Do you want to start a hospice business? If so, find here a detailed business plan guide for beginners on starting a hospice business covering aspects like costs, target market, licenses, permits, etc.
Hospice is a specialized type of healthcare service provided to terminally ill patients and their family members. One must understand the difference between palliative care and hospice care before starting a hospice business. Palliative care involves providing the patient with diagnosis, treatment, and caring service. Whereas hospice care begins when all treatment options are exhausted and the terminally ill patient is not going to survive much longer.
Hospice care is more about managing a patient’s pain, both physical and mental. The care emphasizes providing terminally ill patients comfort as long as they survive.
10 Steps to Start a Hospice Services Business
Anyone having a passion for the healthcare profession can start a hospice business. Find below a detailed plan guide on starting a hospice care services agency.
1. Learn the Trade of Hospice Business
Generally, hospice service is referred to the patient’s party by the doctor treating the patient. The staff of the hospice agency contacts the family members of the terminally ill patient and briefs them about the program offered to them. It is always preferred to work for a period of time with a reputed agency and then start the business. It will help you to understand the entire process of the hospice program.
2. Do Some Market Research
Conducting thorough market research is a must for hospice agency businesses. Talk to doctors, and healthcare professionals, and understand the demand for hospice services in the nearby locality. If already there are hospice agencies operating locally, meet them, and gather information regarding the opportunities and threats in operating the business. It will help you to figure out the gaps and plan them accordingly.
3. Name your Hospice Care Business
Choosing a proper and relatable name is critical to the success of the hospice agency business. Decide on a name that family members of the patient can easily relate to the services of your business. Check this guide on the steps involved in properly naming a business.
4. Create a Hospice Care Business Plan
If you are starting the business with your own finance, try to write a business plan for your hospice agency of your own. Check this guide on how to write a business plan or can take help from these business plan generators. However, if you are looking for funding, it is advised to take help from professional business plan writers.
Some of the topics on must address in your hospice service business plan document are as follows:
- Initial and recurring costs
- Target customers
- Pricing plan
- How do you plan to sell your hospice care services?
5. Get Your Hospice Business Registered
Registering your business is a must if you want to run a hospice agency free of stress and hassles. Contact the appropriate local business registering authority and decide upon the best possible business structure to have based on your resources. If you are from the United States, you can opt for LLC, as it provides certain extra benefits to business owners.
6. Licenses and Permits
You need to talk to the appropriate healthcare monitoring authority of the state to know the licenses required to operate a hospice service agency in your locality. The regulations differ from state to state. For example, if you are from the United States, you need to opt for NPI( National Provider Identification) number with Medicare/ Medicaid.
For example, if you are planning to open a hospice agency in California, check the official site of the California Department to know more about licensing requirements.
7. Build a Team
Building an effective and committed team of staff is the key to success in the hospice business. You need an administrator and a patient care director to start with. Nurses, volunteer coordinators, aids, bereavement coordinators, accounting professionals, etc are to be recruited. You must set up a standing order procedure for hiring new staff.
After they are inducted, you must arrange proper training programs for the new staff so that they get adjusted to the job profile as soon as possible. Documentation plays a very important role in the day-to-day operations of this business. You need to train them adequately in maintaining records.
8. Arrange Finance
The cost of starting a Hospice business will vary as per the scale and location. However, approximately you must be prepared to invest to the tune of $200,000 to $400,000 for a Medicare-certified Hospice agency.
Check with government agencies for grants and funding facilities. In the United States, both profit and nonprofits can receive donations from individuals and institutions. You can also pitch for private finance with your business plan
9. Choose the Right Software
Running a Hospice agency business requires a lot of documentation and record maintenance of patients. Talk to software vendors and select the right software. For accounting purposes, you can check our guide on Best Online Accounting Software for Small Business Owners.
10. Promote Your Hospice Business
Networking is extremely useful in promoting the hospice business. Especially, to create a relationship with the local medical community. Build relationships with doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes, and let them know about your services. Attend and conduct seminars and workshops in making people aware of hospice services.
Advertise in local newspapers and magazines. Create a website and make your presence felt online. Also, make a profile on popular social media platforms and keep on posting activities of your hospice agency.
The demand for Hospice services is expected to grow in the coming years. Anyone who is committed to serving people with honesty can build a successful and profitable hospice business.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.