Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to know more about receiving our services, such as when and how to obtain them, our staffing process, or payment options for our services, you can find answers to the most common questions here.

Does O'Connell require a minimum amount of service?

Our required minimum amount of service is only 2 hours per day. Care can be provided from 1 to 7 days per week, depending on the client's specific needs.

What steps are involved in implementing services?

The process is very easy. For services, simply call 1-877-533-1030 or 1-413-533-1030. After answering any of your initial questions, our Director of Private Care, an RN, will complete a comprehensive, in-person assessment, which takes into consideration the individual's health and living environment.

At this point, a care plan is developed in conjunction with the patient, family, and the patient's primary care physician, and is tailored to meet the client's specific needs. Because no two clients are alike, we are careful to select our caregivers based on the personality and needs of the client. An RN will supervise care.

How far in advance should I contact O'Connell to request services?

O'Connell strives to address all service requests as they are arise, from the same day to several weeks in advance. However, it is helpful if we are given at least 24-hours advance notice of the time the service is needed.

Does O'Connell require a deposit for services?

We only require a deposit for services in cases where the amount of necessary care exceeds 40 hours a week. At that point, a deposit of two weeks of service would apply.

What is the difference between a licensed agency and a certified agency?

The regulations for licensed and certified agencies are similar; a certified agency is able to provide services that are reimbursable by Medicare and Medicaid, while a licensed agency is not able to receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid. In Massachusetts, both certified and licensed agencies are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

O'Connell is a licensed agency, but is not certified, so we accept private pay or Long Term Care Insurance. We also work closely with many certified agencies including Holyoke VNA, Cooley Dickinson VNA, and Mercy Home Care, supplementing their services by providing additional home care.

Is O'Connell insured and bonded?

 O'Connell is an insured, bonded, and licensed home care agency, and the benefits to our clients and staff include:

  • Providing professional liability insurance, workman's comp, and unemployment
  • Very thorough pre-employment screenings
  • Continuous supervision of all cases; if there is a change in the status of a client, or there is a change in staffing, we are aware of it immediately and are able to make adjustments promptly. If a good match is not made between the client and aide, we do not leave the client without coverage; there is always someone to fill in.

What kind of screening process does O'Connell use in hiring their home health aide?

Before joining the O'Connell team, all of our candidates undergo a thorough screening process that includes:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Professional reference checks
  • Proof of address, valid driver's license, and proof of car insurance
  • I-9 verification
  • Certificate verification
  • Interview, skills assessment, and entry-level tests
  • Employee health check, where candidates undergo a pre-employment physical complete with immunization update, drug screening, and TB test

In addition to passing all of the above criteria, the candidate must complete our orientation and training program as well.

If I need to get in touch with someone at O'Connell over the weekend, on a holiday, or during the night, will someone be available to help me?

 Yes. At O'Connell we do not use an answering service—we have staff members who are on call during non-office hours to assist you with any urgent service issues. So you and your family can have peace of mind 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What towns does O'Connell service?

 We service all of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, as well as areas beyond.