Orlando Senior Helpers is the top Elder Care company in the nation. What many people do not know about home health care is that there are 4 main categories of home care providers, and each one is very distinct from the other. This blog is being written to showcase the four different types of care providers and to compare and contrast them so that one can make the best decision possible when seeking care for their loved ones.

The four types of care providers are: Independent caregivers, homemaker/companion organizations, nurse registries, and home health agencies (state licensed only and state licensed/ Medicaid or Medicare certified). What really makes each provider so different is the amount of regulation they follow. A home health agency (such as Orlando Senior Helpers) follows all of the regulations compared to Independent caregivers who have the highest risk factor due to the lack of regulation.

Here are a few factors to show you exactly what each type of home care provider does:

1. What services can be legally provided?

  • An independent contractor can only provide services within their professional license if they have one. In general they provide homemaker and companion services
  • Home Maker/Companion Organizations provide just that, home maker and companion services
  • A Nurse registry can provide all the above as well as certified nursing assistants and in some registries, nurses to care for elders if needed
  • Home Health Agencies provide the most care

                     a) State licensed and Medicare or Medicaid Certified organizations provide all the services listed above as well as home medical equipment, social work, diabetics and nutrition as well as nurses in all certified registries who can perform forms of therapy and etc…

                     b) Sate Licensed Only agencies provide all the services listed above with the addition of a dedicated therapist

2. Can this provider offer hands-on personal care?

  • Independent contractors- No, individuals cannot unless if they have acquired a professional license or certification
  • Homemakers/companions- No
  • Nurse Registry- Yes
  • Home Health Agencies- Yes


3. Care Provider Screening

  • With the exception of independent contractors, all providers require a background check
  • With the exception of independent contractors, all providers require that the chief financial officer be screened as well
  • Independent contractors and homemakers do NOT abide by regulations In terms of training requirements, minimum standards, and minimum requirements to be followed by the administrator

4. Talk to me about coverage

  • Insurance coverage is required for home health agencies while nurse registries, homemakers and independent contractors are not
  • To pay for these services, all options are funded through private insurance or personal funds. Medicaid waivers are accepted for all, except for independent contractors

In order to attain the services of these providers a patient must contact the agency and then either an agency provides the services through an employee or personnel (home health provider), or they make individual arrangements as with the case with an Independent contractor.

5. Assurance

  • Often times families are concerned about the amount of supervision their loved ones receive. With home health services, nurses are required to oversee the patient, which is not the case with the other three options
  • In addition, quality assurance guidelines are implemented and followed with home health agencies while the other choices do not
  • An on-call nurse must be available with home health agencies and nurse registry services, but are not with home maker and independent contractors
  • Unannounced Onsite inspections occur every three years for home health agencies and every two years for nurse registries, while the other two options do not provide these services
  • An office is required to be open and staffed a minimum number of hours per day for home health agencies and nurse registries, while this added assurance is not available for homemaker and independent contractor agencies
  • Emergency management provisions are required to be followed by home health agencies and nurse registries but not for home maker and independent contractors in case of a natural disaster or other event

6. Complaints

In the event of complaints, all agencies except for independent care givers are required to notify patients of how to report a complaint. Furthermore state investigations occur for all agency types once a complaint is made.

7. Enforcement

If non-compliance to the regulations occurs all the agency types are dealt with penalties and fines except for the independent contractor option. Agreements with Patient regarding the services they will receive are required for all company types with the exception of home maker and independent contractor agencies which are riskier.

A licensing or registration fee is required with all options except for independent contractors who do not need to be licensed to practice home health care. Furthermore staff training requirements in Alzheimers and disorders are a must for home health agencies and nurse registries but not for home maker and independent contractor services.

Overall the decision you make is yours, but it is a fact that the most highly trained and regulated home care option is to choose a home health agency like Orlando Senior Helpers. They can assure the quality and care your loved one deserves and have the full capability to provide any and all services they may need. If you would like to contact an elder care company such as Orlando Senior Helpers, visit our contact page.

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