Negotiating Agency Contracts

Christina Nechiporchik News

Staffing shortages continue to dominate the industry rendering it difficult for long-term care providers to maintain consistent levels of staff and quality care. Most providers are watching their staff quit the industry entirely or switch over to temporary staffing agencies to make more money. To ease the staffing burden, providers are requesting assistance from staffing agencies. While this is an efficient solution, providers should try and avoid some common pitfalls when it comes to signing staffing agreements.

The agency and the provider should detail the duties of the temporary employee. The parties should reach an agreement on what constitutes a change or material change in duties that requires notice to and approval by the staffing agency. 

When negotiating the scope of duties, providers should ensure that the staffing agency will be responsible for key employment duties such as: 

  •  Verifying employment eligibility 
  • Conducting a background check that meets all necessary federal, state, and local requirements for the long-term care industry 
  • Confirming that the temporary employee possesses necessary certifications, training, and/or education for the position the provider seeks to fill 
  • Provides documentation of vaccination status for each temporary employee 
  • Retains control over the temporary employee as it pertains to assignments, salary/hourly rate, and duties 
  • Retains the authority to discipline, promote, terminate, and make any other employment decisions  
  • Receiving any job complaints or injury reports from the temporary employee 

 The staffing agency should retain ultimate control over the temporary employee’s duties. It would be helpful to reduce confusion and potential liability if the agency and provider detailed the duties of the temporary employee. The provider should also notify the agency prior to any change in duties. The parties should reach an agreement on what constitutes a change or material change in duties that requires notice to and approval by the staffing agency. 

 Lastly, be sure to have a copy of the contract signed by both parties. While that seems like an obvious request, oftentimes the staffing agency only requires the provider to sign and retains the only copy of the contract.

Visit our Resource & Education Center to download our infographic, 6 Tips for Staffing Contacts. While there you can check out other other helpful information to help you provide the best care for your residents!