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Agency Startups & Diversification

Starting A Homecare Agency Takes Time. Don’t Try To Do In Minutes What Takes Hours or You Will Be Battling Uphill From Start To Finish!

starting a homecare agencyYou may see a lot of info out there about starting a home health agency. Maybe you don’t want to be a Medicare provider. Starting a homecare agency means less hoops to jump through compared to Medicare, but you still need to complete the steps properly. Here are the steps to make sure you start out on the right foot. 

License Requirements: 

Most states require licensure when starting a homecare agency. You need to research the licensing requirements with your state Department of Health to determine your ability to apply. Requirements vary for each state, so do not assume everything is the same if you have been in another state practicing. 

Structure Of Homecare Agency: 

Are you an individual beginning this venture? If not, how many partners do you have? These items will affect how you want to enter the business. To determine whether you want to enter as a sole proprietor or an LLC, you can research the process online. There are many resources about this type of venture. In addition, you will need to get an EIN number for tax purposes which we be part of the business development process. The EIN is necessary for your business license. 

Business Plan: 

You need to determine the type of clients you can and will be able to service in starting your homecare agency. You need the business structure including policy and procedure manuals that follow regulations for your state. The plan needs to include marketing and staffing to get started. Since you will be unable to bill for services until you have started your business, having capital prior to starting is important and necessary. Don’t start yourself out so far in the hole that you struggle from the beginning. The business plan must also include insurance coverage. Make sure you know what you need to cover yourself and the staff you hire. 

Get Started The Right Way: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we offer start-up packages for all types of home care. If you want to start a private duty or skilled agency, then we can help. Our packages include the marketing development, insurance coverage, recruitment, and on-site assistance to make sure all the steps fit into place and you are ready to go.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for a free consultation to find out how we can make the process a whole lot easier and more affordable in the long run.

Starting A New Homecare Agency? Want To Add A New Service Line? Make Sure You Are On Solid Ground First!

home care start-upCan you start a new homecare agency on your own? Yes. Is it kind of like walking into quicksand if you don’t have a map. Absolutely. Here is a way to start your process on solid ground with the right kind of experience from the beginning.

Law And Order:

You have both federal and state regulations to follow. You need employee handbooks, a business plan and organizational structure. Maybe you want to purchase an agency by jumping into a franchise. If you are starting anew, you will need policy and procedure manuals.

Accounting:

To start out on the right foot, have your accountant help you with an operating budget. So many agencies end up out of business before they are fully going because proper anticipation of start-up costs were not considered. If you do not have an accountant with expertise in homecare, look at an agency or consulting firm that does. Get advice on the best way to obtain a small business loan should you need it to get licenses and move forward.

Consider A Home Care Consultant:

Think about this. A home care consulting agency with start-up packages that help you get all your pieces of the puzzle in place. You can get help with the licensing process, hiring, manuals, mock survey, insurance and marketing all in one place. Choose a  home health consulting firm that have senior consultants with experience in starting agencies. An experienced firm also has all types of specialties to help you get started. If you need help in accounting/finance as well as clinical and operations, then you want them all in one place working together.

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Is Your Start-Up Expert:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior consultants from all backgrounds to help you from A to Z in your process. Start-up packages will get you manuals and help both on and off site with all areas of your business. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to schedule your free 30-minute consultation today!

Starting A Home Care Agency: Don’t Do It Without An Ace In The Hole So You Are Prepped To Win!

Starting a Home CareStarting a home care agency requires a lot of research and planning to do it right. If you want to make the road as smooth as possible, put the work in up front so you know what bumps to expect. Here we look at fundamentals you need on your path to success. 

What Is Your Ace In The Hole? 

Quite simply, the ace in the hole is the one who has done it before. Someone who knows the regulations and steps to successfully starting a homecare agency. There are consulting agencies throughout the United States that can help. The question is, what questions to ask when picking the right one? 

  • Resume’: You need to see the experience of the consultant you look to hire. That may seem obvious but ask the questions before you make your deposit. The consultant should have the experience you need for your type of service line. 
  • Cost Of Services: All consulting agencies are not created alike. Starting a home care agency from the ground up at an hourly rate can become very expensive. Look at agencies offering start-up packages that save you dollars in the long run. 
  • Accreditation: Look for consulting companies that have had surveyors on staff. Often, these individuals provide education to all members of the consulting team to help in the accreditation process. 

Benefits Of The Consultant: 

If you have questions about the right location or services for the area, then utilize your consultant for assistance. Your consultant can help with licensing and accreditation. A consultant assists with resource development in your area as well as marketing services to prep for growth. A financial home care consultant can work alongside to help with management of funds and in-house processes so you don’t lose money while you try to earn it. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help: 

With a broad number of consultants with different experiences throughout the US, Kenyon Homecare Consulting will help you get the job done. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation.

Starting A Homecare Agency Can Feel Like You Knocked The 8 Ball In The Pocket And Scratched The Cue Ball. How To Make The Whole Process More Profitable From The Start!

Eight BallOk, you decided to start a home care agency. You have money in the bank. You decided to go with accreditation.  There is a license and a location. Like anyone starting a business, you want to do things economically to start yourself on the right path. Starting a homecare agency isn’t easy, but it can be profitable sooner than you think. 

Common Mistakes:

Many people try starting a homecare agency and fail. It is important to understand state and federal regulations. It means knowing how those regulations translate into practical applications as well. You may think you are doing everything correctly based upon your own research. If you havn’t lived in the world of healthcare regulations, then it is a whole different ballgame. You can do everything you think you can to prepare and fail survey. This is costly. The delays and costs of multiple surveys can shut you down before you even get started. If you have misunderstood regulations, then you probably trained staff improperly. 

Why Consultant Services Are Cost-Effective: 

Most individuals starting a homecare agency think consultant services are too expensive to afford. This is not the case. Here are some things to ask when researching a home care consultant. Is Everything a la carte? This is huge. An agency with start-up packages can save you thousands in the process.  These packages often include manuals, insurance coverage, marketing, and website development. Doing these things with separate providers all at once is time-consuming and not cost-effective. In addition, hourly rates can become quite expensive in the start-up process. In packages, the consultant time should be included. Check out the experience level of your consultant. Consultants should always have senior level management experience for start-ups. In addition, if you aspire diversifying services down the road, look for consulting agencies with teams that can help with all service lines as well as software choices. 

Starting A Homecare Agency With Us: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have start-up packages and senior level consultants to help your start-up be successful from the start. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can simplify your start-up experience. 

Software Is A Must For Your HomeCare Agency Start-Up. Don’t Scratch Your Head Trying To Figure Out Which Ones!

decision makingIn this technology-based world, picking out software is no easy task. Unless you have a background in IT, you may be a nurse making decisions on software for your homecare agency start-up. This task may leave you feeling like a fish out of water. Let’s look at how clinical and operational software need to work together to optimize function.  

Accounting Software: 

This is so important to track incoming and outgoing dollars. You may outsource payroll through a different provider, but many still use internal programs like QuickBooks to manage payroll. Accounting software needs to flow easily to mesh with other software in your operation.  

Website: 

This may seem obvious, but a website can steer people towards your agency or away from it. Static websites often give the impression of an agency that is not well developed. Your brand needs to be very clear to anyone clicking on your site. If you are non-profit, make sure your website has donation capability. It should also be a way to advertise services and job postings. Have a way for applicants to submit a resume or fill out an application online in the website.  

Electronic Medical Record: 

If you choose to begin on paper documentation, then you need management software instead of an EMR. If you use an EMR, it should provide reporting and tracking functions to help your operations. You should know your top referral sources as well as changes in referral numbers. This will allow you to address potential issues with providers. It will also help you enhance your current relationships by promoting what you do well. The most important part of EMR software is a strong clinical platform. It is also important to choose what best fits your service lines and operational flow. Know that when choosing a software, regardless of the company, the best functionality comes from utilizing it the way it was programmed to work. A big mistake is being unwilling to alter flow to meet the productivity of the software. This either slows the process or doesn’t allow the agency to use the program to its fullest. Make sure you talk to someone versed in software prior to making such a huge decision for your homecare agency start-up.  

Let Us Help With Software Choices: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with your homecare agency start-up from beginning to end. We have trained senior consultants in all fields of the homecare industry. This includes those well-versed in software. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to speak to someone regarding your start-up needs.

So, You Want To Start A Homecare Agency. Do You Know What Kind Of Homework To Do? Check This Out To Make Sure All Your Ducks Are In A Row First!

Ducks in a rowIf you want to start a homecare agency, then you need to take some steps before you jump in with both feet. Let’s look at some things to consider in a start-up. 

Top 5 Things To Consider To Start A Homecare Agency: 

Moving forward successfully means you must research ahead of time to have your ducks in a row.  Here are the top 5 things to evaluate first. 

  • Location, Location LocationHave you checked out where you want to hang a shingle? Does that location make sense for your agency? Are you in an area where the population needs the services? What about competition. You need to look further than the mission. If the market is already saturated in the area, then you need to consider a different location. 
  • Marketing: This is often overlooked prior to opening. It shouldn’t be. If you want to start a homecare agency, the community should know about it way before you open doors. 
  • Secure Funds: You need significant capital on hand to start a homecare agency. You need to hire and train staff who will be providing care long before you can bill for services. 
  • Join An Industry Association: Whether it be on a state level or a national one, a homecare association opens you to resources and education. While the association provides advocacy for the industry, it is also a huge reference point for members. 
  • Work With An Industry Expert: Starting a homecare agency is like speaking a new language, even if you have previous experience in healthcare. Whether you want to start up services or diversify what you currently provide, an expert in the industry is huge to help you move forward. 

Finding Your Expert To Help Start A Homecare Agency: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we know what it takes to start a homecare agency today. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant today! Whether you need help from beginning to end or just specific parts of the process, we have the expertise you need.  

 

Do You Want To Start-Up Your Home Care Agency With Accreditation? Here Is What You Need To Know To Start Off On The Right Foot.

Well, you may be at the stage of your home care start-up where you have an NPI and Tax ID. Now, you decide whether you want a home care agency with accreditation or not. Let’s look at why agencies often do choose to accredit. 

Advantages Of A Home Care Agency With Accreditation: 

There are many reasons an owner would choose to start a home care agency with accreditation. Let’s look at 3 reasons this is a great way to go. 

  • Quality: This is a big one. With accreditation, you adhere to Medicare Conditions of Participation as well as additional standards of care. The quality measures lead to a higher standard of care. 
  • Timing: As a start-up, accreditation leads to a quicker timeframe for survey. When the state completes the start-up survey, agencies can wait for extended periods of time. Considering the agency is incurring costs providing care without reimbursement waiting for survey, this can be very expensive. 
  • Education/ Resources: Although there are costs associated with accreditation, there is additional education and account experts available for you to use as resources. It is a big deal starting an agency. Having experts to call to help you wade through regulation is a big plus. 

How To Choose The Accrediting Body: 

Accrediting can come from CHAP, JCO, or ACHC. Ultimately, it will be your choice which agency makes the most sense for you. The industry currently sees Joint Commission in home health agencies that are part of hospital or nursing home based systems that already use JCO. If you are free-standing, the standards from CHAP or ACHC apply specifically to home health. If you are unsure, then look at the standards for each to help you decide.

Let Us Help You Through The Process: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help you through the start-up process from beginning to end. This means we help you understand the regulations and get you through the accreditation process by helping from A to Z. We include start-up packages that include mock surveys to get you ready for the real thing. If you need some help, then call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant who can help you succeed.

You Want To Start A Homecare Agency. Sounds Great! What Next?

start a homecare agencyHomecare is a complex industry. Those in it know it all too well. If you want to start a homecare agency, then do your homework first. In addition, having help to navigate the playing field can make your journey a whole lot easier.

What Kind Of “Homecare” Do You Want:

Homecare tends to be the cookie cutter term for providing care within the home.  However, there are multiple types of service lines. The type of service you want to provide determines your road map to start.

  • Private Duty/ Homecare Services: These services are generally considered non-skilled. These are private pay services as well as those covered by certain contracts. Your local Area on Aging as well as the VA will provide home and community based services that are more for custodial care or maintenance care. Payment for services is normally an hourly or per-unit rate
  • Skilled Home Health: These services are provided when a patient has recently been hospitalized or has had an exacerbation of illness. The patient requires the skill of professional services such as skilled nursing or physical/occupational therapy. A home health aide can provide personal care during this time, but skilled care is generally short-term. If your agency wants to bill Medicare for services, then you will need to become certified to do so. Payment for services is by episode of care or a per visit rate.
  • Hospice: If your mission is the terminally ill, then hospice may be the type of homecare you want to provide. Payment for services is an all-inclusive daily rate. This is different than other homecare services.

You Know What Kind, But Don’t Know What Next:

This is where it can be really beneficial to invest in consultant services. You may need state licensure. You may not. And, you also need to adhere to both state and federal regulations. When you jump into a whole new realm like homecare, having someone who has done it all before can make each step of the way a whole lot easier.  Consultants can get you through all your steps leading up to and through your survey and accreditation process. You need to hire and train staff, develop policy and procedures, admit and manage patient care. The thing is, you don’t need to start a homecare agency alone.

Let Us Help:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior consultants who can help you start a homecare agency successfully. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation.

Trying To Decide If You Have The Money For New Home Care Start Up? Feel Like Your Head Is Spinning?

Home care start upNo one wants to go into a home care start up barely keeping a head above water. It is important to know what to consider before jumping in head first.  Let’s take a look at how you can begin successfully.

6 Things to Consider In Costs Of A Home Care Start Up:

It takes tine, and consequently, money, to have a home care start up.  Here are the items you need to consider before you hang a shingle and see your first patient.

1. Take A Look At Your Intended Service Area:

This is where you consider a feasibility study and competitive analysis.  If your market is saturated with home care, you will be fighting for potentially a very small share of the market.  You also need to consider if you are rural or urban.  If your costs of mileage and travel time will leave you in the hole every time you make a home care visit, you need to reconsider.  Now, this may mean opening shop in a different location or a unique service that other agencies in your area do not.

2. Legal Requirements To Get Started:

As part of a home care start-up, you will need to establish a Tax ID and NPI number.  You will need to decide whether you wish to seek accreditation.  Being an accredited provider means that the accrediting body will complete the survey process in lieu of a state survey providing deemed status.  Accreditation requires a higher level of quality standard and does have costs attached, but there is always a resource there for you to ask questions.  The accrediting body is there to provide education and help you meet the quality standards.  If you decide to become accredited, you will need to choose which organization to do so.  There is cost attached to working with an accrediting organization, but the initial survey will be completed much quicker than through the state.

3. Licensing Requirements:

Most states require licensure, so the completed forms will need done and submitted to the state.  This will include documents that need submitted with the application and fees are attached.

4. Recruitment and Hiring:

Hiring the right people is time-consuming and costly.  You will need to decide the easiest way to facilitate this process.  Hiring new people means background checks, fingerprinting, payroll management and training.  Once you have been given the green light to provide services, you will have to maintain 10 clients on services for survey to be conducted.

5. Policy/ Procedure Manuals:

Every agency needs policies in place for administrative purposes as well as organizational management.  You also need up to date procedures that include items for the clinical staff like infection control and safety measures.  Client service records will need established with a clear procedure of information management.  Starting from scratch on these is very time-consuming when vendors have established up to date manuals available on demand.

6. Marketing/ Sales:

This may seem like a self-explanatory category.  However, a marketing plan needs to be in place.  You should have a focused plan of attack to get your name out there and achieve successful sales.  Healthcare providers are inundated with marketing from providers.  You need to get your point across quickly and effectively let referral sources know what makes you different and better.

There Is No Need To Do This Alone:

We have only begun to give you some basic steps and they can seem overwhelming.  Let us help you do it.  We have been through this process countless times and helped agencies do it more efficiently while providing guidance and getting you prepared for survey.  Call Kenyon Homecare Consulting at 206-721-5091, or contact us online today for your free 30 minute consultation.

 

 

Do Your Homework Before You Begin Your Home Care Start-Up

Those who dream of a home care start-up see happy patients, employees, and bottom lines.  However, rarely does everything go so smoothly as what we imagine.  That dream never has to worry about referrals or regulations or complaints.  Doing your homework allows so many of those dreams to be a reality.  Here we will look into some things that are very important moving forward in this industry.

Check This Out Before You Get Started

1. Check Out Your Service Area/ Create Your Business Plan

So often, people open doors without checking out what the community really needs.  Maybe there is plenty of market saturation in home health services, but the community really needs hospice.  There is a greater chance of success and market share looking into the latter.  Make sure the demographic is something you can realistically service.  Make sure your business plan is appropriate and meets the goals of your home care start-up.

2. Have Adequate Resources

The bottom line is a home care start-up will not turn a profit for the first year.  Make sure you have enough funding in place to cover your costs to start.  New business owners can be out of business quickly without having money to cover payroll and overhead costs.

3. Know Your Marketing Plan Ahead of Time

Depending on your location, it can be tough to crack the market in a new territory.  Know how you want to approach referral sources.  Do you want to market the niche’ you provide that is different from others in the area?  Do you want to look at non-traditional referral sources as this may be an untapped resource in your area.

4. Get Resources/ Documents ahead of time

This is the time when you develop internal forms such as application forms, interview questions, and always consider getting a policy and procedure manual that meets regulatory requirements that you only have to tweak to the specifics of your agency. Resources you can customize are a lot easier than reinventing the wheel yourself.  It will take a lot of headache and stress right away.

How A Start Up Expert Can Help You Through

  • Make Sure Your Employees Are Prepared:  It makes sense to look for staff that has experience in home care when you are starting up.  You need employees that understand the basis of the business and your mission. We certainly know patients need help other than Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm.  You need employees that get that and are willing to put in the time to care for people and understand the environments home care employees encounter.  Getting employees on board and oriented properly can make all the difference in a smooth start.  Utilize your expert to help you through hiring and orientation processes for the organization.
  • Develop And Implement Processes To Follow:  Even good employees with good intentions can fail without proper policies and procedure in place to guide practice.  Your expert can help work through processes with you to ensure the path is clear for anyone that needs guidance.  A good individualized policy and procedure manual is so helpful for operational flow.  A bad outdated manual leaves employees making decisions and process measure on their own when it may not be appropriate.  This will also allow you to determine appropriate efficiencies and expectations for employees and enforce them with policies in place.
  • Preparation For Survey: A good Start Up Expert can help with mock survey procedures and prep you for what to expect.  This is so vital to make sure you meet the clinical in home requirements as well as those related to administrative regulation.  When we consider implementation of emergency preparedness and the COPs, it is a lot to take on as a new home care start-up without help.  The expert helps guide you through the regulatory burden and interpretive guidelines that help you best implement new policy.
  • Ongoing Resource: The experts serve agencies all over the country.  They see so many different ways agencies function.  This allows a perspective that isn’t narrow and only indicative of one agency.  There are definitely more than one way to make certain things happen when it comes to regulatory compliance.  Let the expert help you decide what will work then best in your process

Join A National Association

A good start-up consultant will always want to see you involved with state and national associations.  These associations work to lobby for the patients we serve and the agencies we are.  Education is a key component to national associations.  You receive what changes in regulations are coming or potentially being changed.  It is money well spent considering the resources and information you receive.

Webinar Start up agencyCall Us If You Need Help

Contact us online or call 206-721-5091 for your free 30 minute consultation.  We can help you with your home care start-up and get you moving towards success!