Frequently Asked Questions About Home Care in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties.

Is Help at Home a home care agency, an employment agency, a broker, or an independent contractor?

Help at Home is a fully accredited and licensed private duty home health care agency. We accept responsibility for the screening, training, insuring, and supervision of the staff. Other employment models do not operate in this way.

What areas do you serve?

We serve residents of all ages in Lee, Collier, Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties in their place of residence. This may include private homes, retirement communities, hospitals, skilled nursing, or rehabilitation facilities.

What’s the difference between private-duty home health care and ordinary home health care?

Private-duty home health care is private pay or private insurance pay that includes the care, service, and support for any age or individual, including children, in their place of residence. Non-private “home health care” is for Medicare or Medicaid patients who need intermittent skilled care for a limited period of time. This home health care is 100% reimbursable by the government if the individual is homebound and qualifies for the skilled home health benefit. Our affiliate organization, Doctor’s Choice Home Care, Inc. is a certified Medicare agency.

Does my insurance cover the cost of private home health care?

Many individuals have private insurance policies that cover private home health care. It depends upon your individual policy. We will be pleased to follow up and verify your home health coverage and bill your insurance company directly if you and your insurance company agree to this arrangement.

Does Help at Home bill long-term insurance? Will you help with pre-authorization?

Yes, we will verify, assist with pre-authorization confirmation, and bill an insurance carrier for authorized long-term private home health care when an individual resides in a long-term care facility.

What is the cost of private home health care?

The cost depends upon the training and skill of a service or care provider. The least costly is homemaking/companionship service provided by a non-skilled homemaker/companion/sitter. The next level of cost is provided by a Certified Nursing Assistant or Home Health Aide, also considered non-skilled care; however, this level provides hands-on personal care. The next level of cost and care is provided by a Licensed Practical Nurse who performs skilled care under the supervision of an RN. The Registered Nurse, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, and Social Worker are at the highest levels of skilled care and therefore the highest cost.

Cost is also determined by the number of hours or visits required. One of our nurses will be pleased to make a complimentary place of residence visit to evaluate your loved one’s unique needs and let you know specifically what the cost will be for the services needed.

How do you screen and select your caregivers, companions, and skilled professionals prior to an assignment?

All applicants are carefully screened with the following processes: telephone and then in-person interviews, motor vehicle checks, abuse screening through the FDLE, sexual offender registration, moral character notarization, and a Quality Seal of Assurance Program that tests each applicant for honesty and personality to care for others.

Each field staff person is then carefully screened, matched, and oriented to each client/patient’s needs with the goal to exceed the unique needs of all clients/patients.

Is your staff considered employees of Help at Home or are they independent contractors?

Our homemakers/companions/sitters, LPN’s, and RN’s are direct employees of our agency. Our other skilled caregivers who provide intermittent visits (i.e., physical, occupational, and speech Therapists, as well as social workers) may be hired by us as independent contractors.

What type of training is provided to your employees?

Homemakers/companions/sitters come to us with life experience, Home Health Aides must have a minimum of 40 hours of training, and all skilled caregivers must be able to present verifiable licensure in the state of Florida. Our colleagues come to us with the training required by licensure. Help at Home then provides comprehensive training in exceptional care, service, and support with on-going monthly training.

Are references checked and criminal background and drug screens conducted on all employees?

We request at least two references and also conduct a criminal background and drug screen on all employees.

How often are caregiver services monitored?

Caregiver services are monitored in the following ways:

  • Daily report expectation from field staff regarding anything unusual about the client/patient’s health, behavior, or circumstances
  • Supervisory visits to the home with the frequency determined by the skill level required and the acuity level of the patient

Help at Home exceeds the state requirements of every 60-day supervisory visits for non-skilled care.

What is Caregiver Quality Assurance?

Our Caregiver Quality Assurance seal is a tested standardized national program that we subscribe to that tests and evaluates prospective field staff for honesty and personality fit in providing quality one-to-one care to patients and families.

Do you provide an in-home consultation prior to the start of service?

Yes, we will always have a Registered Nurse make a home visit prior to the start of services. This can be for evaluation and consultation with a pending decision, or specifically to do the evaluation/assessment for the start of services/care.

Will there be a written plan outlining the duties of the caregiver?

Yes, our Registered Nurse will leave a written service plan for homemaker/companion/sitter services, a care plan for the Home Health Aide, or a skilled service plan for the nurse or therapist.

Will I see the same home health person every week for shifts or visits if needed?

Our goal is to provide continuity of care for our clients, and we strive to have the same field staff return for shifts or visits. At times there may be extenuating circumstances that affect the continuity that we expect; however, we will apprise you of that at the time.

Do your caregivers/nurses/therapists follow a dress code?

All field staff is expected to wear professional street clothes with a name tag identifying their name, discipline, and that they represent Help At Home Homecare. If a patient or family requests a white uniform for skilled nursing care, we will honor their request and ask staff to dress accordingly.

Can Homemakers/Companions, Home Health Aides, and Nurses drive me to appointments and outings?

Yes, as long as it is written in your service or care plan by the Registered Nurse, after securing written authorization from the patient or family. All staff is required to have automobile insurance with a copy in their personnel file.

Does an agency representative make regular visits to the client’s home?

Yes, as often as needed to safely and competently meet the unique needs of each client and their loved ones and to meet — and exceed — state licensing and accreditation standards.

Does the agency adhere to state and federal guidelines in their employment practices, such as: withholding appropriate taxes, providing workers’ compensation, and other benefits?

Help at Home Homecare adheres to all local, state, and federal laws and regulations for a licensed home health agency. All full-time employees have full health and paid time off benefits. We also hire qualified staff who are considered “prn” status, which means they have flexibility in accepting or declining hours based on their personal circumstances.

How does Help at Home handle conflicts or client complaints?

We are committed to handling any conflict or complaint immediately. Our goal is for a positive resolution/outcome as soon as possible. We acknowledge and honor that we are guests in our patients’ homes and respect that there may be times when we need to alter staffing arrangements or the plan of care based on feedback that we receive from field staff, patients, and families. At our start of care visit, we ask for your feedback as soon as you realize that there is an issue or challenge, so we can resolve it that day or as soon as possible.

How are emergencies handled after normal business hours?

We have an RN on call after office hours each evening and on the weekends for supervision, consultative clinical questions, and staffing coordination. For a true emergency, it’s best to call 911 so that an immediate local emergency response team can be at your home within minutes of the call.