Home Health Aide Agencies
Many careers in the home care sector typically start with home health aide agencies. These are state-recognized companies that provide health and living assistance to patients, senior citizens and people with disabilities through their hired home aides. Due to the current influx of applicants, as well as the demand for the said paraprofessional job, the agencies have taken on increasing responsibilities to ensure that the home aides are adhering to the standards prescribed by the state and other regulating bodies. Acting as the ‘middle men’, these companies help promote better working conditions for the applicants and forge a mutual trust with the clients.
Apply in Home Health Aide Agencies or Be Self-Employed: Which is Better?
Employment through Agencies
A majority of home aides usually prefer applying for jobs through home health aide agencies over representing themselves as independent contractors to prospective employers. An agency creates a pool of qualified individuals to be sent out on job assignments, which basically involve providing care and assistance to clients within the comforts of their homes. But the hiring of home aides is no easier than a self-initiated application. The HR still has to verify the competency and qualifications of an applicant through a series of screenings and exams. This is necessary in order to comply with the existing rules that a certain state imposes on the regulation of the job.
Despite the fact that the home health aide agencies do take the legwork out of the usual employment procedure, they are still bound by a number of responsibilities. Having been issued a Provider Number and state accreditations, an agency is generally responsible for the monitoring of the employed aides, as well as the handling of activities such as the payroll and work scheduling. Even before they could be established, they are required to possess a liability and property insurance. One mistake—either administrative or due to the home aide’s fault—may put an agency in trouble with the clients or even the state authorities.
Comparison with Self-Employment
A central part of the debate regarding the advantage of being agency-employed is the tax payment scheme. When a home aide declares himself an independent contractor, it is either he pays for his own taxes or his employer-client takes care of it. However, since many aides are being hired through family and connections, the filing of income taxes is usually overlooked by the employers. Unless the practitioner files and pays for his own dues, he may be charged with civil and criminal offenses.
In the case of agency-based employment, the practitioners’ taxes are filed by their respective home health aide agencies. As the employers, these companies are also required by the state to provide their employees with compensation according to what the law prescribes for the workers.
When it comes to job performance, agencies are better equipped with tools for supervising the work of the practitioners. Unlike with self-employed aides, these agencies are being reviewed periodically by the regulating bodies to make sure that they comply with the guidelines and professional standards. The independent contractors, on the other hand, generally carry out their duties at the direction of their employer-clients. This means that they are simply left to their own professionalism and ethical practices when performing their jobs.