How to Start a Home Health Agency-As life expectancy increases in most countries due to better quality of living, increased health awareness, and other factors; there is a booming demand for non-medical home healthcare services, especially by the older generation.
If taking care of other people, especially seniors, is something you love doing, then you can turn this passion into a money-spinning business by starting your own home healthcare agency. Though you don’t necessarily have to be a healthcare professional to tap from this opportunity, it demands a lot of care and forethought because it comes with a significant compliance, responsibility, and liability requirements.
This article discusses the basic requirements for starting a home healthcare business as well as the steps to be taken to lay the right foundation for the business.
What does a home healthcare agency do?
Non-medical home healthcare involves taking care of patients in their homes and helping them achieve full recovery after they might have received professional medical intervention from a hospital, clinic, or some other healthcare facility.
For example, if a patient gets involved in an accident and sustains some injuries, the first point of call for such a patient or the caregiver is undoubtedly the hospital, where examination and treatment will be given.
After the initial examination and treatment, the patient may be discharged but required to check back frequently for routine care of the injuries. This frequenting of the hospital will be rendered unnecessary by a home healthcare service, as the patient can receive all the care and attention from the comfort of their home without having to visit the hospital unless when necessary.
Other instances where home healthcare services are needed are in the care of frail, old people and patients with diabetes, arthritis, and other diseases that require long-term management.
What kind of background do you need?
As stated earlier, you need not be a healthcare professional to start a home healthcare business. However, you will need huge experience in management, since you will have to find and hire qualified caregivers (excellent ones with great skills are a must).
You also need to be a very good salesperson since you will have to meet patients, patients’ relations, and social workers to market your business to them.
How to Start a Home Healthcare Agency – Sample Business Plan Template
1. Incorporate your Business
Chances are high that you will face a lawsuit or a liability claim at one point or the other while rendering your home healthcare services. And taking on full liability as a sole proprietor could be very risky. So, it is highly recommended that you incorporate or choose another liability protection structure such as a limited liability company or a limited liability partnership. You should consult a seasoned attorney who specializes in healthcare to advise you on how to take this important step.
2. Get the needed Licensing
The licensing process is the major hurdle in starting the home healthcare business. You will need to fulfill all requirements before you can obtain the license. These requirements vary by state and country. So you need to visit your state’s department of health to find out the requirements and provisions for starting a home healthcare business.
Before you can get the seal of approval to operate, you will have to make sure you can demonstrate full compliance with these requirements and regulations. Some health departments will require that you take an examination to show that you understand the laws binding healthcare provision and the standards of care and ethics. You will also need to obtain a business license for the state or city you are planning to operate in.
3. Get a Liability insurance cover
Since your business involves some risk, you need liability insurance for the business in general as well as professional liability insurance for your worker’s compensation insurance. You will need to see a seasoned insurance broker who specializes in healthcare to help you devise the right plan.
4.Hire additional staff
Even if you are a home healthcare professional yourself, you will need to hire additional qualified individuals to assist you; even if it going to be on contract basis. These include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and others. All these individuals must be able to conduct themselves professionally and perform their duties properly without supervision.
5. Market your business
After hiring qualified individuals into your team, you can start creating awareness about your business. Visit patients and caregivers and try to convince them to hire your services. Aside cold calling and offline marketing, you should also adopt online marketing strategies such as social media marketing, PPC advertising, classified ads, search engine optimization, and so on.