A home health care agency is a business that provides certified nursing and home health aides to private customers. These professionals typically provide light medical care, such as administering medicine and taking vital signs, and performing light housework, such as cooking, housekeeping and shopping, for the elderly, invalid or others who are not able perform said functions on their own. In 2008, U.S. News & World Report indicated that home health care agencies were one of the best small businesses to start, due to anticipated industry growth. Entrepreneurs entering this field must be conscious of potential problems they may encounter with launching this new business.
Although a formal education is not required to open a home health care agency, an operating license is required in most jurisdictions. Licensing requirements vary from place to place, but, depending upon the type of license that must be obtained, this may be hurdle for some entrepreneur. Many jurisdictions require that a detailed package be included with a licensing application. Entrepreneurs may have to submit a formal business plan, an in-depth description of planned operational policies, as well as the resumes and documentation prospective employees’ professional licensing. In addition, many locales require that applicants successfully pass a criminal background screening.
A home health care agency is only as good as the quality of its staff. An agency can ensure it establishes and maintains a stellar reputation by hiring only the best most qualified caregivers. Identifying top-tier candidates, however, can be a challenge. That said, that are a variety of options an entrepreneur may use to overcome this obstacle. A cost effective method for recruiting talent is by working with a local community college or proprietary school that offers training to prospective certified nursing aides. These institutions are obligated to secure employment for as many matriculating students as possible, so will most likely welcome a partnership. Alternatively, home health care agencies with larger budgets and not much time to fill job openings can engage the services of local staffing firms that specialize in the placement of entry-level medical professionals.
New home health care agencies must tackle the problem of finding clients to serve. Although this may not be much of a hurdle for entrepreneurs with industry experience, it can definitely be a challenge to those without a professional network. In addition to placing traditional advertisements, an agency can also have business referred from other agencies in the local health care community. Long-term care facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and social workers all partner with home health care agencies to provide care for their patients and clients.