Starting a home care business is not an easy endeavor. There are many regulations that you need to follow, and there are lots of things to consider before doing so. However, if you plan well and take the time to research what’s expected of your new business, starting a home care company can be very rewarding financially as well as personally rewarding. It takes some work but it’ll be worth it in the end.
What is a home health care business?
A home health care business is a company that provides services to people in their homes. They provide care for those who can’t go out on their own or need additional help around the house. This could include the elderly, sick, handicapped, and others who might be homebound due to some type of illness or injury. It is important to learn more about the process of acquiring the necessary licenses and permits as they vary from state to state. You will need several different licenses and permits to start a home health care business.
To operate any sort of health care business, you will need to meet and follow all state and federal regulations. You will also need a quality website to attract new patients and clients who might use your services.
Types of permits
The most important is the license from your state’s Department of Health or Board of Home Health Care. Not all states require this, but many do have rules governing what home health care businesses can and cannot do. In addition, health care providers that visit clients in their homes must adhere to the regulations and restrictions set forth by both state and federal (Medicare/Medicaid) agencies. It’s important when starting a home health care business to find out what these rules are for your particular state.
The second license or permit you may need is from your city or county. This license is required by some cities and counties for a home health care agency to conduct business within its limits. You may also need a sales/use tax permit from the state’s Tax Commission. Your customers will pay you on a contract basis, so you should charge them sales tax on those payments, but you’ll be reimbursed by the state for those amounts. Some states require this, some don’t. It’s best to check with your local tax board as well as the Financial Department of your state.
Taxes are something that will have to be addressed when starting a home health care business. You need to find out what tax laws are in your state and how they apply to you when you’re starting a home health care business.
If you’re planning on hiring employees as part of your home health care business plan, then you might be able to take advantage of certain deductions that the IRS allows businesses. For example, if you hire employees to help run your business at home, then you can deduct part of their salaries for your home office. Deductible expenses also include things like insurance premiums for your workers, repairs, and maintenance on equipment used to care for patients in their homes, depreciation on this equipment, and other related expenses.
Find a location to operate your business
When choosing a location for your home health care business, you must choose a place that is centrally located to get the most out of your location. Your business will be closest to the people who live in a certain area. If your business is only a short distance from your customers, then they’re more likely to use you instead of another agency.
You might want to find out if any licensed professionals operate out of the same location you’re considering checking out. It would be in your best interest to make sure this location is up to code when it comes to fire codes, building inspections, and other requirements in the area where you want to operate your business.
If you’re setting up your home health care business on a rented or leased site, then you’ll have to deal with rent or lease issues. Some landlords are happy to have health care businesses as tenants because they understand the type of clients these agencies serve continually pass through their doors.
Research insurance options
Obtaining insurance coverage for yourself, employees, and clients is something that will have to be included in your costs of doing business. Insurance is important for any business, but it’s even more so for home health care agencies where employees complete tasks such as changing bandages or taking vital signs.
When you’re looking at insurance options, make sure that your choices provide sufficient coverage for the kind of work you’ll be doing. In most cases, a business owner’s policy will cover employees who perform these services in an employer/employee relationship. Ask your insurance agent to explain all of the benefits and liabilities involved with your specific situation.
A professional liability insurance policy will help protect you from claims made by clients of your home health care agency, so this is something that you’ll have to add to your insurance costs. When choosing a policy, be sure that it will cover the types of care that your employees provide in their clients’ homes.
For any home health care agency to succeed, it needs to have a steady stream of income coming in from somewhere. There are many possible sources of income:
One main source of income for a home health care agency is patients. Patients can pay for services out of their own pockets, or you can bill them through an insurance company if your services meet the requirements set by the patient’s policy. You can also use third-party billing companies like Medi-Source or American Collections Agency.
Every state has its plan that pays for home health care services not covered by the other programs. To find out what benefits are available to you, call your local Social Security office or the closest regional Medicare office. Local offices for Medicaid and other assistance programs can be found in the telephone directory under the United States Government or State Government.
Private insurance companies
Many private insurance plans cover home health care services. Your state’s department of health may have a list of insurance plans that provide this type of coverage.
In some cases, you’ll be able to get paid directly from a patient or his family for the care he receives at home. However, if the services are going to be covered by a third-party payer such as an insurance company, then it’s illegal for the patient to pay you. Usually, your business will receive money from the third-party payer, and then you’ll have to make arrangements with the patient about reimbursement.
Long-term care facilities
This is an expanded role for home health care agencies. When you get more experience in providing these services, you may want to provide them directly to clients who are unable to live alone.
Starting a home health care business can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s important to do your research first. Make sure you understand the insurance requirements and income sources that are available to you and plan accordingly. With the right planning and preparation, your home health care agency can provide much-needed services to your community.