Though licensed in 2010, Tender Home Health has just been granted its Medicare Certification. It sounds like a long time, right? Well I can personally tell you that it definitely has been. I have been waiting for this moment for over 6 years; waiting and building this business from the ground up. I started off completed uneducated about home health and the industry and now have years of research, experience and knowledge to share.
So what advice can I give to other agencies looking to be licensed, certified and accredited?
Follow up. This should be rule number one. I researched, learned the process from start to finish, and waited the appropriate given timeframes. But resources are scarce and with all of the changes make sure you do not leave it up to the regulating bodies to contact you about your case. Consistently follow up to see that your package is close to completion. It seemed that every time I called, there was another problem. However, I never would have known if I had not contacted them first. Though there is a clear process, Joint Commission to State then State to Medicare, the coordination of this process can be easily interrupted. State and federal workers have become overwhelmed with the extensively high amount of paperwork requiring processing. In our case, we were lucky to come across supervisors and processers who went beyond the general answers. Create a communication plan for follow ups and stick to it.
Create relationships. Find the best person in that regulating body to contact and stick with them. Build a relationship so they know your name. Once they understand your concern and desire to build your agency, they feel more inclined to pay closer attention to your case. However, you should balance your communication with them so you do not get on their bad side. No one likes a pest.
Create a trigger plan. At every milestone, create a plan so you know exactly what to do once you receive your license, provider number or accreditation status. There are so many different aspects to consider so you will need to create a written plan so you do not leave anything out. Some aspects to consider would be marketing to gain referrals, compliance, daily operations, and staffing.
Overall, just remember to be tenacious. The future of your agency is in your hands so do not take no for an answer. Use the 20 numbers listed on the websites. Ask anyone and everyone you know for contacts and advice. Plan in the mean time.
Now that we are here, I can only be excited for myself and my partners. Tender Home Health is our baby and our vision was to change the face of home health; which is something we fully intend to do.