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Agency vs Registry Care: What You Need to Know

Posted by Dustin DeTorres on October 13, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Home care services are a desirable option for seniors that have begun to require assistance. Home care services can allow seniors to stay in their beloved homes and enjoy their independence while receiving help with the activities of daily living that have become difficult and taxing. However, it is important for seniors and their family members to understand that not all home care services are equal. One of the most fundamental differences in home care services is the difference between home health agencies and nurse registries.

Home Health Agencies

Home health agencies hire employees to care for clients and provide services. Hiring standards are usually high, and require that employees pass a criminal background check, competency tests, and medical screenings. Home health agencies verify that employees can legally work in the United States. These employees are often subjected to rigorous training before they are allowed to care for clients.

Home Health Agency Responsibilities

Once employed, caregivers and other home health agency staff are covered by the company under workers’ compensation insurance in the case of accidents. Employees are insured and bonded by most home health agencies, and the agency takes care of tax requirements. Employees are also supervised by the company and must comply with rules and standards set forth. If there is any suspicion of misconduct, a new caregiver will be assigned to the client. Employees may also be subject to disciplinary action if rules and standards are not followed.

home-care-agencies

Nurse Registries

Nurse registries do not employ caregivers. Caregivers that are private contractors are contacted by nurse registries and meetings are set up between clients and these private contractors. There is often no screening process to assess criminal background, medical restrictions, or competency. Nurse registries do not provide training or education for caregivers.

Nurse Registry Dangers

Companies that are nurse registries are not responsible for caregivers that provide home care services. The responsibility for tax requirements and benefits may fall to clients. Nurse registries do not protect clients in case of theft, abuse, or other misconduct.

Nurse registries also do not protect clients from lawsuits in the case of injuries to caregivers while on the job. No set of standards is usually put in place for caregivers, and nurse registries do not provide supervision or discipline caregivers in cases of misconduct. If clients wish to have caregivers supervised by a home care provider that is a nurse registry, the provider may charge the client additional fees for the service.

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