First of all, what is private duty and private pay?

Private duty home care is a form of general home care. Caregivers can provide a wide range of services such as medical, nursing care, bill paying, and transportation. Other services can include:

  • Bathing/dressing,
  • Hygiene
  • Companionship
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Transportation

Private duty home care differs from traditional home care due to the payment method, which is private pay. Private pay is also known as paying “out-of-pocket”. It means existing savings and assets are used to cover the cost of elderly care services. This is one of the most common forms of payment and it is accepted by many elderly care services. A few methods used to pay for care include trusts, reverse mortgages, and annuities.

How to offer private duty services

Step 1: Research state certificate of need and license requirements

A certificate of need is a legal document required in many states and some federal jurisdictions before proposed acquisitions, expansions, or creations of facilities are allowed. You must make sure that your business is allowed to expand to private duty.

Step 2: Look into your finances and determine the impact of expansion

An agency that adds private duty may spread administrative and general expenses over more visits. This will lower Medicare reimbursement.

Step 3: Hire a manager

Find the best person to head your private duty service. They must understand the structure of your business and have experience in management.

Step 4: Establish an appropriate pay structure

Private duty has a very different payroll structure than other home care sectors. Private duty is a competitive market where caregivers are often paid weekly and demand pay to be in line with industry standards. Overtime calculations may differ as well.

Step 5: Educate your staff

There are many private duty staff educational requirements. A good educational resource is the Private Duty Homecare Association.

Step 6: Change your marketing efforts

Target end users of private duty, such as the family members of elderly who need care.

Step 7: Recruit caregivers

Private duty recruitment can be difficult due to work-flows and hours available. Expect to spend money on staff recruitment.