As the medical industry is expanding, health care opportunities are being made available for those who would like to start their own agency. Sometimes it's more convenient to have medical assistance in the patient's home if the patient is not in need of hospitalisation. A market has been developed to conveniently take care of patients in their home. It can be a quite fulfilling position if your passion is to assist those who may be elderly or sick.
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Take a look at your current experience, education and credentials. It is important that you know your credentials first because that will determine what your limitations may be when opening your agency. Certain licenses may be required based on your credentials and requirements may be placed on the duties and tasks of your employees.
Decide if your agency will be a provider of non-medical caregiving or medically-based caregiving. Also, consider the types of non-medical services you will perform if you opt for non-medical care. This can be anything from assisting your patient with day-to-day functions and tasks. If you're choosing a medically-based agency, you may be required to make an initial diagnosis, assist with medication and give injections.
Before your doors open for business, make sure you get all the licenses and permits that are required by your state and city officials. Many times you can locate your local chamber of commerce or tax office and they may have all the information in one section to get you up and running.
You also want to seek the assistance of a certified public accountant (CPA) to decide how you want to legally structure your business. You can incorporate, form a partnership if you have a business partner, or be a sole proprietor. Be aware that if you choose to operate as a sole proprietor and are sued for any reason, your personal assets are not protected, whereas a corporation is treated different for legal matters.
Start advertising your new business. You can advertise via your local hospital, private clinics, or places with high visibility for your target market. For example, if you plan on assisting the elderly, find places where they are most likely to be in your community. Also you can advertise to middle-aged consumers who may have parents approaching retirement. You can also create a website for an online presence.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure you have a reliable accounting system to keep up with billing, taxes and your finances. Make sure you stay up on your schedules for your patients so you'll always be on time, which is critical when caring for another person. Also purchase insurance to protect yourself and your employees if you choose to hire any. It may be a good idea to join trade associations, which will not only educate you of new changes in the home care industry, but also the ability to network and collaborate with other business owners in your area in the same field. The National Association of Home Care and Hospice is a recommended trade association.
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