In the U.S., the demand for home health care will increase with the elderly population going up to 83 million by 2050. More and more people who need medical assistance prefer being looked after at home rather than moving to assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
If you have a background in healthcare and would love to take care of the ill, elderly or disabled, becoming a home health care provider is the right career choice.
A home health care provider offers skilled therapeutic services such as nursing services, rehabilitation services, physiotherapy, and occupational or speech therapy. These skilled services are delivered by trained medical professionals in the patient’s own home.
Steps to become a Home Health Care provider in the U.S.
License and certification: To receive Medicare payment, your Home Health Care agency has to meet with your state’s requirements for a license. You also need to incorporate your business and obtain tax identification apart from registering for a National Provider Identification number.
The next step is to obtain Medicaid and Medicare certifications which can take anywhere from a few months to a year.
Create a business plan: As with other businesses, Home health care requires thorough planning and forecasting to ensure success. A business plan is the roadmap of the actions to take, timeline, budget, logistics, resources and marketing plan to kickstart your business and sustain it.
While clinical knowledge is important. business acumen is equally critical to ensure your business is profitable.
Your business plan should include microscopic details of:
- Market research: Market research is the crucial aspect of your business plan and includes a study of the competitive landscape and how your business can make a real difference. This helps you decide what services you can offer that your competitors in the area do not. A competitive analysis helps you refine your recruitment and marketing strategies by understanding what worked and what did not.
- Capital expenditure: To provide high-quality home health care services, you require a list of expensive and sophisticated medical equipment. Make a detailed list of the inventory you need at the offset. The other starting expenses include office supplies, office rental, nursing supplies and business development.
- Cash flow: Once you know your starting expenses, include the details of funding and cash flow in your plan. The traditional routes of raising capital are small business loans, bank loans, angel investors or your own savings. Develop a careful plan for cash flow management as it might take anywhere from three to six months to expand your client base and establish your billing cycle with Medicaid and Medicare.
- Marketing plan: From setting up a professional website to networking with community and professional groups, a refined marketing plan goes a long way in getting referrals and new clients.
Staffing: Your staff will reflect and represent your home health care business which is why it is important to hire the best professionals.
If you are not a medical professional, you need to hire a qualified clinical supervisor to meet with Medicare and state requirements. While you can hire other front-line staff such as nurses and therapists, you can outsource the work to professional agencies to save on costs.
Conduct a detailed background check on everyone you intend to hire. Your business could face crippling legal action for suboptimal treatment delivered by a staff with previous history of malpractice.
Why do you need a Home Health Liability Insurance?
Many small business owners get General Liability insurance to protect themselves against risks such as property damage and bodily injury that are caused by their businesses. For instance, if a client slips and falls when your home health care staff were providing service and files a lawsuit against you, the General Liability insurance covers the claims.
Additionaly, as a Home Health Care provider, you also need to protect yourself against professional liabilities that arise as a result of your service. A patient can file a claim against you for negligence or for failing to perform your professional duty. You may also be held liable for a staff member’s error or omission. For instance, a client can file a lawsuit for sending an untrained home health care aide.
A home health liability insurance covers professional liability claims and general liabilities. Visit Bizinsure website to learn more about Home Health Liability Insurance and get a free quote online quickly.