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Starting Your Own Home Care Business
Home care agencies continue to grow in popularity due to our aging population and preference of many older Americans to be cared for in their homes. Starting a home care business to meet this great demand for in-home care may potentially be a rewarding business enterprise.
Skilled home health agency vs. non-medical home care agency
Initially it is very important to understand the distinction between starting a medical skilled home health agency versus a non-medical home care agency. Basically non-medical home care services include personal care, assistance with daily living activities, meal preparation, housekeeping and transportation. Such services are often vital for folks to remain safe and comfortable in their homes. Private pay rather then 3rd party billing sources are the most common form of payment for non-medical care.
Medical skilled home health agencies as the name implies administer skilled licensed nursing and rehab therapy services under physician's orders with strict guidelines imposed. Medical home health agencies require extensive licensures including Medicare and Medicaid certifications. Most newcomers to this field are more likely to consider the less complicated non-medical home care venture with typically lower start-up costs. The focus here is aimed at this non-medical home care agency start-up.
Your next decision is whether to start a home care business on your own or team up with a home care franchise. There are pros and cons for both but basically franchise fees provide a business model along with start-up guidance and ongoing support. Launching out on your own usually has lower start-up costs without entry or re-occurring franchise fees, less hand-holding but more independence with business strategies. When electing the independent option, write a detailed plan of how you will start, operate, and grow your business.
Training and medical background
Formal training or a medical background is not required for owning and managing a home care agency. Many healthcare workers find this business endeavor attractive due their experience but it is by no means a prerequisite. Strong communication and organization skills with a well planned business strategy are more fundamental to success. Licensure requirements vary widely from state to state for non-medical home care agencies however are generally not so complex to discourage many from undertaking. Start by contacting your state licensing board to request a package or kit detailing all requirements. See lists of state contacts below.
Basic Requirements and Advice
Some basic requirements apply to starting a home care business similar to that of most other businesses including the following:
1. Set up Business Entity
Set up the business entity that will best fit your needs. (Sole proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, S Corporation, C Corporation) Consult with an attorney and or CPA or research online on your state government website (www.state.(your state initials).us about appropriate business structure, info regarding payroll, sales tax, workers compensation and business liability insurance.
2. Obtain Employer ID Number
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS (IRS form SS-4) similar to your personal social security number to identify your business with regards to tax liability
3. Register with Secretary of State
Register your business with Secretary of State in your state. Decide on a business name and check availability in your state including consideration for domain name for website. When approved have letterhead, business cards, brochures printed.
4. Check on license requirements
Check on requirements for city or county business license and apply as needed
5. Prepare your finances
Establish a business checking account and credit card account and apply for business loans if required to meet start-up costs. Set up a computerized accounting system.
6. Write or buy a Policy and Procedures Manual
Write or purchase a policy and procedures manual to address new client admissions, plan of care, scheduling, employee and payroll records, orientation, in-service training, client billing.
7. Find and hire caregivers
Find and hire the best caregivers available as the reputation of your business weighs heavily upon the quality of care delivered. Spend time interviewing prospects and checking references to find most competent, compassionate and resourceful caregivers.
Post employment ads on relevant job internet sites, at local community colleges with CNA and nursing programs and local newspapers.
8. Connect with referral sources
Determine best sources for referrals in your area such as connecting with long-term care facilities and hospital discharge social workers. Contact local physicians, senior centers and rehab outpatient centers to reach prospective clients.
9. Build a website
Hire a website designer to create a professional website with content directed towards internet savvy adult children of seniors who are responsible for securing home care services. Post your agency listing on established elder care websites with strong internet presence for greatest exposure.
10. Find an office space
Find a location where care is affordable to population and without excessive competition. Save your money on costly high traffic commercial office space and instead find a cheaper accessible location for your employees.
11. Be creative with scheduling
Be creative with scheduling to manage ever changing balance of employees with client needs. Turning away clients is harmful for future referrals but at same time risking poor care due to lack of staff is equally damaging to a company's reputation.
12. Attitude is everything!
Be resourceful in managing day to day operations. Be thoughtful and respectful to your employees. Be understanding and accomodating to your clients needs. Reflect upon reasons you started your own business in the beginning and when times are tough and take time to savor the small accomplishments along the way.Alabama Alabama Department of Human Resources Public Information Number: 1-334-242-1310 http://www.dhr.state.al.us/ Alaska Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Public Information Number: 1-907-465-3030 http://www.hss.state.ak.us/ Arizona Arizona Department of Economic Security Public Information Number: 1-602-542-4791 http://www.de.state.az.us/ Arkansas Arkansas Department of Human Services (ADHS) Public Information Number: 1-501-661-2201 http://www.arkansas.gov/dhhs/homepage.html California California Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-916-455-6951 or 1-916-654-3345 http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/ Colorado Colorado Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-303-866-5700 or 2-1-1 http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/ Connecticut Connecticut Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-800-824-1508 http://www.ct.gov/dss/site/default.asp Delaware Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Public Information Number: 1-302-577-4502 http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/ District of Columbia D.C. Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-202-INFO-211 (1-202-463-6211) http://www.dhs.dc.gov/ Florida Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Public Information Number: 1-850-488-1295 http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/ Georgia Georgia Department of Human Resources Public Information Number: 1-404-651-6314 http://www.dhr.state.ga.us/ Hawaii Hawaii Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-808-586-4997 http://www.hawaii.gov/dhs Idaho Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Public Information Number: 1-208-334-6558 http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/ Illinois Illinois Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-217-557-1601 http://www.dhs.state.il.us/ Indiana Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Public Information Number: 1-317-232-7020 http://www.in.gov/fssa Iowa Iowa Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-515-281-3147 http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/ Kansas Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Public Information Number: 1-785-296-3271 http://www.srskansas.org/ Kentucky Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Public Information Number: 1-502-564-7042 http://chfs.ky.gov Louisiana Louisiana Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-225-342-7475 http://www.dss.state.la.us/ Maine Maine Department of Health and Human Services Public Information Number: 1-207-287-3707 http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ Maryland Maryland Department of Human Resources Public Information Number: 1-800-332-6347 or 1-410-767-7109 http://www.dhr.state.md.us/ Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-617-748-2000 http://www.mass.gov/dss Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Public Information Number: 1-617-727-7600 http://www.mass.gov/eohhs Michigan Michigan Department of Community Health Public Information Number: 1-517-373-3740 http://www.michigan.gov/mdch Minnesota Minnesota Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-651-296-6117 http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/ Mississippi Mississippi Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-800-345-6347 or 1-601-359-4480 http://www.mdhs.state.ms.us/ Missouri Missouri Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-800-735-2466 or 1-573-751-4815 http://www.dss.mo.gov/ Montana Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Public Information Number: 1-406-444-5622 http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/ Nebraska Nebraska Health and Human Services System Public Information Number: 1-402-471-9433 http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/ Nevada Nevada Department of Human Resources Public Information Number: 1-775-687-4000 http://dhhs.nv.gov/ New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Public Information Number: 1-603-271-4685 http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/ New Jersey New Jersey Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-609-292-5325 http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices New Mexico New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department Public Information Number: 1-505-827-7602 http://www.cyfd.org/ New Mexico Human Services Department Public Information Number: 1-505-827-7750 http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/ New York Office of Children & Family Services http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/ New York State Department of Health Public Information Number: 1-518-474-5422 http://www.health.state.ny.us/ North Carolina North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Public Information Number: 1-919-733-4534 http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/ North Dakota North Dakota Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-701-328-2310 http://www.nd.gov/humanservices/ Ohio Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Public Information Number: 1-614-466-6282 http://jfs.ohio.gov/ Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-405-521-3646 http://www.okdhs.org/ Oregon Oregon Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-800-422-6012 or 1-503-945-5944 http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/index.shtml Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Public Information Number: 1-717-787-2600 http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ServicesPrograms/ Rhode Island Rhode Island Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-401-462-2121 http://www.dhs.state.ri.us/ South Carolina South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Public Information Number: 1-803-898-2500 http://www.state.sc.us/dss/ South Carolina Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-803-898-7601 Tennessee Tennessee Office of Licensure Public Information Number: 1-615-532-6590 http://www.tn.gov/mental Texas Texas Health and Human Services Commission http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/ Utah Utah Department of Health Public Information Number: 1-801-538-6101 http://www.health.state.ut.us/ Utah Department of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-801-538-4001 http://www.dhs.state.ut.us/ Vermont Vermont Agency of Human Services Public Information Number: 1-802-241-2220 http://www.ahs.state.vt.us/ Virginia Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services Public Information Number: 1-804-786-7933 http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/ Virginia Department of Social Services Public Information Number: 1-804-692-1901 http://www.dss.state.va.us/ Washington Washington Department of Social and Health Services Public Information Number: 1-360-902-7800 http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/ West Virginia West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Public Information: 1-304-558-0684 http://www.wvdhhr.org/ Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services Public Information Number: 1-608-266-9622 http://www.dhfs.state.wi.us/ Wyoming Wyoming Department of Health Public Information Number: 1-307-777-7656 http://wdh.state.wy.us/main/index.asp
Category: Home business