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We live in a very small town so there are not many home care options, unless we get someone who works for herself. Well one agency that we dealt with told me that they sent someone on two days that they did not. When I went to pay a bill for one visit, they told me that we owed for these other visits. The names they mentioned were not names of any workers that had come to the house. I felt I had no choice but to pay them, but we did let the agency go in the next month because of this. We found another agency that ended up being highly unorganized. I told my family the other day that it would not surprise me - with companies losing clients right now - that we end up getting a bill they 'forgot' to send. Well sure enough - it is over $150. This bill is from six months ago, and I asked them 'why would you wait this long to send a bill?' Well we don't know WHY you didn't get it. How can you deal with agencies billing you for times they were not here?
I had asked them to let their employees sign a time sheet for me and they didn't like that idea at all.

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LivingSouth, I totally agree with requiring any further paid helpers to sign in/out, take a pic with their phones, call, anything that will prove they were there and when. Any agency or individual that doesn't agree to this should not be hired.

I just want to make a further comment (and please know that I'm not lecturing or judging the OP): when people develop their romanticized ideas of retirement locations, they must consider what services are available to them when they need it most: quality medical care, transportation, social groups, other resources (such as care services), etc. A few years ago my SIL was telling me how she and my BIL were thinking about retiring to a country in central America to live on a boat moored in a river, because it was incredibly affordable and in a warm tropical climate. Never mind the language barrier, lack of medical care, accessibility/mobility problems, hurricane season, cost of travel to visit family, crime issues, government instability, etc. They had read about it in a magazine and thought it sounded "cool". Maybe this would work up to a certain age/ability level, but once physical and cognitive issues begin, it's a whole other thing.

My very elderly aunts who live in a poor county in FL don't have many services available to them. If they'd have lived just 1 more mile north, they'd be in a very wealthy county with lots to offer. Also, rural v. urban v. suburban is an issue as well. People must look waaaaaay into their futures when they relocate at retirement, and be realistic about old age.

LivingSouth, I hope you can find the quality help your LO needs!
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LivingSouth May 2020
Oh they have lived here all their lives. There is an urban area not too far, but this town just has about three agencies. The big problem is the large estate - which my dad would not budge on about moving - but I guess that's a problem for another day.
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The only thing they showed me what a wall calendar with these names penciled in and the hours! They could have filled that in at any time. I'm with a government program and they want them to fill out THEIR paperwork with hours, put instead the agency takes the form with them to their office and then fills it out there and send it in. When my mom passed away they didn't even have the common kindness to send a sympathy card. We didn't get individuals because we were concerned about liability problems, but honestly I don't think they could be any worse than these agencies were. Agencies don't seem to care if they get dropped by the clients about the bills. The very well known, and widely advertised franchise - begins with the word 'Home' does have some negative reviews about their lack of dependability and a couple of bad reviews about billing. My family is afraid that if we file complaints and it gets out in the community, that we might have trouble getting people to stay. They are sending bills out over two months late, making it hard to keep track.
I did find the state agency that gives them credentials so I contacted them to see if consumers can look at reports at complaints about the agencies - hopefully there's a way to see ones with ongoing problems. With everything going on now, it's hard to keep up with what you owe when they hold their billing back like this. I keep bills that were paid stapled together and marked paid. I cannot find any of these bills they claim they sent. We are currently on the third agency and so far no problems - but this former agency is now hounding for the money from six months ago. I find it hard to believe that they would let a legitimate bill go that long without being paid - even for agency this disorganized.
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PowerOf3 May 2020
We used a reputable company with good reviews that I found here on the aging care forum. Billing charges took place on Mondays, set up on auto pay, aide had a set schedule and never dealt with anything like this, 1 receipt a week via email. A 6 month old bill in California is legal for medical billing, as long as 1 year they can bill... but I might contest their practices because a drawn on calendar isn’t sufficient in my eyes. I would be concerned about finding someone in the future too, if your complaints are redundant it would appear you’re too hard to please and given your choices are limited so I understand that too. But you should insist on legitimate billing practices because you’re paying more for a company hired home aide and should have that benefit AT THE VERY LEAST. If you hire someone else you’ll know to inquire about the billing and charging protocols because it sounds inconceivable they as a company can go 6 months without payment, doesn’t it? It does to me. My company had an online checklist I could view after the aide came as well. There’s benefits in using a company and paying the higher fees.
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I was a secretary for a Visiting Nurse Assoc. For our aides I made up a time sheet. Each client was required to sign what hours the aide was there. If these agencies did that, it would be proof who was where when. You could copy it at weeks end.
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When I had home care for a few days before my father went back into a hospital, the workers (a) called in on arrival to confirm with the agency that they were there, and (b) completed and signed an activity sheet of what they did while there.

There was also another sheet kept in the notebook that remained in Dad's home and in his possession.

Unfortunately, these agencies you've deal with don't sound very reliable or honest.

I would demand to see documentation before paying anything more, not only in terms of alleged arrivals and departures but what the employees allegedly did. Keep pressing them for documentation; it might cause them to back off if they realize they can't manipulate or intimidate you, which I think might be part of their tactics.

In the meantime, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and see if you can find franchised agencies that have higher standards, and more offices. Do you know if your state has an agency that regulates home care? If so, that's another source at which to file a complaint.

These kind of tactics really anger me, to be so exploitive of people in need.
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LS unless you are asking to see rates of pay they should provide copy of time sheet on request even if redacted. When my employer used temp agency, we got copy of time sheet as verification for our audit. It showed person committed fraud and we provided data to agency. Fixed with an apology.
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