An independent home health aide is a professional caregiver who chooses to offer their home care services outside the organizational structure of a home health agency. There are a number of reasons that a home health aide (HHA) may look to avoid agency-based employment. Greater independence with fewer hoops to jump through to maintain a positive work culture is a big one. The HHA may believe they can’t respond to a client’s needs because the best care plan goes against an agency’s policy.
There is typically some compelling reason for a person to avoid home health agencies. The job stability and the benefits offered by these organizations make them, by far, the most popular path to employment in the home health industry. Still, there is a lot of difference in local employment opportunities and the culture at various home health agencies. Moreover, an independent home health aide may not be the primary income earner for their own household, giving them more flexibility in choosing when to work.
Looking for a more detailed treatment of the choice home health workers have to work with or independently of an agency? Check out this article from Abcor Home Health.
Independent Home Health Aides vs. Independent Nurse Contractors
It’s true that some of the same reasons (greater independence and control over care services) that HHAs cite for leaving agency-based employment are the same as those used by the IRS to classify a worker as an employee or independent contractor. Nevertheless, you can’t simply spout a few lines about client-centered care and call yourself an independent contractor. More often than not, this simply means that you prefer private household employers over organizational employers. But it doesn’t change the fact that you’re a household employee.
It’s only when you, as a caregiving professional, exercise control over the care plan and work supplies that you can establish yourself as an independent contractor. It also helps to market yourself as an independent business from the start, rather than trying to claim after-the-fact that you were never an employee. Ask yourself, what makes your care services different? If you want to offer an eco-friendly home health business and you supply all eco-friendly personal care items as part of your home health service, then you’ll more than likely be able to establish your care services as a self-employed business.
Of course, there are a dozens of variations on this theme. But this type of business setup also helps explain why many self-employed individuals in the home health industry are independent nurse contractors who offer more highly specialized medical services. To be sure that your home care services qualify as a 1099 contractor business, you can fill out Form SS-8 with the IRS to make an official determination.
W-2 and 1099 Software for Small Businesses and Household Employees
If you’re among the many thousands of people who are interested in hiring an HHA, you’re going to want the software support for Advanced Micro Solutions (AMS). Whether as an employee or a contractor, for personal care or medical services, it’s easy to file the forms and calculate the payroll for your home health worker. In fact, the versatility of our modular software system ensures that you can get the filing support you need at a price that makes sense for those needs. Take a look at our full catalogue of products as you decide whether you want streamlined form filing support or a more comprehensive payroll solution for your household employee or independent home health aide:
- 1099 & W2 Software
- Forms Filer Plus
- Payroll Software
- Software-Generated Forms
- E-File Direct
- Affordable Care Act Filer
- 1042-S Filer
You can buy and download these products online at any time. Still have questions? Talk to AMS Sales and Information at (800) 536-1099, or download our free demo software.