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How to start a home health care business in Tennessee

Sep 22, 2023 · 5 minutes to read

Are you thinking of entering the home health field? Starting a home health agency in Tennessee could be a great way to join this growing industry.

Help, support and wheelchair with nurse and old man for disability.

The demand for home health services is increasing. Aging Baby Boomers, those living with disabilities, and people with chronic illnesses are seeking assistance to help them remain safely and comfortably in their own homes. Starting a private home care business is one way to meet the demand for these services in Tennessee.

This article covers getting a home health care license, including business insurance options and home health aide certifications in Tennessee.

Before You Apply for a License

Applying for a license is an essential requirement for starting a home health care business in Tennessee. However, there are some steps you might want to take care of first.

The Tennessee Department of Health’s application asks for key information about your business. It makes sense to establish your business before beginning the application.

  • Market research – What is the demand for services in your area? Who are your competitors? What services do they provide, what do they charge, and how do they advertise?
  • Business plan – Outline the services you will provide. Create revenue forecasts and business budgets. Set realistic business goals and timeframes for meeting them.
  • Business structure – Tennessee home health agencies must choose a legal entity, such as Individual, Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company.
  • Licenses and permits – You may need a business license to open a home health agency in Tennessee. Permits may also be required from your local government.
  • Business finances – An Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS is necessary for paying your business taxes. You may also need separate business bank accounts, depending on your business structure.

Apply for a Home Health Services License

You must submit a completed application to get a home health care license in Tennessee. Information required with your application includes:

  • Certificate of Need (CON) from the Health Services and Development Agency (you must receive this before applying for a license)
  • Agency location and contact details
  • Administrator details
  • Building ownership
  • Services you’ll provide and geographic location you’ll serve
  • Business structure and ownership

A survey of your facility must be conducted 30-45 days before you plan to open your agency. Licenses are granted after your agency has passed inspection.

Protect Your Agency

Insurance is not required to get a home health care license in Tennessee. However, businesses with five or more employees must have Workers’ Compensation insurance by state law.

Most business insurance is optional, but its coverage could benefit your home health agency. Unplanned expenses, like claims and lawsuits, can be devastating for small businesses. In some cases, they could even put your home health agency out of business. Business insurance helps cover medical bills, legal fees, and other unexpected costs.

Tennessee home health agencies usually consider:

Professional Liability – Otherwise known as E&O insurance, this insurance protects your business against claims of negligence, misrepresentation or mistake, as well as document or paperwork errors.
Negligence claims are an unfortunate reality for home health agencies. A Professional Liability policy helps shield your business if a patient or their family feel you have not provided adequate services.

General Liability – Also referred to as Commercial General Liability (CGL) or “slip and fall coverage”, this insurance can protect your business against bodily injury or property damage lawsuits from outside parties.
A General Liability policy can help you handle claims from members of the public that you and your staff may regularly interact with—such as suppliers, delivery people, nurses, and other health professionals.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) – This is a convenient and affordable way for small business owners to protect against several of their most common exposures. These policies combine General Liability insurance with other types of coverage, such as business interruption and business property damage.

Hiring Qualified Staff

A home health aide certification is a Tennessee requirement for working in the industry, particularly if your agency works with Medicare recipients. You may decide to hire only applicants who have already completed a certification or offer Tennessee-approved home health aide training to successful hires.

Home health aide certification in Tennessee must be completed within three months of being employed at a home health agency. Aspiring home health aides will need at least 75 hours of instruction, with at least 16 hours completed in a clinical setting. They must also pass an exam that tests their ability to care for patients and ensure their safety.

Insurance for Tennessee Home Health Agencies

Whether you’re working from an office or starting a care agency from home, you’ll be providing essential services that allow patients to live in their own homes. Getting a home health care license is just the start, but insurance can help you protect the hard work you’re putting into your business.

BizInsure understands home health agencies and offers policies tailored to meet the unique needs of the industry. With A-rated insurers and competitive prices, you can protect your Tennessee home health agency online in minutes.

Compare quotes now and see how much you could save with BizInsure!

This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your home health agency license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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