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A Comparison of Home Care Provider Types in Florida

Comparing home care provider types in florida text over image of caregiver handing tea to senior woman

There are a variety of home care providers in Florida, and they are capable of different levels of care. If you have a loved one in need of home care, you’ll want to make sure you match the right kind of provider with your loved one’s needs. The Florida Home Care Guide, published by Home Helpers, shares useful information about the types of home care providers available.

Type of Provider & Licensing

When you first begin your search for care, home care providers may appear to all be the same. However, state regulations specify the different levels of service they may offer. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requires that a license or registration number be documented on all marketing materials for the provider, including website, business cards, brochures, and other marketing or printed materials. This makes it easy for you, the client, to clearly identify the type of provider. Here’s how those numbers differ based on the type of provider:

• Home Care Agencies: The license number will be nine digits in length, often prefixed with “HHA”. For example, HHA#299995555.
Important: In Florida, a home care agency is licensed as a “Home Health Agency” that offers only unskilled care in the home. Do not let this confuse you. For the sake ofindustry standard terminology, unskilled care in the home is simply referred to as “home care”.

• Homemaker and Companion Services Providers: These providers are not “licensed.” Rather they are “registered” with the State of Florida to be able to provide homemaker and companion services. The registration number will be six digits in length and is often prefixed with “HCS”. For example, HCS#234555.

• Registries: The license number will be eight digits in length and is often prefixed with “NR”. For example, NR#30215555.
Important: In Florida, a registry that provides home care (and possibly skilled services) is licensed as a “Nurse Registry”. For the sake of industry standard terminology, we will refer to this type of provider in Florida as simply a “registry”.

• Independent Caregivers: These individuals may or may not have individual licensing with the state. For example, CNA license, LPN license, RN license, etc.

Home care providers differ in several ways, including

• whether they hire employees or use contractors

• non-medical services provided

• employee screening

• liability insurance and workers’ compensation

• training

• supervision

• scheduling

• discipline

• payroll

Consideration: Homemaker and Companion Services Providers

An important consideration with homemaker and companion services providers is continuity of care. Even though the needs of you or your family member may be limited to homemaker and companion services at this time, the needs generally progress in the future. For instance, your loved one may have early onset Alzheimer’s disease that later advances and will require additional care. In this situation, if personal care is required in the future, you will have to find a new provider.

Consideration: Comparing Costs Across the Types of Providers

In general, you should expect that a home care agency that provides multiple services such as HR, scheduling, training, payroll, and insurance would be priced higher for caregiving services than a caregiver referred through a registry or an independent caregiver. If you select a caregiver through a registry or if you select an independent caregiver, there should be significant cost savings given the burden you will assume related to HR, scheduling, liability, and other factors.

TIP: Do some research by calling several providers in the area. In general, the pricing should be comparable based on the provider type (i.e., home care agency, homemaker and companion services providers, or registry). If a caregiver referred through a registry is priced at or near the average price for a caregiver through an agency, the price is probably too high. In contrast, if the cost for a caregiver through an agency is similar to that of a registry, the price is probably too low and you should be concerned about the quality of services provided. The “Florida Home Care Guide” has a handy checklist called “Questions to Ask When Selecting a Home Care Provider” to help you in your home care provider search.

To learn more about the different kinds of home care providers, you can download the “Florida Home Care Guide” for free at the following link.

Call Home Helpers to Care for Your Loved One

Need better care for your senior loved one? Give Home Helpers a call. We provide companion care, personal care, homemakers services, and Alzheimer’s and dementia care so family members can rest easier. Call us at 941-999-1960, or visit us online at

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