Questions to Ask Prior to Selecting a Provider
Whether you decide to go with Emerald Care or another in-home support services provider, it is always wise to screen prospective agencies. Below are some important questions that you may want to ask before deciding which provider is best for you.
- How long has the agency been providing in-home support services, and is it their primary area of expertise, or just another "service" that they can provide?
- Is a written and customized care plan developed directly by the agency in consultation with you and any family members? How are changes in schedule and services handled?
- How are any emergencies handled outside of normal business hours?
- Is the agency locally owned and operated, franchised, or part of a larger and often less flexible organization?
- How does the agency supervise the quality of care of its clients? Does the agency maintain a daily journal in the client’s home, including documenting non-scheduled supervisory visits?
- Does the agency employ a registered nurse, social worker, or similarly qualified professional to make periodic and regular visits to the client’s home to check on the needs and quality of care?
- How does the agency screen prospective caregivers that it employs? Does the care provider carefully screen their caregivers, including checking references, reviewing driving records, and conducting criminal background checks?
- How and when does billing occur? Is billing done directly with the agency or is it handled through the caregiver?
- Does the agency use independent contractors? If so, who employs the person and what controls does the agency have over their contract workers?
- Does the agency adhere to all government guidelines in its employment practices, such as withholding appropriate taxes and providing workers’ compensation and similar benefits?