Bill Hughes with Accessible Home Care of the Bluegrass recently spoke at the free Sunday Session held at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center.
Bill discussed “Understanding Home Care,” including what’s important to know before obtaining a home care company to help you.
There are two types of home health care companies: Those with skilled service providers and those with non-medical service providers.
Skilled service providers are:
- Licensed by the state as a Home Health Agency
- Nurses (LPN/RN), Physical, Speech, Occupational Therapists
- Each individual is licensed by the state
- Working with the goal to return the patient to his/her prior physical condition as best as possible
- Reimbursed by the visit or task they are providing.
Non medical service providers are:
- Licensed by the state as personal service agency
- Certified Nursing Aides and Home Care Aides
- Not required to have individual licenses, but CNA’s are state registered after passing state exam
- Working to enhance the clients’ quality of life
- Reimbursed by the hour or day
The best questions to ask before hiring a home care company are:
- Are you licensed? The state of Kentucky requires all companies providing in home personal assistance and/or direct care to clients be licensed as a “PersonalServices Agency.”
- Are you insured? Does the Personal Services Agency provide you with a copy of the certificate of insurance showing the amounts of professional liability coverage, employee crime bonded, and their workers compensation certificate showing employees are covered?
- Do you hire employees or independent contractors? Actual W-2 employees will be covered under the company’s liability policy, they will be bonded to protect the client, and they will be covered under workers compensation should the aide get hurt or injured on your property.
Independent contractors may or may not be covered under a liability policy and may not be cover under a crime bond or workers compensation. If an independent contractor gets hurt or injured on your property you may be responsible for all their medical bills and loss of wages for the duration of their recovery
- Does the agency pay employment and unemployment taxes? All legitimate businesses in Kentucky are required to pay employment and unemployment taxes on each employee. If a company hires independent contractors or acts as a referring agency where you hire the aide, then you may be responsible for taxes the agency should be paying.
- How long has the company been in business? In home care, most clients receive service for long periods of time; it’s good to know the company you hired will be around as long as you need them. Consistent ownership shows
- Are the employees experienced? Having a minimum of 2-3 years’ experience required for hire shows a company’s commitment to having qualified, experienced employees in your home.
- Are the employees drug tested? Personal services agencies are required to drug test each employee prior to or upon hire.
- Are the employees tested and evaluated? A pre-employment written test and a post-employment competency evaluation can judge an employee’s ability to provide quality care.
If you have more questions, contact Bill Hughes at (859) 313-5167.