CO targets home healthcare for reforms

Shaken by a report revealing some horrific abuses by home caregivers, state lawmakers in Colorado have filed legislation that would require agencies providing nurses, physical therapists and home caregivers to be state-licensed. Right now, Colorado is one of only five states that doesn't license home healthcare providers. Because caregivers don't need a license, state regulators are powerless to set minimum care standards or perform routine inspections. Without such oversight, patients have suffered great harm, including one whose foot was amputated due to improper care, and another who died on the toilet and was left for a day.

If the new bill becomes law, the state health department will be able to make surprise inspections of home care agencies, whether or not they receive state funding through Medicaid. Regulators would have the ability to impose sanctions ranging from citations to de-licensure.

To learn more about the state's proposed changes:
- read this item in The Denver Post