IMPORTANT FACTORS IN CHOOSING A HOME CARE AGENCY
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.
- When paying privately, 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.
For More Information:
- Check Medicare’s Home Health Compare for detailed information about every Medicare-certified home health agency in the country. (www.medicare.gov)
- In Pennsylvania, check the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Health Care Facility listing to check recent inspection reports. Be sure to select either Home Care, Home Health Agency, or Hospice for question #1. The Department of Health also has general information online about Home Health Agencies and Hospice care. (www.health.state.pa.us)
- For any additional assistance, please contact the CARIE LINE at 215-545-5728 or 1-800-356-3606 Monday through Friday from 9-5. You may also get help via CARIE OnLINE. (www.carie.org)
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