The aging population growth and the preference of many older people to remain in their homes around familiar surroundings is one reason why home health care businesses will be growing in the years to come. Starting a home health care business requires research on the industry as well as state and local regulations, but it can be a financially rewarding business.
Below are several steps that have to be thoroughly researched and explored, but if done correctly will help you when starting a home health care business:
Review local home health care business regulations – each state will have rules and regulations regarding starting home health care businesses. Check with the local state department to determine which agency handles those regulations and request information. This is important to ensure that the business is meeting licensing and regulatory requirements from the first day of operations.
Determine services provided – researching the types of home care services to be provided can help determine if there is a need for those services. Research other local home care agencies to determine the services being offered. Developing a special niche of services will set the home business apart from the competitors, such as offering medical services if the competition only provides non-medical care.
Decide on the type of business entity – the business can be a sole proprietor, corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership. It is best to consult with an attorney and tax accountant about which entity works best relative to tax liability, payroll, sales tax, worker’s compensation and business liability.
Obtain a business license – each business must have an Employee Identification Number (EIN) from the federal government. This number is easily obtained online, or by calling the IRS, and does not cost money. This number is like the business’ social security number for tax and liability purposes. Protect the number the same as a social security number.
Determine hours of business operation – will the home health care agency operation around-the-clock, or only specific hours of the day? This is where understanding the competition in the area can help with developing a niche that differentiates the business from competitors. If most home health care companies only provide daytime services, offering nighttime services can mean getting more business from customers who require evening or overnight care.
Develop employee requirements and job descriptions – if offering non-medical services only, the skills required by employees will be different than a home health care business that offers medical services. Finding quality, dependable employees can be a major part of operating a home health care business. Contact local CNA (certified nursing assistant) schools, as well as nursing or other health care training schools to determine availability of competent graduates on an on-going basis. Marketing a skilled, trained staff will solidify the reputation of the business. Developing long-term relationships with training schools and agencies will generate a supply of available qualified, licensed staff. All staff should be required to pass federal criminal background checks and random drug testing.
Obtain liability insurance – it is very important to have full liability insurance when operating a home health care business. Consult a licensed insurance agency to make sure that the insurance protects the owner, employees, and business from liability.
Apply for Medicaid and Medicare acceptance, as well as private insurance – many insurance companies are paying for home care services in lieu of expensive hospital or nursing home care. Applying and meeting the guidelines of all insurers will result in a wider range of eligible patients, as well as a reliable stream of income.
Determine minimum start-up costs, and work with local business start-up agencies to develop a business plan that will result in obtaining loans and funding for starting a home health care business. A business plan is not only for submitting to banks for funding, but will also serve as the guiding principles for the home health care business.