If you’re going to bring someone into your home to provide care for you or your loved one, you want to make sure you’re getting the right fit for your needs. The right service, the right support, the right personality and the right price. To do all that, you need to ask the right questions. Here are the 12 most important questions to ask before contracting service with an in-home care provider.
1. Is your agency licensed by the state?
- Minnesota requires in-home care providers to obtain a license, and you should avoid working with any agency that is unable to provide proof of licensure.
2. Are you Medicare and Medicaid certified?
- If you will be using insurance to pay for care, be sure to check with both the agency and your insurance carrier to make sure you’re covered for the specific service you need.
3. If I want to pay out of pocket, what are your rates?
- Quality care providers should be able to provide straightforward pricing and give you a detailed breakdown of all costs [[LINK TO Paying for Services Page WHEN BUILT]] associated with your care plan.
4. What is your background screening process for new employees?
- Agencies should be conducting a thorough background check process to help ensure the safety and security of people served.
5. What qualifications do your employees have?
- If you are contracting for a service like companion care, individual care providers may not have any professional credentials. However, if you are going to be working with nurses or social workers, make sure they have the proper qualifications before starting your contract.
6. What is your training process for new employees?
- Make sure anyone who will be coming into your home has been properly trained on safety protocols, company policies as well as individual tasks associated with the type of care you’ll be receiving.
7. Can I meet the person who will be coming into my home?
- This may not always be possible. But when it is, meeting the individual who will be providing care is the best way to ensure you feel comfortable moving forward with the contract.
8. Can you provide me with references?
- Doing your due diligence and hearing from previous clients directly is a great way to understand how an agency works and whether they will be a good fit for your needs.
9. Who do I call if I have questions about my care plan?
- Quality agencies should provide you with a direct line of communication to key members of your care team and have an established process for reporting any issues or concerns.
10. Who will my care provider call if they have questions?
- Make sure the individual in-home care provider has the support they need to navigate any issues. Ask specifically if they have a dedicated nurse line available 24/7 should an urgent medical need arise.
11. What will be required of me during this process?
- If you are contracting care for a loved one, you will be considered a member of the care team. However, your level of involvement can vary depending on your availability, the type of service your loved one will be receiving and the agency’s own processes. Be sure you understand your role and what is expected of you to keep service running smoothly.
12. What do I do if my needs change?
- Quality agencies will have an established plan for periodically reviewing the needs of the individual receiving care and adjusting plans as necessary.