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Agency Startups & Diversification

Starting A Home Health Agency: Make Sure Your Head Knows What It’s Doing Before Your Feet Start Running!

starting a home health agencyStarting 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. 

Starting Medicare Home Health: It’s Not As Easy As You Think. Make Sure You Know How To Swim Before You Decide To Take The Plunge!

start a home care agencyStarting a Medicare Home Health has a lot of steps and costs. It is important to know what the requirements are based upon federal and state guidelines. If you think you are ready to jump in, then dip your toes in the water first and make sure you have what it takes to get going successfully.  Let’s look at some things to consider in making your decision. 

Prior To Starting: 

Before you see your first patient, there are things that must be in place first. Here we will list items that are required and those to consider before you hang your shingle. 

  • Due Diligence Of Your Area 
  • Establish Corporate Structure Including Tax ID And NPI 
  • Accreditation 
  • Insurance (Professional And Liability) 
  • Licensing Fees 
  • Policy And Procedure Manuals (Operations And Clinical) 
  • Employee Handbook 
  • Forms 
  • Competency Testing Kit 
  • Software 
  • Advertising (Website, Logo, Business Cards And Brochures) 
  • Recruitment And Hiring 
  • Capital Per Federal And State Requirements 

Ok, we realize that this may seem overwhelming to you at first. If you don’t have experience in home health, then it may seem even worse. However, it is not something you have to conquer on your own. You may already have an agency and want to add additional service lines. For those who have non-skilled agencies, starting into Medicare is a whole new ballgame. Just understanding the regulations can be huge to make the process streamlined and set you up for success. 

What Is Your Next Step? 

Talk to a consulting company. This is a good first step to determining if you have the skill and capital to do this. Depending on your area, it may cost between $150,00-$300,000 to start your agency. In other cases, you may be able to defer costs by coming with the clinical and management background to fill clinical and operational roles yourself. A senior consultant can walk you through the steps and help you decide if the goal is a realistic one before you start to put a bunch of money into the process. 

Webinar textLet Us Be Your First Call: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we offer a free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant who has been through starting a Medicare home health and diversifying services for existing providers. There are packages ranging from those that need some assistance and those who need help with everything. Ultimately, the consultant can help you with what package makes sense to start your agency. Don’t reinvent the wheel by spending time and dollars creating policy and procedure manuals for Medicare when this is already done. You can focus on what needs to get you survey ready and on to billing for services you provide. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online.

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.