Homecare Regulation (Part 1)…What does that mean?

Well, it time to dive further into home care and really look at what to ask an agency in an unregulated state.  Let’s start with this;

I support the regulation of Homecare (non medical) in the United States of America. It is important for the senior population and their continued quality of care.  That felt good!

Some people may or may not know that Homecare as I defined it last week, is unregulated in the state of Ohio and other states.  I mean, the industry is roughly 40 odd years old.  Some of the other unregulated states are: Kentucky, Arizona, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, South Dakota and North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, Vermont and Hawaii.  I may be missing some as the rules change from time to time.  States have been making subtle changes as the years have gone by, but nothing to the extent of the rest of the healthcare industry i.e. nursing and doctors.

Because of this lack of regulation in the states one can have great service and good caregivers while another person can have the worst of the worst.  I mean theft and even death.  It is important to question the company you work with or the private caregiver to feel comfortable with the service.

LETS BE HONEST, HAIRDRESSERS HAVE MORE REGULATION THAN HOMECARE!!!  Probably a good idea to question them as there are many different types of companies.  There are ones that provide private care only and others which work with the government and Medicaid as well.  I have to admit, that there is some regulation when it comes to medicaid which is nice in my opinion but it is not spread across the board as a state requirement.

So what should you ask???

Choosing a home care agency is a huge decision. It can be daunting to allow someone into your home, so you want to make sure you’re making the right decision so you can receive the best quality care.

Questions you should ask include:

  1. What are your needs? First, you need to determine your level of need. Do you need help just a few hours a week or more? Starting the process early also helps ease the transition, and allows you to find a home care provider that can grow with you.
  2. What is the homecare provider’s background and qualifications?
  3. What is their job history, do they have references?
  4. How long has the company been in business?
  5. Do they have liability insurance? Also be sure to ask to see the liability insurance certificate.
  6. What certifications does the company have?
  7. Is the state regulated for home care, and if so, does the company meet the state regulations?
  8. If the company isn’t regulated, how do they self-regulate themselves to provide quality care?
  9. What do you do to improve your staff and your care?
  10. Do you provide education for family members?
  11. Do you do BC&I and FBI background checks?
  12. Do you provide continuing education for your staff and, if you do, every how so often?
  13. Do you do drug testing? Do your caregivers drug test? And are they pre-employment drug tested or are they just drug tested for cause? Are they randomly drug tested throughout the year? These are very important questions.
  14. How many caregivers will I be getting?
  15. Do you have theft insurance aka bonding?
  16. How do grievances get handled? Do you have a grievance policy?
  17. Can I meet the caregiver who will be coming into my home?

Asking the right questions will empower you and your family to be able to choose the best possible care.

I honestly love to be questioned by family members as it involves everyone and allows for me to learn more about the family member I am taking care of.  Since the industry is unregulated the spectrum of care is wide, one must like the staff and the people involved otherwise the process will be difficult and long.

Enjoy this week!  Thank you again for listening as I will have more to talk about each and every week that goes by!  Have a great one!