The Difference Between “Agency” and “Registry”

The state of Florida plays host to three general types of companies that provide home care; Homemaker Companion Services, Nurse Registries and Home Health Care Agencies.  Horizon Care Services is both a Nurse Registry and a Home Health Care Agency.  

What is the Difference between Agency and Registry?

The key difference between Agencies and Registries is the relationship of employment.  Agencies are required to hire caregivers and/or therapists as employees and covers all employees with insurance protection.  Registries provide independent contractors who maintain individual insurance. 

There are many conflicts between state and federal laws in the definition of caregivers as independent contractors vs. employees and the industry is in a current state of flux.  Many federal changes in wages and overtime are making aspects of caregiving better for the caregiver while making it less affordable for patients to maintain the same caregiver day after day.

Agency Specifics

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With caregivers under the heading of “employee“, the agency is responsible for Workers Compensation Insurance, the employer portion of FICA (or Social Security Taxes), Unemployment Taxes and Federal Withholding Taxes.  In most cases Agencies also carry general liability insurance.  As an agency, the employer is responsible for all risks associated with work performed by the employee.

Horizon Care Services has a long list of requirements for employment including that agencies must assure that the employee has the right to work in the U.S., is free of communicable diseases, has thorough training for assigned services and is screened for a level 2 background check, in addition to a competency test before any kind of orientation.

One of the final differences is that agencies can provide the highest levels of skilled care in the home.

Registry Specifics

Nurse Registries arrange for the services of home care workers on an independent contractor basis.  While these workers are directed to care for patients, they are NOT employed by the company.  The registry is not responsible for FICA, Unemployment and Federal Withholding taxes, and is not required to carry workers compensation insurance.  All of these are the responsibility of the independent contractor. Though not required by a registry as independent contractors must carry their own liability insurance, Horizon Care Services has always carried additional company liability as an added protection. 

Though registries are NOT required to supervise workers, Horizon Care Services regularly checks in with both the client and the caregiver to maintain a positive experience for all parties.

Again, legislation is constantly evolving for the Nurse Registry and is currently forcing many changes to the business model of the past decade.  With offices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Horizon Care Services is doing everything possible to maintain quality of service at an affordable rate for our clients.


What Type of Home Care is Best For Me?

The best thing to do is to call the office and speak to one of our representatives.  Once we understand the nature of the care that is needed, we can guide you to the right kind of care whether it be Agency or Registry.  At the end of the day, Horizon Care Services will always provided the very best in home care for you or a loved one!


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