No, Medicare offers no coverage for private duty care. Private duty care for the most part is paid for directly by the client and/or family. Some clients have long-term care insurance that may offer coverage for in-home care. Specific coverage amounts and limitations on cost vary greatly from policy to policy. In such cases, Family Solutions for Seniors can assist the client with securing reimbursement from their insurance company for services that are provided.
The State of Illinois requires all private duty agencies to be licensed by the state in order to provide services to clients and their families. Agencies must undergo a rigorous review and be re-licensed annually, to ensure the safety and quality of services provided. This ensures that the appropriate background checks are completed on caregivers and that the caregivers are comprehensively oriented to the services that they can provide to clients. If the agency is unlicensed, then they are operating outside of the law. Family Solutions staff is fully screened, bonded and insured.
There are in fact substantial differences in private duty agencies. For example, the skill level, experience and expertise of the management team and caregiver staff varies greatly from agency to agency. In Illinois, some agencies are licensed for home services, some for nursing services, not many for both. Family Solutions for Seniors is licensed for both levels of service, in order to ensure that the needs of clients can be met based on the health and well being needs of the individual at any point in time.
Here is another key difference between agencies: many private duty companies are the actual employer of the caregivers that would be sent to provide service for you or a loved one. These companies, like Family Solutions for Seniors, have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance that covers their employees while they are working.
All Family Solutions staff is considered an employee and receives a TB test, drug screening, CPR certification, social security verification, criminal background check, and driver’s license verification, along with validation of other licensures, before they are allowed to become employed by Family Solutions. Staff members undergo a rigorous competency evaluation and interviewing process to ensure that they have the care and interpersonal skills to make the relationship comfortable, lasting, trusting and successful.
Family Solutions for Seniors knows that selecting a caregiver is a highly personal and often emotional experience. Securing the right caregiver means not only selecting someone who is well trained and experienced in the role, but one who is a personality match for the individual needing assistance.
However, there are some registry agencies, and these types of agencies do not actually employ the people that they send to provide service. All of their “employees” are actually independent contractor caregivers. This usually means that the registry provides no liability or workers’ compensation insurance coverage for these independent contractors. This can make you as the payer of their services an accidental employer and legally responsible for paying employment related taxes (as well as fines and penalties that can be accessed in such situations) or for the medical and other costs associated with an independent contractor that is injured on the job while in your home.
Registry agencies also exercise little or no control over the quality of service and care that an independent contractor provides or they run the serious risk of violating the very strict IRS rules that govern independent contractors.
Simply ask the company for a proof of insurance document. In most cases, they will provide you with an Acord Certificate of Certificate of Liability Insurance (a commonly used document in the insurance industry). This document confirms the amounts and types of coverage that a company has currently in force. When checking insurance coverage, also verify that the company has coverage in place to cover theft and/or fraud committed by their employees.
Family Solutions for Seniors utilizes the latest in technology, called Telephony, to maintain accurate time and attendance information for all of our staff. Our employees access our telephone based time and attendance system as they arrive for work at their assigned location. At the end of their shift, they again access our system to clock out via that same telephone at their work location. Employees access our system through a toll-free number so our clients do not incur any expense for the two calls that our employee will make for each shift worked.
Our invoices are sent to our clients (or their designated payer) on a bi-weekly schedule via U.S. mail or electronically if the client prefers. The caregiver(s) that service our clients do not handle any administrative matters related to client billing and invoices.
If you select a Family Solutions for Seniors caregiver to provide in-home care for you or a loved one, that individual is employed by our agencies. We handle the employee’s pay, filing of payroll taxes and all other related administrative matters.
This totally eliminates any liability for payroll taxes, penalties and fines that a client may incur if hiring an independent contractor or paying someone directly who may have run an ad in a local newspaper, without references or background checks.