Choosing a Home Care Agency: What to Look For
In many states, there are no set standards that all agencies have to follow. For that reason, it is especially important that consumers know what to consider when looking for quality in-home care. Here are some important questions you may want to consider when selecting a home care agency.
- Are the caregivers employees of the agency, or are they contractors? Some agencies pay their caregivers on a contract basis rather than as an employee. Contractors are not bonded, insured or covered by worker’s compensation. If there is an accident on the job, the client could have substantial financial liability.
- How does the agency select and screen its caregivers? Are criminal background checks conducted and references checked for every employee?
- How are the caregivers supervised? Does a supervisor come to the home to evaluate the client’s needs and the care they’re receiving?
- Is there a supervisor on call 24/7 in case of emergency?
- Is there a contract or deposit required? What are the terms?
You may also want to ask whether the agency provides services under your State Funded Long Term Care System, the State Medicaid program. Although there is no licenser in some states, agencies that provide State Funded Long Term Care services must pass regular quality audits and meet requirements established by the State.