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What’s the difference between contractors and full-time employees?

Many companies utilize contractors, rather than employees, to fill caregiving assignments. They basically run an add or send a text looking for people in the general public to act as caregivers, and pay those people an agreed upon hourly fee. Oftentimes, these people little or no previous experience with the company. The company will either pay the individual directly, or ask the client to write one check to the caregiving company and one check directly to the caregiver. At Cambridge, every single one of our caregivers are full-time, W-2 employees, who often have hundreds if not thousands of hours of experience with our company. We offer them a full array of health benefits and we pay 80% their health care premiums. Fully-employed W2 employees are more committed and loyal to their employers and thus more committed to their clients.

How quickly can you place a caregiver with us?

We can schedule our caregivers on extremely short notice – usually same day if needed.

Is there a minimum number of hours I must commit to?

We ask that our clients commit to a minimum of 4 hours of service on any given day, as is standard in the industry. However, there are no minimum number of days required per week, so we can staff only one day per week or all seven, depending on your needs.

What does it take to get started?

Call us, and we will move quickly to set up new service with you. Required onboarding paperwork is available on this website, under the tab entitled “Onboarding documents.”

How qualified are your caregivers?

Each of our caregivers are certified nurse’s assistants (CNA’s), meaning that they have received comprehensive instruction and passed a State Competency Test. In addition, we offer our employees up to 100 hours of additional training designed by our staff physician, and many hours of practical, hands-on experience and training.  In addition, all of our caregivers must pass thorough criminal background checks.

Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

You are NOT committed to engage us for any specific amount of time. The document you sign simply requires you to pay for any hours of service received.

Can I use my Long-Term Care policy?

Long term care policies cover non-medical care services, while medicare and general health insurance policies do not. While Cambridge is happy to assist with any necessary paperwork, including care notes, we cannot file directly with the insurer. The policy owner is required to pay Cambridge directly and then file with the insurer for reimbursement. It’s important to note that many long-term care providers require a waiting or “elimination” period before coverage kicks in. We are happy to review your long-term care policy and advise you as to benefits and limitations, or you can call your insurer directly and ask for an explanation of benefits.

Am I responsible to pay for overtime?

By law, caregivers must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours/week. We strive to limit overtime by engaging several caregivers on an engagement so that overtime charges are not incurred. However, when a client insists on limiting caregivers or extending hours such that overtime is necessary, the client is responsible for additional charges of time and a half for each hour of overtime, as required by federal law.

Do you help me to assess our needs?

Yes, we will spend time with you to understand your situation and to consider the right caregiver for your engagement.

How do I pay for services?

All of our services are ‘private pay,’ meaning our clients are responsible to pay for our services when rendered. Payment for services is due in full upon receipt of invoice, and clients are billed on a twice monthly basis. Our services are 100% private pay: standard health care and Medicare do not cover the costs of long-term care, although long term care policies may reimburse all or part of the fees incurred.  Payment options are check or ACH.

What is the process after the initiation form is completed and submitted?

Once onboarding documents are submitted, our scheduling manager works to customize the engagement using the information submitted by the client. It’s much like a dating service. We match care plan, logistics and personalities to the best of our ability with specific caregivers from our staff.  After this process is complete and the schedule is agreed upon, the engagement can commence.  

How are employees screened and what forms of training are mandatory?

Each caregiver goes through a national background check, drug screening, thorough interview with our COO and Scheduling Manager, and their references are checked.  Also, each caregiver must pass an internal written test. 

Do I meet with you? Do I get to meet with the caregiver prior to the final "ok"? Can you meet with my parents?

Typically a Community Outreach Liaison will visit with the family via phone, then schedule a time to meet in person. Under the current circumstances we are using technology such as Zoom, FaceTime or phone to get to know each other.  Our focus is on the safety of our staff and clients by minimizing contact.   Regarding a meeting with a caregiver, we have learned that a meeting prior to an engagement does not offer meaningful insight for the client; while we have confidence in all of our staff, we appreciate that sometimes we may have to send out a different caregiver after the engagement begins.   Should there be issues such as the caregiver wears too much perfume, talks to loud or sits in your favorite antique chair – feel free to communicate freely.  If it’s something you want management  to address just let us know.  If there we need to pivot and switch out caregivers, no problem. We have 100+ caregivers, and we have the right caregiver for you!

How long does it take to have a caregiver in place at the residence?

There are lots of variables that go into this, but in emergency situations it could be as fast as a few hours.  Typically we like to have at least 24 hours in order to get the family properly set up in the system and give our scheduling team adequate time to put their matchmaking skills to work. 

How does the caregiver typically get in the home if the patient is unable to answer the door?

We have used various tactics and tools to enter a home where the client is unable to answer the door, including: lockbox, spare key, garage door opener, hidden key, or garage combination. 

Is there a binder set up in the home with information about the patients needs?

There will be a notebook with care plan notes, contact information and a pad for caregivers to take daily notes.  These can be helpful for family, medical staff and long term care insurance. 

Can caregivers accept tips?

We compensate our staff very generously and we pay 80% of their health premiums.   Clients are by no means obligated to tip our staff.  We do allow  gifts / tips for holidays, special occasions or at the end of an engagement. 

What is the minimum number of hours that we can engage caregivers?

We typically have a 4/hr. minimum per engagement.  However, due to the COVID pandemic, we have modified our policy in an effort to protect our staff and to protect our clients. During the pandemic, we will not allow our caregivers to work for more than two clients. This means that each client must pay for 20 hours per week for services. By limiting the number of engagements, we limit exposure for our staff and we limit exposure for our clients. 

How are we invoiced and how often?

Invoices are generated every two weeks and sent electronically to the correct person on file who pays the bills.  We use the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system to charge our client’s checking account.

What is the overtime policy?

By law we are required to pay our staff overtime (1.5x) for any hours accrued over 40 hours per week. We work with our clients to limit overtime, though we know that clients prefer fewer faces during the engagement.  

When trips are made (mom to nail salon, grocery run), which vehicle is used, yours or ours?

This is up to the client.  If the caregivers drives the client’s car, there is not an additional charge. If the caregiver uses their own car, we charge standard IRS rate of .57/mile. 

Would you be my point of contact or is there someone that is assigned to our file?

Our sales team will always be responsible to maintain contact with you during the entire engagement. They are committed to see that you are satisfied at all times. They will work with our scheduling department as necessary. Our team is available to you 24/7/365 so that you are never left hanging. 

If the caregiver is not a good fit, what is the process?

We know our individual staff and we use this knowledge to make good matches between our staff and our clients. If a match doesn’t work, we will work to make it right. To begin, if the caregiver is wearing too much perfume, talks to loud or sits in your favorite antiques chair – feel free to discuss directly.  If not, we can have the conversation on your behalf. If we can’t redirect a staff person for whatever reason, we will simply substitute another one of our caregivers.   Usually we get it right, but we live by the motto that practice makes perfect.  
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Monica Beaty
Monica Beaty
18:50 30 Jan 20
Brian Levy was a godsend to my family in an incredibly difficult time. He provided assistance that went above the call... of duty. When the scope of what I needed was beyond what he could provide, he established connections to someone else that could manage that need.His compassion and expertise will certainly be remembered. We are forever grateful!read more
Melinda Gilliam
Melinda Gilliam
21:19 08 Jan 20
Cambridge Caregivers has been fantastic to work with! Brian is so patient and knowledgeable. The caregivers from... Cambridge are extremely professional and know how to handle difficult cases. It is a pleasure to work with them.read more
Steve Gundy
Steve Gundy
19:45 14 Nov 19
Great company that provided my family the care we needed during a very difficult time.
Casey Ellis
Casey Ellis
15:27 13 Sep 19
Working with Cambridge has been great. The caregivers are well trained and courteous. The staff is quick to respond to... any needs or inquires day or night. Finding in home care can be really stressful but it doesn't need to be if you work with Cambridge Caregivers.read more
Gena Aduddell
Gena Aduddell
19:14 29 Mar 19
Cambridge Caregivers is a great company. They have been quick to address any concerns we've had. They continue to... provide excellent service.read more
Shane Read
Shane Read
16:27 06 Dec 18
I could not be more pleased with Cambridge Caregivers. Brian Levy cared so much about making sure my family's needs... were met. He went over and beyond what I expected. The caregivers are outstanding. We have had two and both were very kind, competent, and caring. Thank you Brian!read more
Greta Brodsky
Greta Brodsky
01:45 27 Nov 18
I have never had such a wonderful home care experience! I have been practicing medicine for more than 20 years!... Stephanie has helped me with so many patients. She has a solution for every problem I have presented to her. She is on my speed dial for all my future home care needs. I try to provide my patients with top notch care during each office visit. Thanks to Cambridge Caregivers I feel that I can extend that quality in the home as well.read more
Stacy Broff
Stacy Broff
01:03 13 Sep 18
Cambridge Caregivers is a top notch operation. They took care of my elderly aunt at her house for many years. The... caregivers quickly became part of our family. We are so appreciative of everything they did for us. Thank you Dean and Brian and the team for all you have done God bless.read more
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