Starting a business w/o experience

  1. Hi, all,

    Just wanted your thoughts on whether it is possible to (successfully) start a home health care business without any personal experience in the health field. I was thinking of hiring an RN as Administrator /Supervising Nurse, and rely on him/her for a lot of the day to day decisions and advice, at least initially.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    -Sam
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Speculating
    Quote from viperfish
    Hi, all,

    Just wanted your thoughts on whether it is possible to (successfully) start a home health care business without any personal experience in the health field. I was thinking of hiring an RN as Administrator /Supervising Nurse, and rely on him/her for a lot of the day to day decisions and advice, at least initially.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    -Sam

    Bad idea, Sam. If you have no experience then how do you know your RN administrator is any good. Since you have no experience you better have someone in that position that you trust with your life because that's basically what you are doing. If you don't be prepared to be ripped off big time especailly if they know you don't know what your doing. That's just a really really bad idea - no disrespect intended.
  4. by   J. B.
    Quote from viperfish
    Hi, all,

    Just wanted your thoughts on whether it is possible to (successfully) start a home health care business without any personal experience in the health field. I was thinking of hiring an RN as Administrator /Supervising Nurse, and rely on him/her for a lot of the day to day decisions and advice, at least initially.

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    -Sam
    Sam I agree with the prior post. But would add that one doent have to understand everything to still be capable of doing their DD. For instance I may want to own a Wendies Hamberger franchise and have no idea what thet is all about but with the right research and support from those that do I could own one if I had the funds to purchase the franchise.
    To put it more simply you dont have to be a male to own a womens clothing store...you can be a vegitarian and still own a hamberger stand....Or ask yourself this question?...Do you have to have all your teeth to be a dentist?
    Sounds silly but he consept is there.
    What ever you end up doing I commend you for looking and dreaming. Dont stop that. There are millions of others out there that would discourage you from even dreaming about owning your own business. And its sad to say that most of those that shatter the dreams of others are those that havent a clue and dont deserve the clout.
    If you are truly interested in getting into the home health care business get around those that are and find a mentor. It may be tough but that is one of your best first steps. You will be suprised as to the amount knowledge you will obtain and the few lunches you pay for will be well worth the investment in your education.
    JB
    Last edit by J. B. on Feb 17, '04
  5. by   suzanne4
    Before you start any serious planning, find out what the regualtions are for your state. Most home health agencies have serious requirements that they have to meet because Medicare is a payee for many of the patients. It would not be just hiring a nurse supervisor but an entire staff due to all of the regulations. It is actually probably easier to open a clinic or hospital because of all of the regulations. And they are becoming more strict almost on a monthly basis.

    Good luck.......
  6. by   viperfish
    Thank you all for your comments - this was just what I was looking for. Let me comment on each reply.

    Speculating,
    I respect your opinion, and this is the kind of feedback I was looking for. I do realize that the person I hire as Administrator/Supervising Nurse can make or break the company, but I thought such risk was not that unusual to new companies. I am also a bit surprised at your suggestion that this person might deliberately do something to hurt the business - I would think they would have an incentive to see it prosper, especially since I fully intend to involve them in profit sharing or even partner status. I thought the risk was that they would turn out to be incompetent.

    John,
    I think you hit the nail on the head - I really want to be an entrepreneur, and I believe I am a very quick learner. I am afraid if I only stick to exactly what I know, I am not going to get very far. I am a prorammer, but really have no inclination to start yet another software services company, and you could argue that even though I have been a programmer I really don't know much about the business end of finding clients, marketing, negotiating, etc. Your point about a mentor is well taken, in fact, when I was speaking of hiring that critial first person as Administrator, I was thinking of a particular nurse that came out to take blood for a life insurance company screening that seemed a very friendly, intelligent person, just the kind that would fit the bill here. Unfortunately, I just remembered that she is a X-ray tech during the week, not a home health nurse, but I might give her a call anyway ( if I can reach her). I have met lots of potentially great candidates for this position in the past! ( but it was before I was thinking of this business idea). If I proceed with this idea, I will defintiely prefer someone that I personally know or that was referred to me rather than put an ad in the paper.

    Suzanne,
    I have looked at my state regulations here in Texas, that was the easiest research to do since it is all on the web. It seems the minimalist agency can get by with 2 people, a Administrator/Supervising Nurse and an alternate.

    Keep 'em coming!

    -Sam
  7. by   J. B.
    Funny you should say someone you met was a examiner. I provide that service her ein Colorado Springs I am A RN examiner and perform that very service.
    Interesting.
    John Bosco
    AKA Terry Mason
  8. by   suzanne4
    You have checked out your state, but how about for Medicare reimbursement. Their laws and requirements are much stricter. I would not even attempt to get into a Home Health business without being able to accept Medicare patients. That comprises a major part of your anticipated clients' payments. I know quite a few companies that have gotten out of the home health part because of these restricitons, and there are quite a few. It is up to you to make the final decision but please know 100% of what you are up against. No sense in opening a company if you cannot get paid for your services. Also remember that with home health most of your payments are going to come from some type of insurance, not private pay, and some companies are notorious for paying quite late. You also have to be accepted by the insurance companies in order to bill them for services rendered.
  9. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I know of a CNA who owns three successful Adult Care Homes.

    She has an RN working for her who is a consultant and case manager.

    This CNA is successful at her business, but I think she's an exception. Anything is possible.
  10. by   zenman
    I was once director of a large home health agency (200 employees). Left and started up HHA with several experienced partners. Went through $150,000 like it was nothing. We all got mad at each other and I left giving up all my share just to get out. And two of the guys were my good friends. And yes, we got screwed by staff.
  11. by   J. B.
    You may not be asking for my opinion of the home health business.
    I too would not be one to dive into that. In fact Im am at this time moving myself out of the Health Care field.
    Interactive commerce is going to be the next mega trend affeting all consumers over the next 5-10 years. This industry has grown in double digit rates over the past 4 years or so ..in spite of our recent economic ression the tech stock slump begining in March 2000, the distruction of the World Trade Center Towers and our war effots in Irac.
    It is a business I see having alot less risk and much greater potential for growth in the future.
    But dont let me stop you from persuing your dreams. As someone mentioned there are some making it work out there in the home Health Care Business.
    I just wanted to let you know as a nurse I am persuing my dreams too they just happen to be in a different direction.
    JB
    AKA Terry Mason
  12. by   cpk
    Hi - I am an RN in MN - I have been contemplating starting a non-Medicare certified HHC service. I would not have any employees and I would be directly providing all the services if within the scope of my expertise. I am responding to this thread due to some information I received during a meeting I had with the marketing director at the MN HomeCare Association - I thought it might prove valuable to you in helping you further define if this is a profitable business venture. I was told that in 2003 MN lost 23 HHC agencies primarily due to reimbursement issues. I guess the main issue for HHC agencies in the state of MN is that the rate of reimbursement received from both Federal and State Funded Programs (as mentioned in earlier thread - your main payors) has not kept up with the HHC agencies operating costs which would include among other things, insurance premiums (examples: liability, worker comp) and taxes (unemployment tax). I do not know what your state has to offer in regards to a similar entity (Home Care Association) but I would recommend looking into getting more information/stats regarding failed HHC agencies - identify the cause. I found that the whole Class A license and Medicare Certification was heavily regulated and expensive (Medicare certification I think was $100,000) as well as very documentation intensive. Good luck in your search.
  13. by   suzanne4
    But also remember to take into account, even if you don't go into getting Medicare-certified, you still have to submit to all of the insurance companies in your area for reimbursement, and you have to get credentialed by them before you can bill them.
  14. by   MEL101


    Is it really necessary to deal w insurance companies? If one can find a client that pays "out of pocket" then why worry about Ins companies...I realize most folks can't afford "out of pocket" but IF you do land that client that has the bucks....am I being unrealistic?? Appreciate any input!

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