How to Start a Home Health Agency

Home health agencies are doing well in spite of today's high healthcare costs. This is because it's cheaper and often preferable for patients to get the health care they need in their own homes from qualified nurses, rather than in an institution. You can start a home health agency by following these tips:

  1. Decide on offered health care Decide if your home health agency will provide medical or non-medical care. Licensure requirements vary greatly from state to state for each type of healthcare. Contact your state health and licensing boards for detailed requirements [source: Care Pathways].
  2. Register your business Find out what your state's legal requirements are for starting a business. You'll also need to look into your state's insurance requirements. Come up with a name for your company. File for a Federal Identification Number and register your business in your state. You may want to enlist the help of a lawyer, especially if you want to incorporate your business [source: SBA].
  3. Establish policies and procedures You can purchase a policy and procedures manual or write your own. This manual will list your policies and procedures for admitting new clients, determining care plans, scheduling, employee and payroll records, training, billing and other aspects of your home healthcare business [source: Care Pathways].
  4. Hire caregivers Find the best and most experienced caregivers. Post employment ads on Web sites, in newspapers and anywhere a potential employee might look. Spend time interviewing candidates and checking their references to make sure you only hire the best [source: Care Pathways].
  5. Find clients Advertise you new business through agencies, newspapers, magazines and Web sites. Create a professional Web site to market your agency and your qualified caregivers. Connect with local long-term care facilities, social workers, physicians and clinics for leads on new customers. Senior centers and rehab outpatient centers are also great for finding clients [source: Care Pathways].