Are you considering starting a new Medicare home health or hospice and aren’t sure where to start? Well, the first step to to consider the finances involved to get up and running through the first year. Let’s look at what it takes so you are realistic as to start-up costs.
Start-Up Costs For A New Medicare Agency:
Regardless of whether you want to start a hospice or skilled home health through Medicare, you are looking at approximately $150,000-$350,000 in initial costs. Let’s focus on what is relevant to both hospice and home health:
- General and professional liability insurance
- Software- This is both billing and clinical software.
- Manuals- This will include administrative policies and operations manuals
- Employee Handbooks
- Recruitment and hiring
- Orientation/ Education costs- This includes required onboarding training such as bloodborne pathogens, neglect and abuse training, Patient Bill of Rights, etc. It also includes training on your documentation/ clinical software.
- Website and logo development
- Marketing and sales material
- Accreditation- Some states now require initial survey be completed through accreditation.
- Patient Care- You will be servicing these patients up to and through survey until you have approval to bill. The costs to provide the care include the ongoing costs of staff and all direct costs to do so.
- Supplies/ DME- This can become quite costly in the care of hospice patients.
- Consulting Costs- Although this is not a requirement, many choose to have the guidance of executive level consultants to wade through all the regulations, assist with set-up, education, and on-site mock surveys.
What Do I Need To Know To Choose A Consultant?
There are many steps to consider in choosing your home health or hospice consultant. Notice that in the above section, we did not discuss items such as feasibility studies, competitive analysis, community assessments, or certificate of need preparation as we just wanted to focus on the actual required items for agencies. It doesn’t negate the importance of these other items or necessity in the case of certificate of need states. You need to consider a consulting agency that can provide you all of your needs and has comprehensive staff to assist in all aspects of the start-up process. Most senior level consultants are experts in portions of the industry. You may see consultants who are versed in clinical and operations while others are strong in business management and finance portions of running a home health or hospice. Some are specific to business development and marketing while others are experts in the software realm. So, it makes sense to choose and agency that can provide it all.
The next thing to consider is whether you want a consulting package when you start your agency. Packages are cheaper than the a la carte approach to all the items in the package. When trying to start an agency, there is so much to do. With a consulting package, the agency can work to develop you logo and website, get insurance in place, provide accreditation ready manuals all while you are working directly with your consultant putting your agency together. You save time and do not have to wonder if you are doing things correctly or create everything from scratch by yourself.
At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior level consultants with every layer of expertise needed assist you in starting your home health or hospice agency successfully. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to how our assistance can make the process a whole lot easier.