Does it really make a difference if a home health care team is comprised of certified professionals or if they’re what are commonly referred to as “gray-market” or uncertified workers?
Reporter Jane Gross, reporting for The New York Times, wrote, “Gray-market hiring is fraught with risks…” and noted the lack of background checks and regulations with this form of uncertified staff. In her article, Ms. Gross cites an example of a patient who employed gray-market aides, not realizing that one aide had a criminal history and another had made significant purchases with a patient’s funds.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law studied the “gray-market” and found that workers and patients are vulnerable without proper supervision. “Home health care work entails health and safety risks that can be exacerbated by insufficient training.” Without proper training, workers and patients are at risk for infection and injury from actions such as improper patient lifting.
In Sherri Snelling’s book, A Cast of Caregivers: Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care, she cites a 2011 LA Times article that reported a home care horror story involving a gray-market care worker who allegedly left a handicapped patient in a hot car instead of taking her to the park (as promised to both the patient and her family). Snelling writes that “while at first blush,” gray-market services may seem attractive with promises of lower pricing, but the “risk versus reward is simply not there” and warns, “Buyer beware.”
These are the kinds of stories that discourage some people from seeking care for themselves or family members in need. There is however, a clear distinction between these unregulated gray-market services and certified care providers like Premier Home Health Care Services, Inc.
Premier’s hiring standards include skills and job related competency testing, training and I-9 verification, references, criminal background and drug screenings. Premier also verifies DMV records for those aides who will be driving patients.
The company also provides Specialty Care Training programs to address the particular needs of individuals who have a range of conditions. These include:
● Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care
● Diabetes and Care
● CVA Stroke Care
● Mental and Behavioral Health Care
● Hospice Care
● Pediatric Care/Child Care Skills
● Pneumonia Care
● Traumatic Brain Injury Care
● Parkinson’s Disease
Premier also covers all staff payroll taxes and liability insurances. Some additional benefits to working with Premier include services being provided under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse. The Nurse Manager assigned to a patient’s care will work the patient, family and primary care physician to ensure the client’s care needs are addressed in the customized Plan of Care the nurse creates. Premier will provide coverage in instances where the primary caregiver has a planned or unplanned absence. Through the use of an automated attendance system, Premier, in real time, is able to identify caregivers arrive to their daily assignments.
A Comparison of Premier Home Health Care and Gray-Market Services
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