Homemaker / Companion Agencies are registered with The Agency for Health Care Administration. They are not licensed to provide any type of medical or personal care. Because services are not medical, there is no requirement for supervision by a skilled nurse. There is also no requirement that caregivers be Certified Nursing Assistants or Home Health Aides. Companion agencies are often lower priced than Home Health Agencies and can be an excellent solution when a client is in need of assistance with meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping and companionship.
Home Healthcare Agencies are licensed by The Agency for Health Care Administration following a comprehensive survey. Patient care is assessed and supervised by a Registered Nurse. In addition to the services provided by a Companion Service, a Home Health Agency can assist with personal care and offer skilled nursing services including medication management. Certified Nursing Assistants or Home Health Aides provide all personal care. Home Health Agencies are required to have a nurse available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. A Home Health Agency is a good choice when nursing involvement is desired or when a client is in need of assistance with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, toileting, eating and physical transfer.
Nurse Registries are licensed by The Agency for Health Care Administration. In years past, they mostly provided staffing services to facilities. They are now allowed to perform many of the same services as a Home Health Agency as long as a client is under the care of a physician. All care provided in a private home is assessed and supervised by a skilled nurse. The biggest difference between a registry and an agency is that, unlike an agency, caregivers are not employees of a registry. They work as independent contractors and are responsible for obtaining their own liability and workers compensation insurance. They must also comply with tax laws pertinent to independent contractors.