Starting a business is always daunting but it is one that carries limitless opportunities. One business that you might be considering is starting a home health care agency. One day, you might even think about putting up your home health agency for sale. Before you get there though, keep reading to find out how you can start and build a good home health care agency.
What is a Home Health Care Agency?
When members of the family reach their senior years, the family has a few options when it comes to their health and medical care. For some families, especially those without the time and resources to take care of their elders, they can send their elderly family members to a retirement home as the facilities and personnel are specifically catered to taking care of them.
However, many seniors do not like this option and would prefer to stay in the comfort of their own home. This is where a home health care agency comes in.
With a home health care agency, seniors can enjoy living in their own homes and wait for a registered nurse or caretaker to arrive and help them perform daily tasks and provide simple medical treatments (e.g., taking their medicine, checking blood pressure, etc.).
Essentially, a home health care agency provides at-home day-to-day assistance. Some agencies can even provide additional services that extend beyond the medical scope such as preparing meals and cleaning the house.
The services of a home health care agency can be categorized into different groups. For example, the services listed above would fall under traditional home health care. Some home health care agencies can also provide home hospice care for providing end-of-life care or for individuals with terminal diseases.
Personnel for this service are specialized in palliative care such as pain management. Home health care can also include home therapy for individuals that have suffered injuries or accidents and are in need of physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological support, and even dietary guidance.
How to Start a Home Health Care Agency
- Get Registered
Just like any other business, the first step to start your home health care agency is to get the business registered in your state or local government. Starting a business typically entails getting a tax identification and registering for your NPI (National Provider Identification) number.
Registering a business also means you should have a business name prepared. Business names are important because that is what people would have to remember. Some recommend making business names informative upon first glance which means that they should already have an idea that you work in home health care when they read the name for the first time.
- Obtain Health Care Certificates
One thing that differs home health care with other businesses is that a significant portion of the payment coming in to home health care agencies are actually from insurance and not out-of-pocket.
In the US, starting a home health care agency requires obtaining certificates from Medicare and Medicaid so that clients can avail of home care services through those programs.
- Hire Staff
Some businesses rely on their goods to be renowned. However, in this type of business – it’s the service. Thus, hiring the proper staff will be one of the most important decisions to make. For a home health care agency, there are a wide variety of personnel you need to hire. Primarily, you would need certified and registered health care providers such as nurses and caretakers.
Keep in mind that it is important to thoroughly screen and perform background checks on potential hires because legal action can be taken against problematic employees.
- Get Clients
One you have registered your business, acquired the necessary certifications, and hired an assortment of specialized personnel, then it is time to actually get clients. It’s time to get your name out there and do some marketing.
Before anything else, you need to make a website for your business. Having an online presence is one of the most important factors for businesses these days because people don’t look for ads on the newspaper anymore – they check the internet.
An easy way to effectively market and get clients these days is to utilize social media. Everyone one is on a social media platform one way or another and a good business maximizes their marketing through these platforms. Increase your internet availability by linking your social media accounts back to the official business website.
Since your target clientele might be from older generations, then you can always resort to marketing outside of the internet. Traditional marketing strategies such as newspaper ads, posters, and pamphlets can still do wonders.
One thing that will help build credibility for your business is to join organizations and associations. For example, people might be more comfortable trying out your services if they know that your business is a member of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
The senior population is increasing every day and it takes foresight to create a business that revolves around health and care for those without the ability to take care of themselves. For the most part, starting a home health care agency is almost the same as starting any other business except for some steps. However, an additional step that you should take is make a business plan. Business plans are always prerequisites for every business to provide guidance to this business venture.