Nursing is a field that is high demand even as many nurses retire, leaving institutions scrambling for talent. The short term solution is relying on contract nurses to fill in the gaps or hire nurses through agencies instead of trying to find them yourself. This has led to a spike in nursing agencies. Here are the steps you should follow to set up a nursing agency yourself.
Select a Business Model
Are you going to set up your own business or become a franchise of an existing business? Franchises have the benefit of brand recognition, a proven business plan and often come with advice for new business owners. The downsides include having to follow someone else’s rules and paying them part of your profits.
You should also consider the various business models available to you. Are you going to supply travel nurses who work at resorts during the busy season? Do you want to focus on short term nursing contracts with local hospitals? Do you want to find the well trained nurses like nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists that are in high demand?
Learn the Rules and Requirements You Must Meet
The requirements to run a nursing agency vary from city to city. Business licenses and liability insurance are a minimum, but you may have to have other licenses specific to your type of business. Since you’re working with ill or disabled patients, you will want to have very high insurance coverage to cover your business’ losses if you lose a medical malpractice, personal injury or wrongful death case. You’ll also probably have to follow health regulations such as ensuring all medical staff are eligible to work, have the necessary certifications and have completed all legally mandated vaccinations.
You don’t have a nursing agency if you don’t have nurses. Start building up a talent pool so that you can start deploying nurses as soon as you can accept patients’ payments. Once you have the necessary infrastructure to accept payments and people to send, start finding your first patients or customers like doctors’ offices.
Go Through the Steps to Accept Private Insurance
Many of your patients will pay for medical care using their health insurance. This necessitates meeting private medical insurance standards in addition to the basic legal ones set by your jurisdiction. You can ask insurers for this information; it may require being certified by them or learning how to bill them through their online portal. Do your research before you sign up with insurance companies, since they don’t all reimburse care at the same rate and you don’t want to end up relying on slow paying insurers to cover your bills.
Decide Whether Or Not to Accept Federal Funds
Most nursing agencies obtain the necessary licenses and certifications to accept Medicare and Medicaid, and they have to install and learn to operate the software Medicare requires for billing. You don’t absolutely need a masters in nurse administration degree to get these business licenses, but you learn how to deal with these federal bureaucracies when you earn an MSN degree from institutions like Bradley University. And, those with a masters in nursing administration have a definite leg up on the competition.
Nursing agencies are booming at the moment and are a great business choice for any nurse or someone with experience in nursing administrations. Select a business model that minimizes taxes and personal liability, learn the minimum rules and regulations you must meet and start recruiting competent nurses before you start recruiting patients. If you do so, you’ll be able to start your new venture on the right foot.