Increases in the life expectancy of people across the globe have led to an increase in the number of elderly adults aged 65 or above alive today. A UN report states that in 2018, persons aged 65 and above outnumbered children under five across the globe for the first time in the history of humankind.
Thus – there is an enviable opportunity for healthcare professionals and care entrepreneurs to start new initiatives in this sector and make big money. However, running a home health agency is far from easy. Check out the 15 tips for home health agency success below.
Home Health Care Agency: What Is It?
Simply put, home health care is a range of medical and non-medical care services related to health, offered at the residence of a client. Such services usually relate to chronic medical conditions, and hospice services, with older adults being the majority of consumers.
Medical services include, but are not limited to, nursing care, routine health checkups, and different therapeutic services. Routine health monitoring includes checking the state of mental wellbeing also.
Home health care and hospice agencies also offer a range of non-medical, but health-related services. Such services include everything from cooking a meal and housekeeping to driving a client to a medical appointment. Home health care agency employees thus include skilled medical and paramedical professionals such as nurses, therapists and nursemaids, and also medically unskilled health aides.
A home health care agency may offer both skilled and unskilled care services, or either. This guide focuses specifically on home health agencies offering skilled medical care services. In-depth and detailed research of published academic articles and expert interviews informs the suggestions offered here.
Setting Up a Home Health Care Agency: Basic Needs
Some activities are foundational to starting a home health care agency, while other factors determine the probability of success. The foundational components are common with other businesses.
Develop a Business Plan
Putting your ideas down in the form of a formal business plan is a necessary exercise. This is a document that you will need at different stages, and for varied reasons.
A business plan helps you to chisel half-formed thoughts, firm up a strategy, and draw a roadmap for business growth. You will also need a formal business plan for the following essential tasks
- Apply for a license/registration
- Apply for a loan or any other financial support you may need:
Your business plan must contain the following information:
- Executive summary: always write this part last.
- Mission, vision, goals, and objectives of your company.
- Services you plan to offer.
- Marketing plan, including your pricing policy.
- Organizational structure and management approach.
- How you plan to operationalize your company.
- A financial plan, including a cash flow analysis and a break-even projection
Complete the Registration
To start your home health care agency, you will need to register following some specific rule/law in your country. Some countries may need additional; registration also. If you are in the US, for example, you will also need Medicare/Medicaid registration for your agency.
Choose the Best Equipment and the Best Home Health Software for Your Agency
Taking responsibility for the patients is incredibly important undertaking. Their quality of life is in your hands. Taking shortcuts on equipment will only hurt you in the long run. Make sure you purchase quality equipment whether brand new, or lightly used. The upkeep of medical equipment that a client needs and has at home is an important job responsibility as well.
In addition, make sure you choose the best software to run the day to day of your operation and handle clients information. Commonly known as an EMR software, this software eliminates the paper and pen method of documentation which can easily be mismanaged, incorrect and hard to share with team members. With a high performance and cutting edge home health software you can automate much of your admin tasks like EMR records, bookkeeping, billing, etc. The training of staff and the technology you use to run your business and operate day to day functions is super important as well and will call for continued technical training for your staff, but it’s worth it.
Complete Your Staff Selection and Employment Process
Clear Job Descriptions
To be able to look for and hire employees of value, you need to have clear job descriptions for various roles. It is also important to keep the job roles and responsibilities as distinct from each other as possible.
Look for the skills and expertise needed, but do not miss checking for this same streak of compassion in them. A highly skilled medical professional without the willingness to walk the extra mile when necessary is not suitable for a home health agency.
Ability to Work with Minimal Supervision
People with strong team playing needs and skills are not always very suitable for home health agencies. Skilled medical professionals willing to work by themselves in isolation make better employees for home health agencies.
Put Your Marketing Plan in Action
Remember that this is not a step that you take after completing the other necessary tasks. This has to be a simultaneous process. That will help you to rope in clients while you complete the other formalities and logistics.
Experts believe that this line of business is not for everyone. Having the relevant professional skills or the spirit of entrepreneurship is necessary, but not sufficient. People with compassion and an inner calling to help others are best suited for this business line.
Do you identify with these traits? If so, you already have an advantage in running a home health care agency.
An increasing elderly population implies a rise in the need for home-based health and related care services. As of April 2019 that the home health care market across the globe is likely to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%. The forecast is that the value of this market will be US$557.57 billion by 2026.
If compassion drives you, combine the basic steps with these special focus areas to find success in running a home health agency.