Thinking about starting a home health agency in Oklahoma? Now might be the perfect time!
Baby Boomers are getting older. Many of them are seeking options to help them live comfortably and safely in their own homes as they age. There are also thousands of people or all ages living with disabilities and chronic illnesses who may be looking for in-home assistance.
Starting a private home care business could be an excellent way to help serve a growing need in your community. But first, you must meet the requirements for starting a home health care business in Oklahoma.
Setting Up Your Business
Getting a home health care license is a requirement of starting a home health agency in Oklahoma. But since you will need to provide information about your business on the license application, it makes sense to start that process first.
The license application provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health asks for basic information about your agency. So before you apply for a home health care license, you may want to:
- Research the market – Determine which home health services are needed in your local area. Look at your competition, and discover the services they provide, how much they charge, how they advertise, and other information.
- Write a business plan – Draft a blueprint for running your agency. Include the services you’ll provide, your business goals, and marketing strategy. Create budgets and revenue forecasts to help you track spending, find funding, and know when you’re profitable.
- Choose a business structure – Oklahoma businesses can form as a Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Cooperative, Corporation, or Partnership.
- Establish your business – You do not need a state-level general business license in Oklahoma. However, there may be county, town, or city requirements that you will need to meet to open your agency.
- Establish your business finances – Apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Set up separate bank accounts for your business, if required or desired.
Apply for Your Home Health Care License
You must complete and submit an application to the OK State Department of Health to get a home health care license.
As part of your application, you will need to:
- Provide details of your agency’s structure and ownership
- Attach your authority from the OK Secretary of State to operate
- Submit proof that you are financially solvent
- Provide information about key staff members and their qualifications
An application fee is also due with your application. This fee is currently set at $1,000.
Protect Your Agency
Business insurance is a requirement for starting a home care agency in Oklahoma. You must provide proof of General Liability, Professional Liability, and Workers’ Compensation insurance with your home care license application.
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.
Home health providers interact with many members of the public, including health professionals, suppliers, and delivery people. General Liability helps shield your home health agency against property damage or bodily injury claims that could result during the course of business.
Professional Liability – Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, this type of policy protects your business against claims of negligence, misrepresentations, or mistakes. Professional Liability claims are typically made by clients who allege some form of financial damage as a result of your services, products or employees.
Negligence claims are unfortunately common in the home health industry. Professional Liability insurance helps shield your agency should a patient or their family bring a lawsuit against you.
Workers’ Compensation – Workers’ Compensation insurance protects you against medical expenses and lawsuits that can arise from employee workplace injuries and illnesses. It could also pay lost wages as a result of the work injuries that an employee sustains.
Even though it is not required, many home health agencies also consider a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is a combination of policies, combining covers such as General Liability insurance and business personal property coverage, to help protect small businesses from costly interruptions to service.
Oklahoma home health agencies must employ qualified home health aides to work with patients. This is particularly important if you are a Medicare-certified facility.
Oklahoma home health aide training requirements include:
- 75 hours of instruction, with at least 16 clinical hours
- Passing a competency exam
- Passing a criminal background check (This will be requested by your agency before hiring a potential home health aide)
- Being listed on the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s registry
Grow Your Home Care Business
Whether you’re starting a care agency from home or a dedicated office space, a steady stream of clients is essential to keeping your business afloat and helping it grow. Marketing is how you will spread the word about your home health care agency and convince patients to use your services.
A combination of methods is a common way to market and grow a home care business. This may include:
- Asking for referrals – Word-of-mouth recommendations from existing patients, family, friends, or health care professionals can be an effective way to grow you agency.
- Running ads – Advertising online, TV, radio, in local publications, or newspapers can help you reach potential clients.
- Printing brochures and flyers – Leaving information with senior centers, hobby organizations, or in doctors’ waiting rooms (with their permission) could help more people learn about your agency.
- Creating a website and social media accounts – A professional website and business social media accounts can help connect you to potential clients and educate them about your services.
- Attending in-person events – Staffing a booth at a local farmer’s market or community events can help you connect with potential clients face-to-face.
Insurance for Home Health Agencies
Starting a home health agency in Oklahoma could help you fill an increasing need in your area. Business insurance can provide valuable protection as you grow your home care business.
BizInsure makes it simple for Oklahoma home health agencies to find insurance that fits their needs. Compare quotes from A-rated insurers online and buy instant coverage in minutes. Policy documents are even sent right to your inbox.
Compare instant quotes now and see if you can save with BizInsure!
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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