Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between a Licensed Agency and an Unlicensed Provider?
A: A Licensed Agency is regulated and licensed through The State of Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). DADS has the authority and obligation to ensure that any person or entity engaging in the business of providing home health, hospice or personal assistance services (PAS) is licensed. Compassionate Care by MEDRelief Staffing (License no. 16196) meets or exceeds all required standards and regulations as a Home and Community Support Services Agency (HCSSA).

Unlicensed providers who provide personnel typically refer to their staff as companions and sitters. These providers and their staff are not regulated or licensed to provide "hands on" care for clients such as (e.g., touching the client, transferring, bathing, etc.). Businesses that only provide workers to prepare meals, perform housekeeping, or other household tasks not involving personal care may operate without a HCSSA license.

In summary: A Licensed Agency such as Compassionate Care by MEDRelief Staffing are surveyed frequently by Texas DADS for compliance with state mandated regulations and standards. We are an organization that is committed to quality. We are not only a licensed agency through the State of Texas we are also accredited The Joint Commission. Compassionate Care (Personal Care Services) is a division of MEDRelief Staffing. MEDRelief Staffing has a strong, well-established presence in the Houston healthcare community.

Q: How do I know if my Companion is qualified?
A: All of our Companions are thoroughly screened and interviewed prior to employment and are observed regularly by clinical management to ensure that you or your loved one is receiving the attention they deserve.

Q: Can a MRS Caregiver bring me to doctors' appointments, to run errands or to social engagements?
A: Yes. Transportation is included as a "task" that our caregivers are available for. As part of your client agreement you will sign a permission form either allowing the caregiver to drive your car or if you do not own a car then the caregiver can utilize his/her own car. If the caregiver utilizes their personal car the client will be responsible for mileage charges that will be passed on to the caregiver.

Q: If I am hospitalized can a Caregiver still help me?

A: Yes. We actually recommend continuing to utilize a Caregiver for hospital stays or any other facility where you may be placed. This can help with continuity of care and could prove beneficial to your transition back home.

Schedules for your Caregiver can be flexible to meet your needs. In the event additional shifts are requested or a substitute is necessary, Compassionate Care will make the appropriate arrangements.

Q: Is it more expensive to engage a LICENSED Agency than to hire an individual on my own?
A: Yes. However we strongly believe the benefits out way the cost and here's why. If you chose to hire an individual yourself, you are the employer meaning you are responsible for the following:

  • Wages
  • Federal & State payroll taxes (Medicare, FICA, & unemployment taxes at least 10% of wages).
  • Worker's Compensation insurance (10% of wages).
  • Depositing payroll deductions.
  • Filing quarterly and annual State and Federal Payroll Tax Reports.
  • Complying with Federal Immigration hiring laws and other employment laws.
  • Recruiting, hiring, firing, and scheduling employees.
Some families have chosen to hire their own caregivers as an "independent contractor"; thereby ignoring payroll taxes or work-related accident insurance. This option while most cost effective holds more liability when/if the employee is terminated. Upon termination the employee files an unemployment claim and these instances could result in State and Federal payroll tax audits and claims against the employer. In this case you or your family, whereby the family is required to pay both accrued employee and employer payroll taxes from the date of hire, plus accrued employee and employer payroll taxes for all other employees, plus penalties and interest.

The same problem can result if the family chooses to not to provide Worker's Compensation Insurance or accident related insurance. If families are relying on their Homeowner's insurance policies to cover any accidents that may occur they should first check with their agent as "Work related accidents" are not usually covered. An employee being injured on the job (e.g., a back injury resulting from transferring the client), can end up costing the family thousands of dollars or the employee filing a claim with the State, suing the family (employer), and successfully collecting medical, pain and suffering, legal fees, plus the legal expenses to defend the litigation action.

Compassionate Care by MEDRelief Staffing is a Licensed Agency and will be the employer for its caregivers and is responsible for all expenses and costs associated with State and Federal employment laws, work related injuries, and all other employer obligations.

Q: Can I cancel services with Compassionate Care?
A: Yes. Services can be canceled 2 hours prior to commencement of the shift, without penalty or charges. A Compassionate Care staff member is available 24/7. As a Licensed Home and Community Support Service Agency, our Clients must sign the "Individual Service Plan and Consent Form" which details the type, frequency, rates, and other delivery practices for the services you request. We understand that events and circumstances may result in disrupted schedules or require fewer or additional hours. We ask only that you provide as much advance notice as possible to minimize the impact on our Caregivers.