JHS- Why Choosing a Licensed Home Care Agency is So ImportantThe decision to hire someone to come into your home to provide companionship and assistance can be an emotionally difficult process. It requires a great leap of faith that the person will be caring and trustworthy. There are several practical issues that are very important as well. The first is whether to search for and hire an independent caregiver, use a caregiver registry or use a licensed home care agency.
When using a private duty caregiver, that person is a direct employee. The hiring person is responsible for doing the background check and checking references. Private employers are required to pay Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes. Many independent caregivers will say they are independent contractors, and are responsible for taxes. What that usually means is that the caregiver is paid “under the table”, without reporting income for tax purposes. If the caregiver does not meet his or her tax obligations, this responsibility can fall to the employer. This can have disastrous financial impact because it may involve interest on back taxes, civil fines and the possibility of criminal penalties. If an independent caregiver is preferred, the advice of an attorney familiar with labor laws should be obtained.
Another consideration is that a person paying for independent home care could be held liable for any work-related injury that occurs on the job. This can include the cost of all medical expenses and any disability payments that might result. Home care workers are at high risk of injuries if the caregiver tasks include housework, lifting, transferring or bathing. Workers compensation and liability insurance are major costs. Along with ongoing costs for licensing, taxes, employee recruitment, training and supervision, they account for much of the difference between licensed agency rates and those of an uninsured independent caregiver.
If the caregiver is sick or unable to work for any reason, the burden of providing a substitute caregiver falls on you or your family. While the stated hourly rate may be less for an independent caregiver than for a registry or agency, the hidden costs, risks and headaches outweigh the price difference.
The differences between a caregiver registry and a licensed home care agency can be important as well. A registry provides private caregivers with referrals to home care job assignments. The registry may do background checks and other vetting of caregivers, but the caregivers are not employed by the registry. The client pays the registry, which in turn pays the caregiver. The caregivers still are direct employees of the person to whom they are providing services. It is up to the employer to manage the caregiver; the registry often will provide assistance with finding replacement caregivers. The hourly cost of a registry caregiver is higher than for an independent caregiver because the registry takes a percentage of the hourly rate. As far as cost comparisons, in this market area, the hourly rates of a licensed home care agency are typically comparable to those of a registry caregiver.
The licensed home care agency differs from a registry in several ways. First, the caregivers are employed by the agency, which is required by law to do background checks, require a negative TB test and provide training. A licensed agency is required to comply with many state regulations to ensure that safe and quality home care services are delivered, including having infection control policies and procedures. One of the most important of these regulations is that services be provided under a plan of care which is based on a careful assessment of each client’s unique needs and preferences. Caregivers are supervised by the agency, which is required to keep a close check on whether the caregiver is meeting the needs of the client. If a problem arises, the agency is responsible for making sure that the issue is resolved, whether that means making minor adjustments or replacing a caregiver. Licensed agencies are subject to periodic inspections by state regulators to make sure they are following all the regulations. Jamhuri Healthcare Services Inc is proud of its status as a non-medical state licensed home care agency.
We hope this information helps you make an informed decision about selecting a home caregiver. When inviting a caregiver into one’s home, having piece of mind is priceless.
for more information about licensed home care agency. visit: http://www.jamhuricares.com/medicare/