Home health care basically refers to professional caregivers visiting individual’s homes to provide medical and living assistance.
Home health care includes wound care, nursing services, and monitoring of vital signs including temperature, pulse and blood pressure, and rehabilitation services.
States provide licensing to home healthcare agencies to ensure that the medical or non-medical care provided meets the defined standards of health and safety. Through regulation, government authorities protect the users of these services that include the disabled, elderly, and the sick.
As the owner of a home healthcare agency, the topmost priority is to ensure the services you provide are beneficial to clients, safe and comply with local, state and federal laws.
Licensing requirements differ from state to state for home health care agencies. However, in a majority of states, agencies have to pay to acquire a license. Additionally, in eighteen states, home healthcare agencies need to submit certificates of need before they operate.
These certificates enable state authorities to evaluate local demand and control excess supply of these services in the healthcare market. In case there is a local demand for these services, the state may allow the home health agency to operate.
In most states, an on-site inspection is carried out before the authorities issue the license. In some states, you may get a provisional license while the inspection happens later. Specific procedures, protocols and policies have to be followed in this period after getting a provisional license.
Steps to obtain a license for your home health care agency
- Understand your state’s regulations – The first step is to find out the mandatory requirements for licensing in your state. This includes the education, experience and certification requirements for your clinical supervisors, nurses and other staff.
- Find out about the fee – The fee for licensing varies between states. Visit the state website to find out how much you need to pay in your state. For instance, in California, the licensing fee for home health care organizations is around $5,603 that is valid for two years.
- Certificate of Need – A Certificate of Need may be mandatory if you are offering Medicaid and Medicare. Apply for the certificate before you apply for a license.
- Have an office– Whether you choose to operate from your home or a rented space, ensure that the office adheres to your state’s local zoning laws. If operating from a home office, ensure there is a secure place such as a locked room and locked cabinets where client records can be safely stored. Your state may also require you to provide public and staff access during business hours at your office.
- Prepare a business plan – A business plan submission may be required when you apply for your home health agency license. The business plan is also a crucial document that helps you streamline all your business activities and forecasting.
- Register your business – Your business must be registered with the Department of Revenue Services of your state as well as the Secretary of State.
- Hire your core staff – Before applying for the license, hire the clinical supervisor, Registered Nurse, Director of Nursing and Administrator. As per your state regulations, screen the staff that includes criminal background check, random drug testing, and fingerprinting.
Proof of home health care insurance
One of the most important steps in applying for a license for your home health care business is to show proof of home health care insurance.
There are two types of insurance that cover the common risks you encounter in a typical home health business:
- General liability insurance covers your firm when there are third-party claims of property damage or bodily injury. For instance, if your staff accidentally breaks or damages something valuable in the client’s house, the general liability insurance helps cover the costs of such damage.
- Professional liability insurance covers the risks related to your professional practice. Errors in providing care such as administering a wrong medication, delays, inadequate service or other omissions can all attract lawsuits. Whether or not you are at fault, fighting the legal battle in the court can take a heavy toll on your financial health.
By covering the legal costs and compensation costs, the above insurance enables you to protect your business from potential risks. Home health care insurance could provide a good combination of both general liability and professional liability insurance.
Visit Bizinsure website to learn more about business insurance in general and Home Health Liability Insurance in particular today.