standards

Introduction: The purpose of the Home Care Standards Bureau (HCSB) is to provide a method of certifying non-medical home care agencies. The HCSB grants only an A+ certification to those agencies that are willing to vigilantly uphold the HCSB Code of Standards and Ethics. By providing a certification for non-medical home care agencies, HCSB is helping to ensure that the clients, patients and their family members are fully confident in the ability of these agencies and their employees to provide ethical as well as compassionate service while complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

Purpose: The HCSB created the HCSB Code of Standards and Ethics (Code) to provide ethical standards and rules of conduct for all A+ agencies and its employees. The HCSB investigates formal complaints lodged against the A+ agency, staff, or caregivers for alleged violations of the Code and disciplines when appropriate. An A+ agency is required to comply with the Standards and Rules set forth in this Code. A+ agencies and their employees must also follow all rules and regulations for their profession that are promulgated by state and federal law, licensing boards, state agencies, companies and industry organizations of which the A+ agency is a member.

Mission Statement: The Mission of HCSB is to raise the standards for professional caregiving.

The A+ Certified Criteria
In order to obtain and maintain the prestigious A+ Certified, agencies must adhere to the following criteria:

  • The agency must be fully and properly licensed by their state’s regulatory offices for non-medical home care agencies.
  • The agency must have on staff or affiliated a qualified person in the field of aging that meets the HCSB requirements. Examples that meet the HCSB requirements include the following: Gerontologist, Registered Nurse, Geriatric Care Manager, Certified Senior Advisor.
  • All caregivers employed or contracted by the agency must have all applicable licenses.
  • The caregivers employed or contracted by the agency must be fluent in the language of the population served.
  • The agency owner or an affiliated person must have been in the paying home care business for at least one year.
  • The agency has a caregiver multi-tiered Background Check Policy, including but not limited to, a 50 state multi-jurisdictional, criminal, sex offender registry and driving record check for caregivers under their employ.
  • The agency must have no unresolved complaints with state or federal licensing agencies.
  • The agency must agree to abide and sign the HCSB Code of Standards and Ethics.
  • The agency must agree to both scheduled and unannounced on-site audits.
  • The agency must complete an annual disclosure form.
  • The agency must agree to hold their caregivers to high standards.

View the HCSB Standards and Code of Ethics Here (PDF Fomat)

The Standards

The Standards define the ethical and professional conduct to which A+ Agencies must adhere to while carrying out their business activities.

Standard #1 — Kindness
All persons representing the agency will adhere to a standard of kindness and will treat each patient, client and their family members with compassion and respect.

Standard #2 — Honesty
All persons representing the agency will adhere to a standard of honesty. They will not lie, cheat or steal. All representatives must accurately and completely communicate to their potential clients, patients and their family members both orally and in business materials of their qualifications and credentials. All representatives must ensure that their potential clients, patients and their family members fully comprehend proposed services or products.

Standard #3 — Respect
All persons representing the agency will adhere to a standard of respect. They will treat each client, patient, their family members and all other persons in contact with the agency with respect of inherent worth, dignity and human rights of every individual.

Standard #4 — Dignity
All persons representing the agency will adhere to a standard of dignity. They will regard each client, patient and their family members in the highest esteem and will ensure to maintain the self-respect of the individual.

Standard #5 — Safety
All persons representing the agency will adhere to a standard of safety. They will ensure their actions are not intended to do harm or foul to any individual in contact with the agency.

Standard #6 — Competency
All persons representing the agency will adhere to a standard of competence. They have an obligation to keep his/her professional training, skills, and knowledge current and comprehensive in order to competently provide professional services to clients, patients, their family members and any other individuals in contact with the agency. Such competency must be maintained and enhanced over time as a result of changes in legal, regulatory, and professional standards and processes

The Rules

The Rules are derived from the Standards. The Rules establish requirements for professional behavior that an A+ agency can readily apply to business situations.

RULES THAT RELATE TO THE STANDARD OF KINDNESS
Rule 101: An A+ Agency will ensure that its staff members and employees treat every client and family member of the client with kindness and compassion. Under no circumstances will the A+ agency or employee of the agency inflict intentional harm physically or emotionally nor conduct malicious behavior toward the client.

RULES THAT RELATE TO THE STANDARD OF HONESTY
Rule 201: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall accurately and completely convey to clients and potential clients and/or family members whether presented orally or on business materials, their true profession and active professional licenses or credentials.

Rule 202: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall not solicit clients through false or misleading communications or advertisements, whether written, oral, or electronic. This includes misrepresentation via an incomplete description of a product or service.

Rule 203: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall not provide make false or misleading statements to a client or the client’s family members, or to any governmental, administrative or other regulatory body or official, or any other person or entity.

Rule 204: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall not represent the views of HCSB, or purport to represent such views unless the agency has been expressly authorized by HCSB to do so.

RULES THAT RELATE TO THE STANDARD OF RESPECT
Rule 301: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall hold each client and the client’s family members in the highest esteem and will ensure that they are mindful of offensive or degrading remarks or actions and will refrain from disrespecting, offending or degrading the client and the client’s family members.

RULES THAT RELATE TO THE STANDARD OF DIGNITY
Rule 401: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall hold each client and client’s family members in the highest regard and will ensure to be mindful of each client’s worthiness and maintain constant respect for their dignity.

RULES THAT RELATE TO THE STANDARD OF SAFETY
Rule 501: The A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall ensure that the safety of the client and the client’s family members is maintained and will be mindful to ensure the client and the client’s family members are free from injury, danger or loss at all times.

RULES THAT RELATE TO THE STANDARD OF COMPETENCY
Rule 601: An A+ agency holding professional licenses or credentials will comply with the rules, regulations, and ethical codes that govern the holders of such licenses or credentials.

Rule 602: An A+ agency shall stay current with governmental, regulatory, administrative, and professional standards or requirements that affect, or have the potential to affect, such agencies skill set and professional competence. These professional development steps include, but are not limited to, completing any Continuing Education (CE) requirements as mandated by such agencies professional licensing authority, credentialing body.

Rule 603: An A+ agency, its staff and employees, shall limit their professional advice or services to those areas in which they are competent. Otherwise, as warranted, such agency shall direct their client to obtain, or shall obtain on their behalf, professional advice and/or services from other individuals qualified to provide them.

Rule 604: Any A+ agency that has been named as a subject of a complaint, an indictment, an administrative order, a court issued injunctive order or an administrative investigation, or appears as an associated party to the subject of any such complaint, indictment, order or investigation, that has been filed by a governmental, regulatory or administrative body, including, but not limited to, by any attorney general or criminal prosecutor, may be administratively suspended by the HCSB, at its discretion, pending the results of further action. HCSB may presume for any and all purposes that the allegations or findings of any such complaint, indictment or order are true.