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What is a home care agreement?
A home care agreement is a contract between a home care provider and its client that outlines the services to be provided to the client and sets out the rights and obligations of both parties. It lists the terms and conditions to be followed in providing home care services as well as the procedure to be followed in case of disputes between the parties.
Before a home care agreement is signed, the home care provider must ensure that the client fully understands the terms of the agreement. It is worth bearing in mind that if the client has a disability (generally we are referring to cognitive or mental incapacity) then the client will most likely need the agreement to be signed by a representative.
Why do I need a home care agreement?
A home care agreement is created to help protect the rights of a home care provider and its client. By listing the obligations and responsibilities of the home care provider, the client is secured that he or she will receive the services promised by the home care provider.
Having a home care agreement means that there will be no room for misunderstandings about the terms of the agreement such as the costs to be paid by the client and the services to be provided by the home care provider.
If the client feels that he or she is not receiving the services promised by the home care provider, he or she can refer to the home care agreement to resolve the issue. Disputes will be resolved easier since the terms of the agreement are clearly explained in a written agreement signed by both parties.
What are the key clauses in a home care agreement?
A complete home care agreement should include the following clauses:
Parties – The home care agreement must name the home care provider and the client or the person who will receive home care services. If the client is represented by an authorised representative (due to mental disability), the contract should reflect this and potentially name the representative who signed the contract on behalf of the client (and the capacity in which they signed – in other words did they have a power of attorney to sign on behalf of the client?)
Services – The level of care and the services that will be provided to meet the needs of the client must be included in the home care agreement. Ideally the services and needs should be outlined in a home care plan. The home care agreement should also indicate the actual person or person who will provide the services.
Payment – How much will the home care provider charge for its services? If the client is entitled to any sort of government subsidy then the amount to be paid by the client and the amount to be subsidised by the government should be specified as well as the process for payment. In other words does the client pay the whole amount to the home care provider and then obtain the government subsidy direct? Or is the government paying the home care services provide and so the client only has to pay the difference?
Pricing Schedule – A reasonable pricing schedule for the services offered by the home care provider should be included in the home care agreement.
Home Care Package – What are the home care packages offered by the home care provider? The home care package chosen by the client must specify the level of care to be provided by the home care provider depending on the needs of the client.
Rights and Obligations – The home care agreement must specify the rights of both parties as well as the conditions that must be followed in providing home care services. Aside from ensuring that the care and services agreed upon are properly provided, the home care provider is responsible for preparing a care plan and an individualized budget for the client.
Care Plan Review – A care plan must be regularly reviewed to ensure that the needs of the client are being met. The process of revising a care plan must be explained in the agreement.
Confidentiality – you will want to ensure that the contract has a robust confidentiality clause to ensure that the personal information and medical records of the client are kept confidential.
Security of Service – The home care provider agreement should have a term or a length of time inserted in the contract so that the client has some comfort that the services will be provided for that relevant period.
Suspension of Services – The home care agreement should also set out the procedure to be followed in case the client decides to suspend receiving home care services.
Termination of the Agreement – The home care agreement must outline the process to be followed in terminating the agreement.
Dispute Resolution – The home care agreement must outline the process to be followed in resolving issues and disputes between the parties.
Do you need help with writing a home care agreement? Call us at 1800 355 455 or fill in the form below.
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