If you are a personal care attendant (PCA) and you were hired on or after January 1, 2014, you are required to attend a four-hour PCA New Hire Orientation. This orientation provides new PCAs with important employment-related information about wages, benefits, fraud, abuse, neglect, infection control, and worker rights.
MassHealth pays new PCAs for this time. PCAs may not attend the orientation while providing PCA services to their Consumer-employers. PCAs must attend the orientation during non-working hours.
Consumer-employers will be notified of the PCA New Hire Orientation requirement by their fiscal intermediary (FI).
PCAs must complete the orientation within nine months of the initial start of their employment. PCAs will be notified of the due date by the FI, as well as consequences for failing to complete the orientation.
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, some PCAs were given more than nine months to complete New Hire Orientation. Affected PCAs have received, or will receive, more information from the FI.
Information for New PCAs
Although PCAs are strongly encouraged to complete the PCA New Hire Orientation as soon as possible, new PCAs MUST complete the PCA New Hire Orientation before the due date identified in the notice. If a new PCA fails to do so, s/he will incur a one dollar $1 per hour after-tax payroll deduction ("sanction”) for all payroll payments dated on or after the provided due date. The $1 per hour deduction will continue until the new PCA completes the PCA New Hire Orientation. These deductions will not be refunded.
PCA New Hire Orientation Options
Consumer-employers must select from the following PCA New Hire Orientation delivery options. Consumer-employers must notify the Fiscal Intermediary of their choice, based on the following two options:
- Option 1: Send the new PCA to an in-person or online group session. New PCAs should contact the Home Care Training Benefit at (877) 409-8283 to register for a group session in his/her area (group sessions fill quickly; please register early), or online group session, as applicable and available.
- Option 2: The Consumer-employer may choose to offer the first half of the PCA New Hire Orientation themself.
The second half of the PCA New Hire Orientation cannot be provided by you, the Consumer-employer, and is required to be completed at a group session.
Consumers can request the curriculum be mailed to them (please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery) or request access to the online orientation training. The Fiscal Intermediary will send the required login information for the PCA New Hire Orientation curriculum, which we recommend you review before deciding to choose the consumer taught option.
Detailed instructions for the on-line delivery training are available here in the documents linked below.
Please note: the consumer taught option is available only during the first three months after the PCA’s initial start of employment. Once a PCA has worked for the Consumer for three months, the Consumer may only select Option 1, above.
PCA New Hire Orientation Video on Consumer Choices
To learn more about PCA New Hire Orientation, check out this video. Please note that there have been updates to PCA New Hire Orientation since this video was posted, but many of the concepts may still be helpful to Consumer-employers and PCAs.
For more information, please contact your Personal Care Management Agency or the Fiscal Intermediary.