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Ankota: Home Care Next Generation Blog

5 Steps to Consider When Starting a Homecare Agency via Kenyon Homecare Consulting

One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).
 
bigstock-Get-started-now-stickers-set-33758699-272x300Starting a home health agency takes many steps. Whether you want to bill Medicare or not, state and federal regulations need to be followed before you ever see a patient. You must understand the rules and do it right. Let’s look at first steps and then ways to make it easier. 
 

Steps To Starting A Home Health Agency: 

If there is a way to complete this process smoothly, then why struggle? It is because the cart is usually before the horse. Here are 5 steps in the process of starting a home health that often end up bumpier than necessary. 

  • Service Area: Two mistakes are commonly made here. The first is taking on a huge service area that increases costs per visit to a level you can’t sustain without revenue. The other is the opposite. If you only take a very small area, then likely you do not have the ability to obtain the numbers of patients needed to stay in business.  Complete some form of feasibility for the target area. 
  • Hiring: In a perfect world, we would be at full capacity from the day we open our doors. Many start-ups begin hiring too many people and costs go through the roof. To begin, you need the core individuals to service your 10 clients for survey. Have contracts in place. These initial staff will help to train as you expand. 
  • Licensing/ Certification: You obviously need to obtain state licensure where required. You must have a tax ID and NPI for your business and you need to determine what type of legal entity you will be. It may be an LLC. or you may already have a company in place. 
  • Accreditation: When starting a home health agency, you may be waiting on your state for survey for a lot longer than expected. With an accrediting body like CHAP or ACHC, you will have guidance for survey, and it is typical to see them present in the agency within a month of  notification that you are ready. Without this, you must continue operations and paying staff with no reimbursement indefinitely. 
  • Policy/ Procedures: If you purchase a manual, you should have the ability to edit it to meet your agency needs. Make sure you do it. Manuals with no personalization are easy citations on survey. No surveyor expects things to be perfect for someone starting a home health agency, but there must be an effort to show true compliance. 

This is Just A Small Part Of The List

Doing any of the items improperly or without an efficient timeline costs a lot of money. At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help you move through the process effectively. We can get you ready for survey from A to Z. We have competitive start-up packages that work for you. Call 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation. 

This article entitled, "Starting A Home Health Agency: Make Sure Your Head Knows What It’s Doing Before Your Feet Start Running!" first appeared in the Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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If you'd like to learn more about managing a Home Care business, please download Ankota's free e-Book by clicking the link below:

"Home Care 101" - Free eBook

provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

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