First off, congrats to you! Providing care to our seniors is critical and necessary. I applaud you for joining the cause and leading the way with your own company.
Not only is it fulfilling, but there is so much need for home care across the country!
NOTE: each state can have some differences in the process, so be sure to check out our state specific info.
One of the first steps in opening a home care company is obtaining a license to operate a home care company. A state license is required, in addition to any Medicare or Medicaid certification.
There are typically 2 to 3 classifications for home care, with some or all requiring licensure:
Home Health - skilled care including nursing and therapy services
Non-Medical Home Care - companionship and personal care typically not requiring direct care staff to have a license
Hospice - end-of-life skilled care which focuses on the needs of a terminally ill patient's symptoms
The health department is in charge of approving home care licenses. Sometimes other departments are involved.
Here we'll take a brief look at the important steps in the home care licensure process.
Step 1: Letter of Intent
The whole process starts with submitting a Letter of Intent to the health department.
Here you are notifying the state that you intend to start a specific type of home care company and who will be the owner.
This gets the ball rolling. Once started, this will put you on the 'Path to New Home Care Agency License' as seen in the visual at the top of the page.
Step 2: Home Care Application
After submitting a Letter of Intent, you will then need to complete a home care application. This home care application is a lengthy application with multiple items that need to be completed (background check, fingerprint check, etc.).
This application provides the health department with details, including:
* Name of Your Agency
* Office Location
* Types of Services Provided (home health, hospice, home care, etc.)
Step 3: Application Review
While Steps 1 & 2 are within your control to complete, Step 3 is wholly up to the health department.
Sometimes referred to as a 'Fitness Review', a team member at the state takes an in-depth review of your application to ensure it has been completed accurately and all required documents are present.
After a few weeks, you hopefully hear back that everything looks good and you have been approved for the next step!
Step 4: On-Site Survey
Out of all the steps, Step 4 is usually where applicants find a step backwards. The on-site survey process is the critical step in review and approval for licensure.
But, the surveyor who comes out to your office has a specific checklist of items that will be reviewed. During this step, the agency will need Policies & Procedures that are state specific. There are specific state home care regulations that can result in hundreds of deficiencies.
To ensure compliance and to pass this On-Site Survey, your agency will need multiple binders of policies and procedures that the surveyor will thumb through.
If you have the correct policies in the correct binders, this On-Site Survey process can be a breeze!
If not, you may end your survey with a list of deficiencies that need to be addressed before you can move to the next step.
Step 5: Approved!
Once Steps 1 to 4 have been completed, the State will perform one last review to ensure all documents and information is in place.
After that, you will be notified that your license has been approved!
I'm hopeful that this information reduced some of the mystery around obtaining a home care license.
Do you still have questions?
Looking for a partner to help guide you?
I have helped HUNDREDS of home care agencies navigate the process to obtain a licensure.
I have a 100% success rate in getting a license and saved countless hours, dollars and frustration for home care agencies in the process.
Contact me at 303. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can help to make sure you pursue the path to license as quickly and accurately as possible and to obtain your license in the least amount of time as possible.