Selecting An Agency – Questions and Considerations
When Selecting a Provider:
- Be certain that the provider accepts your insurance or reimbursement
- Make sure that the provider offers the level of care that you require.
- Be clear and specific about your needs so the provider can send the most appropriate worker.
Questions to Ask When Considering a Home Care Agency or Registry:
- What licensing requirements do they meet?
- What training is provided to staff?
- Are references available?
- Are criminal background checks performed?
- How are the workers supervised?
- Are the employees bonded and insured?
- What are the complaint handling procedures?
- Are caregivers and care recipients included in developing the care plan?
- What are the policies for providing back-up staff should your worker be absent?
When Hiring an Independent Worker:
- Get referrals from people you know or reputable community organizations.
- Be sure to interview thoroughly and request and check references. Make certain that you are comfortable with the person, and that he or she has an open, honest communication style.
- Request a criminal background check if possible.
- Write out a contract and a care plan so that everyone involved understands what is to be accomplished, and the method and amount of payment.
- Communicate your wishes clearly, and know your rights and responsibilities as a home care consumer.
- Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about your responsibility if any, to pay Social Security taxes. This is especially important when hiring from a registry, or when paying an independent worker.
- Check to see that your homeowner’s policy covers theft or if the worker gets injured on the job.
Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Consumer:
As a consumer of home care services, you are entitled to be provided with certain information and services, and you also have obligations as a participant in home care services.
- You have the right to be fully informed about the provider, the provider’s policies, the provider’s charges and possible third party reimbursements.
- You have the right to be informed about and give consent before the start or change of any treatment.
- You are entitled to receive appropriate, quality, and professional care according to the service/care plan and physician’s orders.
- You have the right to privacy and to be treated with respect.
- You also have a responsibility to treat your caregivers with respect. Keep in mind that there may be cultural and generational differences between you and your care provider.
- It is your responsibility to provide all needed supplies and a safe environment for the home care worker.
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