Residential Service Agency

What is an RSA License?

One of the important milestones for Shepherd’s Staff In-home Care was when we received our Residential Service Agency (RSA) license in 2014. The application process for qualifying for this license was rigorous – to say the least – but a necessary part of the recognition, growth, and success of our business.

What is an RSA license?

An RSA license recognizes a business as a Residential Service Agency if it employs individuals who provide at least one home health care service for an elderly, sick, or disabled client. These services can include in-home personal care with or without the management of medications.

Services a Residential Service Agency Can Provide

An RSA-licensed in-home care agency provides supportive home care services that support activities of daily life such as:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Getting Around
  • Taking medications
  • Participating in memory care and therapeutic activities

Assistance with housekeeping and some nursing services also can be provided. A Residential Service Agency is not to be confused with a Home Healthcare Agency, in that it cannot participate in the Medicare Program. The family seeking assistance for their parent contracts directly with and pays an RSA.

What is the RSA Application Process?

The application for an RSA license entails providing information such as a business plan, policies and procedures, scope of services (i.e., services provided, service area and types of clients), billing and reimbursement, list of job descriptions, responsibilities, training and any certifications required, list of all employees, their qualifications, background checks and health screenings, as well as proof of workers’ compensation. An RSA license verifies that a business is in complete compliance with Maryland’s Nurse Practice Act (which regulates nursing and caregiving activities) as well as Adult Protective Services. The Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Healthcare Quality regularly surveys RSAs, to ensure that the services provided meet State standards. 

Why Is This License Important?

An RSA license is an official stamp of approval and verifies the integrity, quality, and safety of a business and its services. It gives a customer peace of mind, knowing that their aging parent’s caregiver works for an accredited and licensed agency. They know an RSA is required to adhere to strict and extensive state and county regulations when it comes to in-home care best practices. Another advantage is that it enables a potential customer to check the status of an agency’s license and make sure it is in good standing since this is public information. Not only that, RSA licensed in-home caregivers are listed in The Residential Services Agencies directory maintained by the Office of Health Care Quality. This directory offers reassurance to individuals who are searching for the best possible care for a loved one.

If you need in-home care for your loved one, we strongly recommend that you work with an RSA-licensed agency. We take great pride in our RSA license, and the other awards and accreditations we have received over the years, that testify to our commitment to client care excellence. 

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