The definitions in this section apply throughout RCW 74.39.007, 74.39.050, 74.39.070, 43.190.060, and section 1, chapter 336, Laws of 1999 unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
"Self-directed care" means the process in which an adult person, who is prevented by a functional disability from performing a manual function related to health care that an individual would otherwise perform for himself or herself, chooses to direct and supervise a paid personal aide to perform those tasks.
"Personal aide" means an individual, working privately or as an individual provider as defined in RCW 74.39A.240, who acts at the direction of an adult person with a functional disability living in his or her own home to assist with the physical performance of a health care task, as described in RCW 74.39.050, that persons without a functional disability can perform themselves.
An adult person with a functional disability living in his or her own home may direct and supervise a paid personal aide in the performance of a health care task.
The following requirements shall guide the provision of self-directed care under chapter 336, Laws of 1999:
Health care tasks are those medical, nursing, or home health services that enable the person to maintain independence, personal hygiene, and safety in his or her own home, and that are services that a person without a functional disability would customarily and personally perform without the assistance of a licensed health care provider.
The individual who chooses to self-direct a health care task is responsible for initiating self-direction by informing the health care professional who has ordered the treatment which involves that task of the individual's intent to perform that task through self-direction.
When state funds are used to pay for self-directed tasks, a description of those tasks will be included in the client's comprehensive assessment, and subject to review with each annual reassessment.
When a licensed health care provider orders treatment involving a health care task to be performed through self-directed care, the responsibility to ascertain that the patient understands the treatment and will be able to follow through on the self-directed care task is the same as it would be for a patient who performs the health care task for himself or herself, and the licensed health care provider incurs no additional liability when ordering a health care task which is to be performed through self-directed care.
The role of the personal aide in self-directed care is limited to performing the physical aspect of health care tasks under the direction of the person for whom the tasks are being done. This shall not affect the ability of a person who acts as a personal aide by performing self-directed health care tasks to also provide other home care services, such as personal care or homemaker services, which enable the client to remain at home.
The responsibility to initiate self-directed health care tasks, to possess the necessary knowledge and training for those tasks, and to exercise judgment regarding the manner of their performance rests and remains with the person who has chosen to self-direct those tasks, including the decision to employ and dismiss a personal aide.
A personal aide, in the performance of a health care task, who is directed and supervised by a person with a functional disability in his or her own home, is exempt from any legal requirement to qualify and be credentialed by the department of health as a health care provider under Title 18 RCW to the extent of the responsibilities provided and health care tasks performed under chapter 336, Laws of 1999. Nothing in this section exempts an individual provider from being required to become a certified home care aide under chapter 18.88B RCW.