Do you wish to start a home health care business? The reality is that no two home health services providers are the same. Each provider offers a unique set of services and caters to specific markets.
If you’re interested in setting up a home nursing services agency, you’ll need first to decide what type of business you want to be and what services you wish to offer. In this guide, we will take you through the primary benefits of home health businesses.
Standard services by home health care businesses
Home health services fall into two camps:
· Services based on the provider type
· Services based on the treatment type
Let’s look at both types of services.
· Services based on the provider type
These home health services or home nursing services typically involve specialized medical practitioners who provide care to the patient. Based on this, here are the following types of services:
o Doctor care
In a doctor care home health services agency, the doctor takes an active role in the regular check-ups and treatment of the patient. The doctor visits the patient at their home and provides the treatment needed. A nurse may be stationed with the patient, but this isn’t always mandatory.
Doctor care home health services are specifically designed to help patients who require very close monitoring by the doctor. Usually, such patients have treatment plans which need frequent tweaking so that they can recover quicker.
o Nursing care
Home nursing services are the most common services by home health businesses. Here, the home health care agency will send an experienced nurse with the requisite skills to care for a patient with a particular condition.
Typically, home nursing services involve immediate and constant medical care. The nurse will be stationed at the patient’s home and will discharge all medical responsibilities over there. These responsibilities include monitoring the vitals, changing bedpans, administering medication, changing the dressing, charging medical equipment, adjusting medical equipment & drugs, attaching & removing intravenous tubes, removing & putting sutures etc.
Home nursing services are an excellent option for patients who have undergone surgery and need constant supervision and medical care to heal.
o Home health aide care
An essential thing to remember is that home nursing services are different from home health services provided by aides. While nurses are trained, qualified and certified to offer medical care, home health aides aren’t. Most home health providers have rudimentary medical training and not the specialized skills/knowledge that nurses have.
Home health aides will provide primary care such as changing the patient’s clothes, cleaning the bedpan, helping them dress, applying ointments or giving pills on time etc. But they aren’t qualified to actively re-adjust medication levels or to remove sutures, or take any medical decisions without the presence of a qualified doctor.
Additionally, home health care providers also double as companions for patients. They can assist in day-to-day activities such as shopping, paying the bills, meal preparation, chauffeuring, etc.
o Medical social services
Medical social service providers are home health services that provide psychosocial support and care to patients and their families. These services focus on helping the patient rehabilitate and rejoin mainstream society after recovering from an injury or an illness. They also support patients’ families by assisting them in transitioning from one stage of their lives to the next.
Medical social service providers perform psychosocial assessments of patients to determine if they are ready to reintegrate into society. Then they design a care plan that focuses on slowly bringing patients and their loved ones back into the community. This way, they can become contributing members of the public.
· Services based on the treatment type
So far, we explored services by home health businesses where the provider was the most defining characteristic of the service. Now let’s look at what home health or home nursing services are offered based on the treatment required:
o Rehabilitation therapy
Many home health services focus on rehabilitating patients and helping them regain a portion of their previous health and abilities. The types of rehabilitation home health and home nursing services include:
o Physical therapy
Here, the home health providers focus on healing and strengthening the patient’s body. The home health aide works with patients to help them heal their injured bones and muscles, regain flexibility and recover their ability to be mobile.
o Occupational therapy
In occupational therapy, care providers help patients get equipped with essential motor skills to live with as much independence as possible. While some home nursing services also club physical therapy under occupational therapy, the focus is not narrowed to recovery from an accident or illness.
In occupational therapy, care providers help people with disabilities to cope with their conditions and find easier ways to do basic tasks like feeding themselves, clothing themselves, tying shoelaces etc.
o Speech therapy
Home nursing services specialising in speech therapy help patients with speech difficulties regain their ability to communicate easier. They also help patients learn social interaction skills that can help them integrate into society better.
o Nutritional care
Nutrition care is one of the specialized services by home health businesses, where the home health aide works with the patient to ensure they receive the correct type of nutrition. This type of home health care is usually provided to people who are home-bound due to morbid obesity. Or if they are pregnant or have a medical condition that requires constant nutrition monitoring.
Nutrition care aides check BP, sugar and insulin levels. They prepare and edit diet plans, and sometimes they also go shopping for the right kind of products that fits the patient’s nutritional needs.
o Hospice care
Hospice care home nursing services providers provide palliative care to help patients at the end of their lives due to a medical condition or old age. The focus here is to make the patient as physically comfortable as possible.
Many hospice care specialists also provide emotional support to the family, counselling them through their grief and, when the time comes, helping them adjust to the loss of a loved one.
How do you choose which home health services to offer?
The choice of home health services to provide can affect your profitability. Certain places in the United States suffer from a lack of a specific service. So it’s essential to consider what home health services are in demand in your desired geographic location.
In addition to this, you should also consider:
· Your state’s specific business registration and medical service guidelines.
· Age and health of the general population in the location.
· Medical coverage (it’s important to note that most federal and private medical insurance providers do not offer coverage for home health care).
· Access to financial resources and technology to start the business.
· Availability of skilled personnel who can provide home health care.
· Risks faced by your home health services agency.
How insurance for home health care businesses can help you mitigate risks
As a provider of home health services, you have the special responsibility of caring for your patient’s well being. While you discharge your duty carefully, multiple uncontrollable factors can affect the outcome of home health care.
In these trying times, the patient’s family may feel your company were at fault for the poor health or death of their loved one, even if that isn’t true. They may accuse you of several things such as:
· Wrongful care
· Patient negligence
· Non-fulfilment of services
· Misrepresentation of patient health
· Fake medical promises
These accusations might lead to lawsuits that can cost you millions of dollars in damages. The loss of money may prevent you from providing your home health services to other patients and force you to close your doors.
Professional liability insurance for home health care businesses can be of immense help in safeguarding your company. This insurance offers financial coverage and protection to home health services providers against the above claims. If you found yourself in the grips of a lawsuit, you can claim the insurance to afford legal aid and pay a part of the damages. You won’t be forced to sell your medical equipment or tap into your finances.
Apart from claims about patients, you may also find yourself being sued by employees on the grounds of an unsafe work environment or workplace injury. This is a high risk, especially when your patients have self-harm or violent tendencies. In such cases, general liability insurance can be of great help in protecting your business from employee claims. It can also repay you if your aide breaks something in the patient’s property during service.
These days, insurance providers also offer cyber-liability insurance for home health aides, which can be essential in indemnifying yourself against any threats by hackers. Since your home health services company will hold sensitive medical, insurance and payment details, having cyber-liability insurance can be particularly helpful.
To find out more about insurance policies for services by home health care businesses, visit this website.