Home care registries present a great opportunity for mission-driven business owners, and in this guide, we’ll share with you the best tips to make sure that yours is successful.
The market for senior care and home care services, in general, is constantly growing in demand. More importantly, leveraging this growth is key to your business. First, we’ll go over the basis of owning a home care registry, and then how to maximize and optimize your registry for long-term success.
Owning a home care registry
Home care registries are direct marketplaces that match independent caregivers with clients who need care in their area. Home care registries operate very differently from home care agencies, which employ caregivers, mediate relationships and client scheduling, and more.
Capitalizing on what makes you different will be key to business development and set you up for growth. This could include explaining why your hiring process is unique to help reassure families, or sharing with caregivers that they have the flexibility to choose their hours from what you have available without pressure.
“Our clients enjoy working with Ally because we set them up with the operational tools they need to be successful, handling the compliance pieces and helping them feel confident as they’re going through their growth strategy. One mentioned that having a purpose-built platform just for registries made it easy to choose to launch their business,” Julio Barea, VP of Sales - AllyCaretime.
He also shared that there are three key elements of a successful home care registry:
- Legal and regulatory compliance
We’ll discuss each one in more detail.
Keep your legal and regulatory compliance in check.
Every business has some form of regulatory and legal hoops to jump through, but working in home care gives business owners a renewed sense of meaning and belonging.
Registries are subject to scrutiny to ensure that basic standards are met to provide a level of care that addresses client needs.
In Virginia, for example, the vetting process for a caregiver includes “an application, verification of identity, a face-to-face interview, tuberculosis test, reference checks and criminal background checks.”
This also means:
- Understanding the Fair Labor Standard Act’s Independent Contractor Standard: Proposed changes take a more holistic look at a situation rather than the two primary factors currently considered (being worker control and opportunity to profit/lose).
- Mitigating any chance of caregiver misclassification: Take precautions and measures that help to separate yourself from being identified as an employer, through thorough onboarding and training, regular communication, and leveraging technology when possible.
- Staying on top of requirements and processes for issuing 1099’s: Any taxpayer who has earned more than $600 in a given tax year from non-employment income is required to be issued a 1099 (unless they are a corporation).
Before starting your business, make sure you have a complete understanding of the rules you have to follow to remain compliant. Retaining a business attorney that specializes in this industry, like Angelo Spinola from Polsinelli, may be helpful to get your business set up, understand the language, and know what legal resources to rely on.
This is a lot to learn, and remember: Ally is a resource that can help you stay on top of home care compliance. Choosing a home care registry software that mitigates your ability to be classified as an employer is among the top priorities you should have. With pay stubs not showing your business name, that’s an important first step in separating yourself from the caregiver as an employer, and more of a marketplace.
Understanding the regulatory landscape can inform your decision-making when it comes to where to look for new clients and how to update your business model for future success.
Schedule caregivers and clients with ease.
One of the greatest benefits for families to choose a home care registry over an agency is because of the flexibility and ease of changing their schedule. That also means you need to be in the know about changes and how they’re being made.
With home care software, caregivers can set their availability so that clients know when they’re open. With caregivers put at the center of your operations, you can check schedules, confirm electronic visit verification (EVV), and initiate payment all in one place.
The right software also gives you visibility into changes made while giving families a portal to share updates and changes made on a day-to-day basis.
Ally's Home Visit Request Process
When a client requests a visit, CareMatch technology populates the most qualified caregivers to work with their individual needs. Once a caregiver accepts the shift, electronic visit verification is used to ensure that the caregiver was at the client's address using GPS coordinates.
Eliminating paper time sheets and other manual time-tracking processes gives you and your staff time back in your busy days. And it gives caregivers one central place to track hours and transparency into other shifts available.
“Our customers have greatly appreciated offline visit capturing features for caregivers, enabling them to clock in and document tasks for clients who might live in an area without service. One’s ability to afford internet services should not be a barrier to receiving care,” shared Ally’s VP of Sales.
Get paid without pulling your hair out.
The most important part of the home care registry business—aside from service quality—is payment. While home care registries are known for not being “employers,” it has to look that way on paper too. It’ll save you a lot of headaches.
Ally goes a step further in providing a payment barrier between the client and you, acting as a third-party payment processor. Ensuring that contractors don’t get paid directly from you gives peace of mind in the event of a DOL audit.
With automated billing processes, you get to spend less time chasing payments and more time closing new clients. Ally works with a variety of payer sources, with the ability to bill:
- Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI)
- And more.
It was commonly thought that home care registries were only designed for people who can pay out-of-pocket for services, but that doesn’t have to be the case for your business.
“Giving business owners the ability to expand their target market to clients who might not otherwise afford services is extremely gratifying. We are constantly looking for new features and ways to innovate that give home care registries more freedom,”
Paying caregivers weekly is key to retention. According to the 2023 HCP Benchmarking Study, 41.5% of home care agencies offered daily/weekly pay options, while balancing a 77% turnover rate. Giving caregivers control of their schedule and pay is paramount to your registry’s success.
Home care registries have more flexibility in their business model to charge more affordable rates to clients while allowing caregivers to set their own rates, or competitively paying above market rates. This added flexibility keeps caregivers satisfied with their schedules while paying them a rate that gives them the desire to stay longer.
Your home care registry is ready to roll
Home care is a great business to be in when your heart’s in the right place. Rosalynn Carter said it best: “There are only four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”
Starting a business can be overwhelming, but starting a home care registry can be meaningful as well as profitable. This segment of home care is under heavy scrutiny, in tandem with fighting against the traditional home care model, it can often feel like an uphill battle. With Ally by your side, we can be your operations center on steroids, making compliance a breeze. Compliance is at the heart of what we do, so that you can focus on growth and other revenue-generating activities—not headaches.
As a registry management software that was developed specifically with your business in mind, we’re happy to be a resource and guide for you on this journey. With the keys of compliance, scheduling, and payment in hand, you are set up for success.