The need for home healthcare workers is on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for home health and personal care aides is projected to increase by 33% between 2020 and 2030. That’s much faster than the average compared to other professions, creating opportunities for home healthcare agencies.
Home healthcare in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania’s other fine cities and towns is likely to follow this trend. As the state’s population continues to age, now could be the perfect time to start your own home healthcare agency. Here’s a quick guide to help you begin the process.
Starting a Home Healthcare Agency
A home healthcare agency provides skilled nursing services to patients in their own homes. These services are supervised by a physician or registered nurse, as well as physical or speech therapists (if needed). The home health aides you hire will help patients with everyday personal care and hygiene, help them safely move around, monitor basic medical signs and symptoms, and perform first aid.
To start a home healthcare agency, you will need to meet general business and home health aide (HHA) requirements in Pennsylvania.**
General business setup
All Pennsylvania businesses must register their name and business structure with the PA Department of State. You will also need a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to file taxes and must also register for state tax and employer accounts. These applications can be filed online.
Home healthcare licensing
Pennsylvania home healthcare agencies must register with the Department of Health. This extensive application covers details about how you will run your business, such as your in-house training program and how you will assess if an employee is able to property care for patients.
You will also need to provide the Department of Health with the following for all employees:
- Criminal record background checks
- Child abuse clearances (if your employees will be working with children)
- Tuberculosis (TB) health screenings
- Proof of competency – Either passing your agency’s competency test, completing an approved home healthcare training program, or received their nurse’s aide certification
Employee information should be reviewed annually or more frequently to ensure that your home health aides and other staff who work directly with patients continue to meet the state’s requirements.
As a home healthcare agency, you should also consider getting Medicare/Medicaid certification. This allows you to take on patients who are enrolled in these programs and receive reimbursement for the services your agency provides to them.
Protect your business
As you begin to build your business, you might think about how to protect it. Creating risk management procedures and providing regular training to your staff could help prevent accidents and mistakes that can harm your patients, employees, and business.
Insurance for a home care agency in Pennsylvania can also help protect your business. There are many types of insurance policies that can shield your business against costly claims and lawsuits related to your work in the healthcare industry. Certain policies may even be required by law or by those you work with.
There are many types of home health aide liability insurance in Pennsylvania that agencies often consider. These may include:
- General Liability – This coverage may be required in your area, by your commercial landlord, or by clients you work with. It protects you against third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage.
- Professional Liability – These policies may be required for home healthcare agencies in your area. It protects you against claims of negligence, misrepresentation, or mistake.
- Cyber Liability – This policy may be advisable if you are storing patient data on hard drives or the cloud. It protects you against malicious software attacks, data breaches, viruses, and phishing.
- Workers’ Compensation – This form of coverage is required by law in Pennsylvania. It protects your business against employee injury and serious illness claims.
Home health care insurance in Pennsylvania, such as the policies described above and others, can help shield your business finances against claims and lawsuits that could financially devastate your agency. Insurance coverage can help remove the burden of legal fees and compensation payments from your shoulders, helping you stay in business and protecting your professional reputation.
Protect your agency with BizInsure
There is a lot of work that goes into starting a home health agency in Pennsylvania. But finding insurance to meet your agency’s needs can be one of the easiest items on your to-do list!
BizInsure works with home health agencies across the country, helping them protect their business with insurance policies designed just for them. You can quickly and easily compare quotes from top-rated insurers, choose the best options for your agency, and buy online—all in as little as 10 minutes! You’ll even receive your proof of insurance by email instantly, so you can get on with setting up your home health agency.