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My husband and I are considering starting a home health agency. I am an RN and would be the director of nursing. What are the risks involved?

Wednesday May 1, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

My husband and I are considering starting a home health agency. I am an RN and would be the director of nursing. What are the risks involved?

Abigail



Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Abigail,

There are many risks in opening any business, and a home-healthcare agency is no exception. However, with careful planning and consultation with appropriate professionals, you can minimize those risks.

Professionals you should consult with or retain on an ongoing basis include:
• a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who is familiar with healthcare delivery in the home setting;
• an attorney who practices business law and can help you establish your healthcare business and help with an organizational model and the required notifications to the state;
• an accountant who can help you with the required forms for the business, obtaining a federal Employer Identification Number and filing your state and federal taxes;
• an insurance agent who can help you obtain premises liability insurance and professional liability insurance;
• an electronic medical records consultant who can help you select and maintain an EMR system;
• a nurse consultant to help you identify what type of staff you need and what your patient population will be, and help to develop policies and procedures for the agency.

All of the information you need should be obtained, and recommended protections in place, before you start providing any home-healthcare services. This may take some time so the sooner you obtain the help you need, the sooner the business can be up and running.

Cordially,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.