Several concerning issues regarding this case:
- The Administrative Hearing Coordinator did not know the laws/rules of the HCA training. He insisted several times that there was only one training course that the applicants could take – that of the Training Partnership (SEIU 775)
- The Administrative Hearing Coordinator insisted that there were not problems with others completing the training and getting their certification. He treated this applicant as if she was a failure for not completing the SEIU 775 training.
Data for these charts was from the Credentialing Manager, Health Systems Quality Assurance, Washington State Department of Health
The facts were provided to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) by the appellant. While the ALJ had to abide by the Washington Administrative Code, she did fully understand the frustration and barriers for both the caregivers and those needing that care.
So, in the end, this was a very expensive and long drawn out ordeal that was frustrating but also clarified the problems with these rules. Now we need people to help get the rules changed so that our community members in need of caregivers and those who want to provide this care can both get what they need.
The Department sent the appellant the Planned Action Notice which outlined she had not completed the required Basic Training to be an individual provider. The Appellant has continued working as an individual provider after January 25, 2018, and has not been paid by the Department.
Text from “Initial Order” signed by the Administrative Law Judge on July 23 2018 below:
The undisputed evidence established the Appellant has not completed the 70 hours of Basic Training to be an Individual Provider.
The Appellant explained she had difficulty finishing the Basic Training due to being locked out of the system at some point. The Appellant expressed frustration about all the barriers in place to becoming an individual provider. The Appellant also expressed frustration at not being informed about other possible ways to complete the Basic Training.
An administrative law judge may not find a Department regulation in the Washington Administrative Code invalid or unenforceable. The authority of an administrative law judge (ALJ) and a review Judge is limited to those powers granted by statute or rule. An ALJ and review judge do not have any inherent or common law powers. (WAC 182-526-0216). The Appellant made compelling arguments about the need for providers and how the process to become certified is frustrating because there are so many barriers. The undersigned administrative law judge does not have the authority to grant the Appellant any relief or an exception to the certification process based on the need for providers in the community. The undersigned administrative law judge also does not have the authority to implement basic policy changes to the certification process or great exceptions to the Basic Training requirement.
The Appellant has not completed the 70 hours of Basic Training within the 120 days of providing paid in-home care as an individual provider as required by WAC 388-71-0875.
Since the Appellant has not completed the required 70 hours of Basic Training, the Department was required to deny her payment as an individual provider pursuant to the Washington Administrative Code regulations. There are not exceptions to completing the required Basic Training within the time frame outlined in the Washington Administrative Code.
Follow up: the Appellant completed training through a DSHS approved course
May 18, 2018 – sent application for HCA to Department of Health
July 25, 2018 – Completed the 75 hours of Basic Training
August 15, 2018 – DOH Credentialing scheduled caregiver for HCA test
September 7, 2018 – Caregiver took scheduled test – passed with 97%
September 19,. 2018 – DOH updated from PENDING to ACTIVE – FINALLY SHE CAN BE PAID TO PROVIDE CARE – even after she completed the training – the bureaucratic process to almost 2 months to complete – this was time that the caregiver had no control over yet she was not able to be paid.
This caregiver is now providing daily care to two disabled university students.
This situation was unusual in that the caregiver and her baby moved back into her parents home during this time. Having the family support and “free” babysitting enabled her to continue providing care free of charge since most of her living costs were covered by her own self-employment and parents. Without this support, she would have had to quit and become another one of those who applied to become an HCA but was unable to complete the SEIU 775 demands. Caregiver provided care for 8 months without being paid. Also the state had not paid her for the 2 weeks in January that she was locked out of the system.
Caregiver was not able to be paid by DSHS until September 19, 2018. The rules state that the caregiver needs to complete the training and certification test. Email from Case manager:
Planned Action Notice (PAN) that was sent to SG on 01/08/2018 informing her she would not be paid as of 01/25/2018. In the PAN, the WACs pertaining to the action are listed. WAC 388-71-0540 stipulation 14 indicates a provider cannot be paid if they do not successfully complete the certification requirements as described in WAC 388-71-0975. SG was actually required to complete her HCA certification within 150 days of first starting to provide care.
The dates for completion of training and the HCA certification are based on when SG was first authorized to start providing care. SG was first authorized to start providing care on 09/28/2017.