The home health care industry has been growing at a rapid pace over the past few years. According to an online report, the value of the home health care market was somewhere around $182.3 billion in 2020. By 2027, it is expected to reach almost $316 billion. If your entrepreneurial spirit is driven by humanitarian interests, starting a home health care business might be the right choice for you. It will give you a chance to make a positive change in the lives of people by helping them age comfortably.
In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about starting a home health care business, from the certifications, training to the license requirements. Let’s dive right in.
What is Home Health Care?
Before you consider starting a home health care business, it is important to understand what entails. In the home health care industry, there are two forms of services provided to people – skilled home health care and non-medical home health care. In non-medical home health care, assistance is provided for small tasks related to daily living like housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. This type of home health care is usually provided to people with disabilities or senior citizens who wish to remain in their homes. In skilled home health care, therapeutic and nursing services are provided to a patient in their own home. Skilled and non-medical home health care services find applications in different kinds of scenarios.
Home Health Care Business: Types
When you decide to start a home health aide business, the first step is to determine which type of business you will be opening. The type of home health care business you choose decides the kind of employees and professional caregivers you will need to hire and the laws that you will need to adhere to. You have the option to choose between two types of home health aide agencies –
1. Home Care Agency
These agencies help people in aging comfortably in a place. The potential clients for such a business consist of senior citizens in need of assistance. If the clients are in a healthy mental state, instead of admitting them to a nursing home, they can be cared for in their own home. Meanwhile, relatives will have peace of mind knowing that their loved one is adequately taken care of. For a home care agency, you only need to hire caregivers, nursing assistants, and aides with relevant HHA certifications. Services provided in a home care agency consist of –
- Hygiene and personal care assistance
- Meal preparation
- Reminders for medication
- Help with laundry
Even if your employees have a relevant home health care certificate, errors are mistakes can happen anywhere. To protect yourself from liabilities and claims, you can consider getting insurance for your Home Health Care business.
2. Home health care agency
Although the name sounds somewhat similar, home health care agencies are markedly different from home care businesses. In addition to providing assistance and companionship, home health care agencies also provide other services which can only be fulfilled by medical professionals and nurses. Opening a home health care agency is a little more difficult as the regulations for such a business are pretty strict. It’s possible that your state would require Medicaid certifications too. Services offered in a home health care agency consist of –
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Wound care
- Palliative care
- Occupational therapy
- Checking of blood pressure
Business Plan for a Home Health Care Business
It is also important to have a business plan in place before you start a home health care agency. Here are some things you should consider while formulating a business plan –
- Choose a good name for your home health care agency and also write a company description.
- Make sure that enough working capital is allocated for staying afloat in the first year.
- Determine the ownership structure of your home health care agency.
- Obtain an employer identification number that helps the IRS in identifying your business.
- Determine if you require a local state license.
- Make sure that you have a separate bank account for all operations.
- Create an online presence of your business, and also make a marketing plan, financial plan, and operational plan.
Legal Requirements for Starting a Home Health Care Business
If you want to set up a successful home health care business, it is important to know about the licensing and legal requirements, besides the insurance information. You have to ensure that every part of your business is in line with the federal and state departments of health. In some states, home health care trainees can be asked to undergo training (40 or more hours) from a local licensing authority. Some states might also ask for Medicaid and Medicare certificates before allowing them to provide any of the home health aide services. If you are thinking of starting a Home Health Care business, you should ensure that your employees have undergone the relevant training and classes. You can also benefit from getting insurance as it will protect your business against claims and lawsuits. Visit this website to know more.
Licenses required for setting up a home health care agency
If you want to start a home health care business that provides non-medical/medical services, it is important to acquire the correct provincial and state licenses for the same. The process of getting approval for the licenses takes a long time, from 1 month to a year in some cases. Besides, they also differ from state to state sometimes. The licensing requirements in California would be different from that in Maine or Washington. Thus, it is important that you plan the licensing process accordingly.
Do I need insurance for starting a home health care agency?
Before starting any business, you should be prepared for some setbacks. Besides, healthcare is generally a risky industry. Having proper insurance will ensure that you would not have to make out-of-pocket expenditures for any liabilities you might encounter during a mishap. Even a single mishap during company time can significantly affect the financial viability of your business in the long term. Professional liability insurance can protect you from negligence, clinician misconduct, and medical malpractice lawsuits. In some states, you might also be legally required to provide your employees with disability insurance, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. With the right insurance, you will be able to protect your home health care business in the face of unexpected things.
The demand for private home health care services is continuously rising. If you are thinking of starting a home health care agency, now is a perfect time. With the wealth of information and tips provided in this article, you will be able to set up your home health care agency in no time. Make sure that the caregivers and other employees in your agency are adequately trained in home health care and possess the relevant certifications. By fulfilling all the legal requirements, you will be able to ensure that your home health care agency is fully compliant.