Starting any small business has its fair share of challenges, but there may be far more when starting a home healthcare service. This type of business has significant liability and compliance requirements. As an agency, you deliver medical services that are in high demand.
Knowledge & Skills
You will need familiarity or experience in healthcare service, business, and technology to do well:
- Some experience with healthcare procedures and equipment is essential. You should, for instance, be comfortable with an electrocardiogram. When necessary, you should be able to offer an ECG interpretation because you know how to read it. You should also be experienced enough to know what kind of employees you should hire, able to understand their qualifications and assess their competence.
- While not absolutely necessary, some business experience is helpful, too. If you have no idea how to run a business, then you may have difficulty setting it up properly and running it well. If you’ve never run a business, then you should partner with someone with small business experience.
- You should be comfortable with technology, able to learn how to use new technology when necessary. The healthcare field is highly innovative. Healthcare technology is growing at a rapid rate; so, you must be comfortable with learning technical things and hiring technicians.
To set up the business properly, you must understand the requirements for incorporation, licensing, and insurance.
When setting up the legal structure of your business, you must work with an attorney specialized in healthcare for your state. If you don’t get the proper advice on how to set up your business, you will not be prepared if you’re ever sued or faced with a liability claim. Briefly, never set up a sole proprietorship as you’ll take on full liability. Instead, choose a legal structure like a limited liability partnership or a limited liability company.
Find out everything that you need to know from the department of health. You’ll need to be able to show full compliance with your state’s healthcare service requirements. Besides getting a seal of approval for your business, you’ll also need business licensing.
You will need liability insurance to protect your business, as well as insurance for your staff, specifically worker’s compensation insurance, and clinician’s professional liability insurance. You will need to become a Medicare provider because you’ll be working with many elderly people. This means complying with the numerous Medicare regulations and procedures. You will also need to become a provider for the major health maintenance providers and for the preferred provider organizations.
Your home health services will require you to work with medical professionals and administrative staff. These include the following clinicians:
- Registered Nurses
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Respiratory Therapists
Your administrative staff will be business professionals familiar with appointments, bookkeeping, and accounting.
Since hiring or outsourcing the work to the best professional and administrative people is essential to the success of your business, here are three best practices you should consider:
- Organize the recruitment process. You will need detailed documentation. Start with carefully crafted job descriptions and use electronic storage records for all applicants.
- Background checks. You will need to identify the key qualities you are looking for in candidates and be able to verify these through a professional background check service.
- Advertise effectively. There are many ways to attract the right candidates. Use a variety: for instance, a niche job board and social media.
- After you have completed the hiring process you need to make sure that you have all of the required medical devices such as tools, surgical headlights, PPE, and technology in place.
Don’t Underestimate the Task
The good news is that this is an excellent business to start. You will be providing a healthcare service that fulfills an important social need. Once you organize the business properly and run it well, you’ll be pleased to discover that it’s a highly lucrative venture. But the business can only be promising if you go about setting it up and running it the right way. You must establish a solid foundation and understand how to conform to tight regulations.
In conclusion, understand that creating a home health care business is difficult to start from scratch; that is, with no experience in healthcare or business. You must either know what you’re doing based on your own personal experience or work with people who understand this business.