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INDEPENDENT AGING > Home Care > Home Care 2

Choosing a Private Pay Home Care Agency

Massachusetts does NOT regulate private pay home care agencies – what this means, is that anyone can open and operate a private duty home care agency without oversight from the State or other home care regulatory authority. Therefore, it is up to the consumer to be knowledgeable about what to look for when choosing a private duty home care agency.

Home Care Options: Questions to Ask

  1. Does the home care agency EMPLOY it’s workers? Take out taxes, provide benefits, liability insurance and workers’ comp?  (Know the difference between Employment Agencies, Registries/Brokers and Independent Contractors: Registries and Independent contractors mean that YOU will be responsible for paying the caregiver, and may possibly be responsible for payroll taxes.  And if the caregiver is an independent contractor, they may not have individual  liability insurance. ASK.)
  2. How long has the Agency been in business? Can they provide references?
  3. Does the home care agency verify employment background?
  4. Do they conduct Criminal background checks?
  5. Do they perform immigration checks?
  6. Does the home care agency require competency testing, and skills testing for their caregivers?
  7. Does the home care agency require their “Care Givers” to be State Certified?
  8. Are the caregivers supervised by Registered Nurses?
  9. Does the home care agency provide a Nursing Assessment and a professional Plan of Care, individualized to the client’s needs PRIOR to start of services?
  10. Does the agency provide 24/7 on-call services, with a Nurse available to clients and employees?
  11. What happens if the caregiver is sick? Does the agency have a replacement policy?
  12. Can you meet your caregiver before they start?

Remember, YOU have a CHOICE

Many of the Hospitals and Rehab’s have their own Home Health Care Agencies that they will recommend to you when going home. Remember, it is YOUR CHOICE to which HHA you want to take care of you when you go home, therefore, ask for a list of 3 choices, and talk to representatives from each to determine which organization would be right for you.

Don’t be afraid to ASK QUESTIONS!


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