Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Private Duty Home Care?

Private duty home care agencies provide a broad range of clinical and non-clinical in-home care services that help people in need of care remain safe, independent, and empowered in their homes.  

 

Q. We’re all looking for safe, secure home care – some one we can trust.  We want excellent screening, great training, 24/7 availability.  But how do you choose?

First, become an educated consumer.  Understand what the differences between agencies are and understand the risks involved in choosing a private care giver.

Comparison of Types of Agencies

 

Licensed Home Health
Agency - Medicare

Home Nursing

Home Services

Registry or Private

Services

2 or more skilled

Skilled Care

Home Care

Client Request

Dr.'s Orders

Required

Required

Not Necessary

NONE

License

IDPH

IDPH

IDPH

NONE

Payment

Medicare/Insurance

Private Pay or LTC

Private Pay/LTC

Private Pay

Criminal
Check/Finger Prints

Required

Required

Required

NONE

 

 

 

 

 

Responsible Party

Agency

Agency

Agency

Client

Insurances

Required

Required

Required

NONE

Supervision

Required

Required

Required

NONE

Training

Required

Required

Required

NONE



 

Q.  Why Choose an Agency – NOT a registry or Private person? 

WHY RISK IT?

Hiring private caregivers may often seem like a less costly alternative, but in reality, you are putting yourself at far greater risk than you may realize.  When you are the employer instead of being the client, the risks escalate.

  • Supervision:  When you choose to be the employer, you are responsible for your employee.  If your caregiver calls in sick, you need to find back up. If your caregiver does not come at all, you are responsible for providing care.  You are responsible for training, supervision, coaching and counseling, hiring and firing. You are responsible for protecting your family member from potential abuse.
  • Workman’s Compensation:  Worker’s Comp can be the biggest risk of all.  If your employee strains her back while lifting, for example, she may very well look to you for all her medical expenses and disability coverage.
  • Negligent Hiring:  The shortage of qualified applicants and your own immediate needs may sometimes combine to compromise your hiring procedures.  Careful background checks, including criminal misconduct, and thorough interviews are part of the routine of any reputable home care company. 
  • General and Professional Liability:  Private caregivers rarely carry general or professional liability insurance.  If the caregiver trips and falls at your home, you may very well be the party with the major liability.
  • Bonding:  Bonding protects you from theft or breakage.  Without bonding, you have limited or no protection.
  • Taxes:  The IRS states individual employers are liable for:
  • Social security taxes not paid
  • Unemployment compensation taxes not paid
  • Payroll taxes not withheld, including an additional tax assessment of up to 100% of the amount owed the IRS if the employer is considered to have “willfully” failed to withhold the taxes
  • Interest on underpayments found to be owing
  • Possible civil fines of up to $100,000
  • Possible criminal penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years

Why risk it?  You be the client.  Let the home care company be the employer.

 

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