August 19, 2021

Obviously, I chose to blog and this being my first blog as PCA President, I wanted to send my greetings to all our members and sponsors, along with those of you considering PCA membership. This trade association is the ONLY one dedicated to the Caregiver Registry (aka Nurse Registry) model. To this day I still gain insightful knowledge to help better run my Nurse Registry, just by being a PCA member. I know you too through participating in Association activities, will also benefit.

I want to take my inaugural blog into an area that I hope imparts some knowledge to you the reader, as referenced above. Let’s talk misconceptions for a second, shall we? In the world of home health care, you generally have two types of companies that supply or refer caregivers. Home Health Agencies and Caregiver Registries. Yet it is the Registry that has the most misconceptions applied to it by competitors, pay sources and even various governmental pay sources. One such misconception is the area of workers’ compensation, sometimes referred to as workman’s compensation depending upon your State.

Prior to my twenty years in home health care, I was a litigation attorney in the area of workers compensation defense. Litigation is a fancy way of saying trial lawyer. So, one of the common misconceptions of registries is that because comp covers “employees” and by definition an independent contractor (IC) caregiver is NOT an employee, hence there is no comp coverage for these caregivers and clients therefore are more at risk for their injuries. Not true! Comp is a system that protects the EMPLOYER, in this case the Agency. It prevents the worker (caregiver) from suing in tort against their EMPLOYER for injuries they sustained on the job. Things like pain and suffering via a negligence claim. Comp prevents that and has a system in place to pay the worker some amount(s) and some benefits. However, nothing would prevent this same caregiver, who is receiving comp, from suing the patient or client they cared for under their homeowner’s insurance policy. As such, it is logical to conclude that comp is of no real benefit for a patient/client. Therefore, under this type of scenario, a client is at no further risk by working with a caregiver registry, as they would be with an agency.

A caregiver has the option of getting occupational hazard insurance at a low premium or a client could require it as well. This acts like a quasi- comp policy that has benefits for the injured worker. But again, the existence or lack thereof of comp coverage, is of no meaningful benefit to the consumer in the world of home healthcare.

Marc Spector, President @Private Care Association