My wife & I are planning on opening up our own Home Health agency. She is a very experienced hospital RN, while I have an engineering and accounting background. My only healthcare experience/knowledge was that I managed to get certified as a nursing assistant or CNA (certified nursing assistant) by taking a 9-week course, and passing the state exam (written and clinical). I never actually took a job as one since I still have my day-time office job. Beyond that, I have no other significant healthcare experience.
For those of you who are already operating a Home Health agency, my question to you is given my background, what do you think I could contribute to this partnership? What major role can I take on to help her out. What can she use me as?
I was thinking of studying for my LVN or LPN but that would take time, and we both wanted to set up the business now. Maybe I could study something short-term like medical coding and billing? Would this be a significant help for the business? I found an online certificate in Case Management but I am hesitant to take it since I am not even an RN or LVN/LPN. I'm afraid it will be over my head. The only other thing I could think of would be as an Office Manager of some sort. But what would I exactly be doing as an Office Manager in a Home Health agency office?
Thanks, I would appreciate any thoughtful advice or insight you could give me.
Dec 14, '06
If your state is like Tennessee, you can't just hang out a shingle and start up a HH agency. First, you will have to obtain a CON (Certificate of Need). You can't just go get one of these like you would go get a business license, either. For one thing, they cost a pretty good chunk of money (and not a couple of thousand dollars, either) and also, they do not hand out new CON's anymore but you have to purchase a CON from an existing agency willing to sell theirs.
I can't tell you exactly how HH works, because I am only about 8 months into it myself, but I'm picking up tidbits of info. here and there. I think it would be best to get a job as an office manager to learn the ropes, because home health is pretty complicated, and since HH is not run like a hospital it would probably be best for wife to get a job in HH, too.
The administrator of the HH agency where I work is very knowledgeable about the HH business and would like to start her own agency but the cost of starting up and all the hoops you have to jump through as well as the red tape is keeping her from being able to go for it. It almost seems like a small group of people have the monopoly over the whole thing and if you aren't in that little group you just can't get a foothold to get started.
Last edit by Jo Dirt on Dec 14, '06
: Reason: P.S. The office manager has a variety of duties, such as billing, prebill...good position to teach you about HH.