Selecting An Agency – Questions and Considerations

Posted In: Home Health Care by on April 8th, 2010 | No Comments

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.

For More Information:

Contact CARIE, the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly at (215) 545-5728. CARIE is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping older people and those who care for them.

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