Personal-care attendants (PCAs) and home health aides (HHAs) provide assistance to people with short- or long-term disabilities or who are chronically ill. PCAs are hired for a variety of duties, which can include grocery shopping, assisting with travel, bathing, grooming, toileting, feeding, cleaning the home, laundry and light physiotherapy. PCAs should be of good character, be capable and in good shape, as well as being compassionate, loyal and discreet. Connect those in need with reliable PCAs or HHAs by starting your own personal-care attendant business.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Liability insurance
- Training program
- Background screening company
Conduct market research to learn the health statistics in your area and find how many competitors you will have. Contact your state's Department of Health Services to get an idea of the size of your market.
Learn the local, state and federal laws governing personal-care attendant agencies as well as staffing requirements, inspections, licensing and insurance requirements.
Ask your Department of Health Services if it offers workshops on PCA-agency operations, employee training and billing procedures.
Develop a business plan that details the scope of your expenses and operating procedures, which you will present to financiers.
Obtain licensing and certification as required by your state. At a minimum, you will need to choose the form of your business, such as a corporation or limited liability company, and register your business with your county clerk.
Contact your licensing department to obtain a home-care-agency license.
Find a facility for your agency, with adequate room for your office, waiting lounge and classroom for training your PCAs.
Consult with an attorney and insurance professional to find the best way to cover your agency with contracts and liability insurance.
Contact insurance departments to learn the insurer requirements to make sure that your agency can accept payment from various insurance companies.
If you intend to accept Medicare, contact your state Medicare agency to learn how you can become a qualifying agency. This may include obtaining a surety bond, implementing specific training and having a minimum number of employees.
Develop a detailed interview process to ensure that your employees have good communication skills, can take vital signs and know how to properly move a patient.
Hire a background company to conduct screening checks on your applicants.
Hire experienced PCAs that are properly trained and hold current licenses, including a driver's license.
Hire a supervisor to oversee operations and to check in on your PCAs from time to time for quality assurance.
Develop a training program and policies detailing the employees' limitations and responsibilities in observing and reporting the services provided, infection control, safety, client emergencies. Make sure they know how to respond, know the importance of client confidentiality and can recognise abuse.
Tips and warnings
- When possible, get listed on your state's health department websites.
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