Home Care Agency Credentials/Questions to Ask

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,740
    Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care discusses how to select an in-home care provider. In this video we focus on what agency credentials to look for and what you should ask them before hiring one.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I'm discussing I'm discussing how to select an in-home care provider and now I'm going to talk about what agency credentials to look for and what you should ask them before hiring one.

    There are more than 5,000 senior home care agencies nationwide. The first step to find an in-home care is to pull together a list of local care providers. You can create that list through local phone books, referrals from the local senior center or go online where there are a number of reputable resources.

    Some of the best are eldercare.

    gov and n4a.

    org. Once you have the names of several providers, you want to learn more about their services and reputations. It's a good idea to create a notebook dedicated to this task. A specially one or you can add-in pages from online sites or that have pockets for pamphlets that you pickup or might be mailed to you.

    The first question to ask each provider is how long has it been serving the local community. Many in-home care providers are national companies with franchise offices around the country. It's important to know how long the parent company, if there's a one, has been in business as well as the local office. The longer that they have been around, the more likely they are providing quality care.

    Next, you should ask about licenciature, accreditations and certifications. Some states require business certificates and licenciature, but there are no national licenciature requirements for non-medical senior home care.

    Instead, there are a number of accrediting agencies from which companies can seek to get certified, licensed or accredited. Some of the most popular and reputable are The Accrediting Commission for Health Care Inc.

    , The Community Health Accreditation program, The joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, The National Private Duty Association and the Home Care University.

    After you gather accreditation information, ask if the provider has any detailed literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees and funding sources. Many Providers furnish patients with a detailed patient Bill of Rights. That outlines the rights and responsibilities of the providers, patients and caregivers alike. An annual report or other educational material can also provide educational material can also provide helpful information about the provider.

    For those agencies for which you received satisfactory answer so far, next inquire about their personal policies, and ask what types of insurance they carry. In most cases, caregivers are employees. This means, the agency is responsible for paying all employee payroll taxes as required by law. But you should also ask if they carry worker's compensation insurance, general liability insurance and if they have bond insurance for their caregivers.

    The last item you should check from an agency credentials standpoint are their service agreements, financial policies and billing procedures. Ask for a sample copy of written agreements and invoices. Inquire if the provider furnishes written statements, explaining all the costs and if there are payment plan options associated with home care.

    You should also ask the home care provider and your insurance company what services will and won't be covered by your parent's medical and long-term carrying insurance plans.

    Now that we've got the agency questions out of the way, the next step is to ask about the employee themselves. Let's move on.