Because the US home healthcare market is expected to grow to $173 billion annually by 2026, starting your own home health agency could be a lucrative choice, while also giving you opportunities to provide care and comfort to those who need it. For many, these are attractive reasons to start a home health business, but it’s important to understand everything you’ll need to succeed before you get started. From general business knowledge to specific home health requirements, all the way to customer care so you can retain clients, here’s what you need to know.

Legal Requirements for Starting a Home Health Agency

When beginning your home health agency, it’s important to take into consideration all the legal requirements like certifications, licensure, license wait times, approval wait times, and more. Licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure you’ve located all requirements for your state. Before completing an application, you must already have an office location secured, as well as a business plan drafted. Then, the agency must be registered with the Secretary of State through filing your business name. Next, your staff need to undergo the approved training requirements for your state. Finally, you must purchase insurance.

The state license for home care requires information about the potential business’s structure in addition to criminal background checks for all higher-level management. State licenses can vary based on the type of services—non-medical (personal care and housekeeping) or medical home health care (skilled nursing in addition to non-medical care). Wait times range from three to eighteen months. Make sure your documents are thoroughly reviewed and done correctly. Incomplete or incorrect documents tend to be rejected.

Keeping Clients Happy

It’s easier than you may think to keep your home care clients happy. Above all, your clients just want to be treated like human beings by a human being. That means treating them with the respect they deserve in an honest, caring way. By engaging with your clients and listening to what they have to say, you’ll know what kind of service and support they need. What better way to develop new strategies than to take your customers’ needs into account?

Dignity and its Impact on Client Retention

It’s not easy to rely on others after a life spent with independence, and that loss of freedom can make many feel as though they’ve lost their personhood. When you listen to your clients and really hear what they say, you give them dignity.

It’s that personal touch, listening to your clients and acting upon what they tell you, that will set you apart from your competitors. It may not seem like much, but you can’t underestimate the power of dignity and trust. It’s that trust that will build loyalty among your clients, and perhaps inspire them to send more potential clients your way.

Value Add Suggestions for Home Health Agency

Not all home health agencies are created equally. Those that provide more value for the money are the ones that will stand out among the crowd. Become an advocate for your clients by fully understanding each individual’s needs. When they realize they’re not just a number, they’ll see value in what you provide. That in-depth knowledge of your clients’ health histories will also help you better liaise with their healthcare providers and your home health staff so they always get the best possible care.

These are just a few things that can set your home health agency apart from the crowd. If you need assistance running all facets of your home health business, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here with a wide variety of consulting options to take some of the weight from your shoulders so you can always give your clients the care and service they deserve.