Home Care Agency vs. Independent Contractors

Background:

There are many ways to get supportive services and it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the different types of providers. There are also variations in pricing which can be difficult to understand. Before making any decision, it is helpful to understand the nuisances and implications.

Must Knows:

You can access home care services through two very different ways. One is through a Home Care Agency, such as BBHC. The other is through an independent contractor that is a privately employed caregiver. It is helpful to understand the pros and cons of each.

Home Care Agency (i.e. Boynton Beach Home Care):

This is a company which is in the business of employing highly qualified individuals to provide specific home health services. It is responsible for its operations, reputation, taxes, insurance, bonding, workers compensation, and compliance. Accordingly, it offers the following protection for clients:

  • Scheduled care, when & where you need it. If a staff is sick, needs to go on vacation, or needs to take time off, another equally qualified staff is available to cover for them and perform the needed services.
  • The staff are trained, skilled, and well qualified. They are great at what they do.
  • The agency supervises the care that is being provided, including check-up visits
  • A supervisor assigns specific duties and ensures the proper level of care is being provided
  • RN ensures the personalized care plan is being followed
  • RN makes changes to the personalized care plan as needs evolve
  • Staff keep records of services performed and each client’s status for case manager
  • Expertise to match staff with client requirements, interests, and personality
  • Expertise to develop programs specific to your medical conditions
  • Expertise to provide different types of care so you do not have to deal with multiple caregivers
  • Staff are highly screened, background, health checked, insured. Only the very best caregivers are hired after multiple interviews
  • Staff are continuously educated so they are up to date with medical situations of their clients

Independent Contractor (Private Employed Caregiver):

This individual is hired independently. While this may appear less expensive, there are many hidden costs and risks associated with this.

  • Scheduling Gaps: Independent contractors need time off for themselves, or for their families, over the holidays, or evenings, etc. Who will fill in when the companion takes off, needs a break, or wants to take time off for the weekend. Will the backup caregiver be as good.
  • Personal Risk: They have access to your home, property, belongings, etc. Are they always honest? Who will be checking up on them? Before hiring, be sure to perform a thorough background check, including criminal check, health check, driving history, insurance claims & coverage, diploma check, medical or state licensure check, and reference knowledge check.
  • Taxes: Whoever hires an independent contractor must pay all of their appropriate taxes, as they have assumed the role of an employer. They often do not say anything until they terminate. Then they file a complaint that their employer failed to pay their social security. In some cases, they may choose to sue the estate of the client that passed away, because payroll taxes were not withheld or property reported to IRS.
  • Insurance Coverage: If the independent contractor claims injury or is injured on the job, the person who hired them is responsible for medical bills and any other expenses. Failure to provide workers compensation can leave the employer vulnerable to legal issues for hospital costs, injuries, lost wages, and damages. This can also bankrupt wealthy employers.
  • Lack of Formalized Training or Supervision: There is no formalized training, mentorship, or supervision that takes place for independent contractors. Accordingly, their level of skill and ability to deliver personalized care for clients with special needs is questionable. Furthermore, the client’s care plan is not followed or updated as needs evolve.

Conclusion:

Even though their hourly rates at lower, choosing an independent contractor does not provide the security, trust, assurance, and peace of mind that most people want for themselves or their loved ones. At BBHC, we are the employer. You call the shots, and get the type of personalized care you deserve.