There's never been a better time for starting a home health care business. Because of longer life expectancy, there are more senior citizens today than in the past. Analyze your background to discover if you have what is necessary to succeed in this business.
What You Need For This Business
To run a successful home health care business, you'll need:
- Experience, training and certification in the medical (nursing) field (or the capacity to hire those who are trained and certified.)
- Compassion and empathy for the elderly population and for those who are terminally ill.
- The financial means to start this business.
- Capability to accept insurance - private and Medicare/Medicaid.
- Ability to hire, train and organize schedules of employees (or to hire someone who is capable of doing this for you.)
- Ability to meet state, local and national requirements for licensing to operate this type of business.
- Liability insurance.
Choosing a Location
If you've decided this is the entrepreneurial opportunity for you, then you will need to choose a location for your business. It may be possible to operate your home health business from your home (depending on your local zoning laws); however, the most professional business would be located in an office. Placing that office in a high traffic area with high visibility will greatly increase your marketability. Another important aspect of location is to place your business in an area that has a large aging population. You can check this by going over the census profiles for different neighborhoods in your chosen city. Larger cities and counties with large retirement communities would be good candidates for home health businesses.
Once you've narrowed down your list of locations, check into the competition that is already there. Chances are that if there are five home health agencies already operating in an area, your competition may be too great to overcome. However, that also means that you're on the right track - there wouldn't be so many agencies if there were not enough customers / clients to need them.
This is a very important step since the medical field is highly regulated. Check into all local, state and national licenses and certifications you will need in starting a home health care business. The requirements vary from state to state, so what covers one area may not cover another. Be prepared to fill out the required forms, pass all background checks on you and your employees and to undergo inspections to prove that your business is legitimate and trustworthy enough to be accredited and licensed.
Hire Great Employees
It may be possible for you to start this business with only yourself and perhaps one or two part-time workers. However, as your business grows, you will need to think about recruiting, hiring and training skilled employees. Background checks are necessary for home health care employees since they are in a position of great trust. Contractual employees will not receive benefits or salaries like a full-time regular employee would. They are required to pay their own taxes and social security. There are benefits in both situations; only you can decide which employment options are best for your business. If you hire full-time employees, you must follow all employment laws, as well as collecting social security, taxes and performing payroll functions.
Understand and Accept Insurance
It is necessary that you accept insurance payments for this type of business. Each private insurer has different rules, so you will need to contact them directly. You may also choose to accept Medicare / Medicaid. This has the potential to increase your client list. You may be required to obtain surety bond for $50,000 (subject to change) and submit to mandatory inspections. You will be required to already have a certain number of clients and operating funds on hand. All of these requirements are subject to change and variance, so contact your state offices for a current list of regulations.
Starting a Home Health Care Business
While it's not an easy task to start this type of business, it can be very lucrative and personally rewarding as well. It may be helpful if you create a business plan and an action list first to use as a guideline, and then start obtaining the lists of requirements from your local and state agencies.