NJ’s New Rules for Companion Service

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (“Division”) recently proposed amendments and a new rule to implement a 2014 law concerning health care service firms.

The 2014 law concerning licensure of health care service firms (“HSFs”) determined that companion services may only be offered by registered health care service firms. The law also mandated that HSFs become accredited and submit to an audit.

The proposed regulations seek to amend the definition section to define “companion services” as non-medical, basic supervision and socialization services that do not include assistance with activities of daily living and that are provided in an individual’s home and may include the performance of household chores.” Additionally, a proposed amendment would require HSFs seeking registration renewal to submit evidence that they are accredited by an approved entity. HSF that obtain initial registration less than 12 months prior to the renewal date will not be required to meet the accreditation requirement for the first registration renewal. The regulations would also require HSFs that lose their accreditation to notify the Division within 10 days.

To implement the statutory audit requirement the proposed regulation would require HSFs to undergo an evaluation every three years. The proposed rules would require such an evaluation to be conducted by a licensed certified public accountant and would analyze HSF’s compliance with laws and rules as well as its financial status. The report would also need to include an analysis regarding HSF’s internal controls and management practices.

Comments to the proposed rules are due by October 20, 2017.

If you have questions regarding the proposed rules or have other health law questions please contact our office.