Are you interested in running a home care business? If yes, you’ll need to know everything about home care. For example, what home care is, what home care service types are in demand and how much does home care costs. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Read this complete guide to home care to find answers to your pressing questions.
What is home care?
Home care refers to professional services designed to help make life easier for people whose quality of life has deteriorated due to age, injury, paralysis or an illness. Home care is designed to support such individuals by providing physical assistance and companionship.
Is home care prescribed?
Home care is not a prescribed medical service. The doctor doesn’t have any role in deciding whether to give patient home care. The patient’s primary caregiver can choose to hire trained home care providers and nurses to take care of their loved one. However, the caregiver can consult a doctor to figure out if home care will benefit the patient.
Who is qualified for home care?
Home care is typically sought by:
A person who suffers from a physical condition that prevents ease of movement or reduces mobility significantly.
- A person who is unable to take care of themselves due to mental health or neurological condition.
- A person who does not require medical care and requires companionship or physical support.
How is home care different from home health care?
Home care and home health care are usually confused and believed to be the same. But they’re very different. While home care provides physical support and companionship to patients, home health care offers medical care and support. This includes monitoring vitals, changing the wound dressing, inserting the feeding pipe, maintaining healthcare equipment, etc. You can read more about the difference between home care and home health care here.
What are the different home care service types?
Now that you’re read what home care is in our complete guide to home care, let’s look at the two home care service types:
Let’s assume there is a patient who’s injured due to an accident. They’ve broken both their legs and are wheelchair-bound. They cannot do their routine activities like bathing, using the bathroom, driving, shopping, changing clothes etc. They don’t have any caregiver who can help them all through the day and night.
During these cases, the home care worker can be hired for a specific time to take care of the patient. This home care aide will focus on the patient’s care and support them with their day-to-day needs.
Sometimes, some patients require companionship and social support. Typically, it is aged individuals or people diagnosed with mental health or developmental conditions. If the patient’s caregiver cannot offer the required companionship support, the home care aide can step in and fill the gap.
Here, the home care worker will be more of a friend than a caregiver. They may play games with them, knit with them, read to them, cook with them, take walks, or keep them engaged. The home care specialist performs the role of a trusted companion and also helps them run their errands. For example, post letters at the post office, give the clothes for laundry, purchase groceries etc.
In this way, the home care professional becomes the patient’s friend and confidant. Caregivers can choose to hire home care aides for either one or both home care service types.
How long is home care given for?
The duration of home care depends on the patient’s unique requirements. Sometimes, the home care provider visits the patient’s house only 2-3 days a week and stays for a few hours, finishing any chores or helping them with anything they need.
When the patient requires more help, the provider may be hired to come in every day during hours when the caregiver is at work. The provider may return home at night, and the caregiver takes over patient responsibilities.
In situations where the patient is severely debilitated and cannot live independently, the home care provider may be asked to live in the patient’s house until the end of their contract.
These decisions are taken jointly by the patient’s caregiver and the home care agency, along with the patient when apt.
How much does home care costs?
According to research, home care in the United States costs on average $24 per hour. The exact cost of the home care service depends on:
- · The patient’s care requirement.
- · The state where the patient stays.
- · The home care agency chosen & the prices they charge.
- · The length and duration of the care.
Does medical insurance cover home care?
There is a popular misconception that home care is covered by medical insurance. But the truth is, home care is not covered by most private insurance providers or federal providers such as Medicare. Only certain types of long-term personal care are covered, and this again depends on the geography of residence and specific medical policy taken by patients.
What are the risks of running a home care business?
A home care business is particularly prone to risks and challenges. This is mainly because it is responsible for the health and well being of patients.
The patient’s caregiver trusts your providers to care for their loved one. They may sue you in court if they find that:
- The home care provider has been negligent towards the patient.
- The terms of the care contract they have with you aren’t being fulfilled.
- The provider’s care technique is risky for the patient or the members of the household.
- Their property is damaged while the provider was present in the house.
In addition to this, your employee may sue you, too, if they experience any injury or threat to life from the patient/caregivers when on the job.
These lawsuits can be costly for your home care agency. Sometimes it costs millions of dollars and many years for cases to settle. It’s essential to protect your company from harm. In the next section of our complete guide to home care, we’ll see how you can do this.
Mitigating home care risks with Insurance for home care providers
The risk of leaving your home care agency unprotected is too high. This is where Insurance for home care providers comes in.
Professional liability insurance for home care providers can help home care businesses protect themselves from any business risks. With this insurance coverage, your home care agency will be indemnified against any financial loss that may occur if any patient or caregiver initiates a lawsuit against you.
The coverage from this Insurance for home care providers can be used to pay your legal costs and a portion of any damages that you may need to pay.
In addition to professional liability insurance, be sure to purchase general liability insurance. This will help you protect your home care business from any losses that may occur due to damage to business property, employee injury and more.
You can find out more about professional liability insurance for home care businesses right here.
How long might it take for the home care company to become profitable?
The time it takes for your home care agency to break even and make profits depends heavily on a variety of factors, such as:
- The size of your business.
- The location you are in.
- The home care service types you offer.
- The prices you charge.
- The number and type of clients you receive.
- The risks your business is exposed to.
- The expenses you need to meet and the frequency of expenses.
- The type of medical insurance providers you work with and how quickly you receive your payments.
But one thing is for sure. Investing in professional liability insurance can help you become profitable faster.