Home healthcare and healthcare financing are important issues facing our society. Due to medical breakthroughs and our nation’s decreasing birthrate, adults over the age of 65 will outnumber children under 18 for the first time in U.S. history by 2030. This aging population is the impetus behind the unprecedented growth in the home healthcare industry. If you are thinking about starting a home healthcare agency, consider the following:

What are the types of home healthcare agencies? 

There are two types: Home health and home care. The former provides medically prescribed professional services in the home, such as physical therapy and wound care. It is primarily government-funded. The latter offers services such as companionship, housekeeping or meal preparation. These duties are usually performed by noncertified staff and paid for through personal funds.

What are the options in home healthcare financing?

Fortunately, there are various loans available to finance a home healthcare agency. Term loans and lines of credit with 6-10% interest rates are offered by traditional lenders. An agency can get start-up funds quickly with less required documentation through alternative, non-bank lenders. The SBA (Small Business Administration) offers guaranteed loans through traditional lenders with similar rates and terms. Finally, immediate financing can be obtained through a low-interest rate cash advance based on the sale of a portion of the agency’s future profits. 

What are issues affecting a home healthcare business?

Innovation: To run a successful and highly rated home healthcare agency, you need to stay on top of technological advancements in the industry. Health monitoring software and fall detectors are two examples of products that provide an increased level of care that aging clients expect.

Federal Programs: Budget cuts and political uncertainty have kept Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act in a state of flux. Being aware of any changes or further reductions or enhancements in these programs is vital to your business. 

Staffing Shortages: This industry is faced with similar workforce shortages currently seen in other sectors. Demand for trained medical and other support staff is anticipated to only increase in the future. To combat this workforce gap, an agency owner needs to use a combination of targeted staff recruitment, strategic planning and virtual technology to optimize success.

Older adults are looking for care options that allow them to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. By choosing to start the right type of agency, hiring qualified staff and securing home healthcare financing, you can be on your way to fulfilling a vital service while becoming a business owner.