During the 2019 first regular session of the Arizona State Legislature, with the support of home healthcare stakeholders, HB2706 passed, creating a new form of licensure to allow parents, other family members, and guardians of children with developmental disabilities to be eligible for licensure as care providers with special skills, and to receive a higher level of reimbursement. During the 2021 first regular session of the Arizona State Legislature, HB2521 passed, revising the prior legislation, adding the "licensed health aide" (LHA) as a new type of license, issued through the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
The current, 2021, legislation permits LHA licensees to care for one juvenile patient only, who must be designated as having developmental disabilities, and must be a family member of the LHA, or for whom the LHA is the guardian. The care plan must be authorized through a home health agency, who will provide oversight. The LHA may provide nursing assistant-type care to the child, and also may perform skills including trach care, j tube and g tube feedings, and medication administration.
The LHA license does not authorize the licensee to work with the public, in other settings, such as long term care, or to provide care to other patients besides the one, juvenile patient with whom the LHA has the special family or guardianship relationship.
On July 22, 2021, the Arizona State Board of Nursing (“Board”) approved preliminary draft rules for stakeholder and public review and comment, prior to final Board approval and exempt final rulemaking.
At its September 2021 Board meeting, the Board approved revised draft rules that incorporated suggestions from stakeholders and directed staff to pursue final exempt rulemaking.
The draft LHA rule language is available here: Licensed Health Aide - Draft Rules
Public comments are welcome until September 1, 2021, and may be submitted to Board Chief Counsel Emma Mamaluy at [email protected].