REFERRAL AGENCY VERSUS EMPLOYEE BASED IN HOME CARE AGENCY

Elder care medical benefitsBy: Elder Caring Palm Springs

Elder Caring is a referral agency that provides families and residents of the Palm Springs area an alternative to nursing, assisted living and other care facilities. We refer caregivers who provide comprehensive non-medical services for people of all ages and those dealing with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s all in the comfort of their own homes.

This approach to care enables the client to enjoy an improved quality and enjoyment of life, be safe and secure in familiar surroundings and extend their ability to live independently. Some of the services include daily assistance with bathing and grooming, medication compliance, post-surgical care, transportation, meal preparation, companionship and family care giver respite.  For the safety of the client, Elder Caring promotes clients hiring from either a referral agency or employee based agency but never privately due to the uncertainty of the back-ground of the caregiver.

Referral Agency versus Employee Based Agency

Referral Agency – Refer pre-screened Caregivers   Employee Based Agency – Caregivers are employees of agency
Local or Franchise  Founded & operates locally May be locally owned, part of franchise
Caregiver supervision  Client is in charge. Client directs caregiver according to what they want, not the agency. Agency is in charge of what caregivers do at all times limited to the Department of Labor laws.
Choice/Quality 

 

A lot of choice due to the high number of pre-screened caregivers in the registry. There are more highly motivated, quality candidates to interview and choose from to better meet the client’s request. Agencies may have more turnover, and limit the size of their employees due to expense for employer. In general, new assignments have very few choices.
Continuity of care  Due to the high number of pre-screened caregivers, substitutes and emergency changes are very easy. Agencies may have frequent turnover and staffing shortages, caregivers are changed often as a routine.
Background checks  Very thorough background checks which include finger scan, driver’s record, automotive insurance and CPR training. Agencies may or may not do background checks depending on company policy.
Emergency coverage  Once pre-screened, caregivers are placed on the registry list. There is a large list, ready and available for emergency coverage. Emergency coverage may be more difficult due to smaller pool of caregivers
Rates   Flexible w rates and lower rates as the caregivers are not employed Generally, there is a one rate plan, pay as you go, higher rates to due to overhead with employees.
Insurance 

 

 

Professional liability insurance is required during pre-screening. If the caregiver injures themselves while on the job, this type of insurance is often included in the homeowners insurance or available as a rider at a very modest fee. Some agencies carry professional liability insurance for their employees. Agencies are required to have workers compensation for all employees.
Bond  The client is in charge. This type of coverage is often included in the homeowners insurance. The client will verify this with insurance agent prior to service. Some agencies do have this type of coverage for their employees and some do not.
Taxes 

 

The caregiver is independent and responsible for their own taxes. The client may have employer responsibilities depending on the amount of control given to the caregiver. The agency will clarify this in order to avoid surprises. The agency is the employer and responsible for all taxes adding to the cost of the service.
Compensation of caregivers 

 

The client pays the agency and the funds received from the client are placed into an escrow account. The caregiver disbursements are made from the escrow accounts to the caregiver. Caregivers are generally paid more from the referral agency. Agencies are the employer of the caregiver and process payroll for the caregivers. Caregivers are usually paid less than caregivers from a referral agency due to added employer expense.
Insurance Accepted Most long term care insurance reimburses the client for services. Depending on the type of insurance, services may be covered.
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