Part Two: What business model makes sense for me?

This is Part Two of a five-part series on exploring a long-term care-related business.  Yesterday, we discussed the different types of care that can be provided.  Today, we’ll discuss your choices of business model.

Home health agency (HHA):  State licensure is required.  In Florida, this will generally suffice to accept patients covered by third-party insurance plans although Florida adds the requirement of accreditation.  Accreditation is akin to a “Gold Housekeeping Seal of Approval” (are we dating ourselves with that descriptor?? LOL) by an independent organization which, in essence, stakes its reputation on the quality of your organization.  Accreditation requirements surpass state licensing rules by a long-shot, but the oversight and resulting processes can give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace, especially compared to older Florida HHAs that pre-date this requirement. Serving Medicare or Medicaid patients requires accreditation and separate applications for certification.

HHAs can provide skilled or non-skilled care.  Nurse registry (NR):   State licensure is required; NRs can provide skilled or non-skilled care, but they may not be Medicare-certified.  Accreditation exists for NRs and here, too, the requirements exceed Florida licensing guidelines.  You may want to base this decision on your feasibility studies of the NR field and payor requirements.

Homemaker/Companion Service (HCS):  State registration – not licensure, per se – is required in Florida, and there are no financial requirements or stringent regulations.   In every case we’ve seen, an HCS can be up and running in 30-60 days after application to the State.  One key distinction is that HCS cannot provide any personal care.  (Check Part One for a definition of personal care.)  Depending on your business model, an HCS may be just the ticket to tap into the long-term market.

Check out AHCA’s handy chart of provider types.

Join us tomorrow for Part Three of the series concerning staffing.

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