Also referred to as palliative care, hospice businesses are known to provide clients with a convenient and caring environment as they prepare to pass on. They strive to ensure that terminal patients are kept comfortable, get round-the-clock medical attention and that their loved ones also get the necessary support they need to prepare for the passing of a loved one.
According to experts, this business is ideal for individuals who love to help others and can provide kindness and understanding to their clients. Also note that this sort of healthcare business requires a leader who is willing to deal with the challenges that come with running a multi-faceted facility, and seeing to the needs of employees spanning several departments.
These businesses tend to obtain funds from numerous sources. For a good number of them, charitable donations and grants make up a massive percentage of their revenue. They can also get reimbursed by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Most are also reimbursed on a per diem basis, offering a set payment amount for each day the patient is enrolled in the program, regardless of the services required. Final payment amounts tend to differ each year, but the average for routine care is around $146/day.
If continuous care is provided, Medicare reimburses at an hourly rate of approximately $40/hour. Owing to the sensitive nature of the business, it’s pertinent that you possess strong interpersonal skills to enable you effectively communicate with families, staff, pharmacists, healthcare professionals, religious clergy, and funeral directors.
Pros of Owning a Hospice Business
There are certain advantages that come with starting and running a hospice business. These benefits may include;
One of the major advantages to opening a hospice business is that the market for the services you offer will continue to grow at an above-average rate. Efforts are steadily being made by healthcare providers, state governments, advocacy groups, and payers, among others, to ensure palliative care remains more accessible to patients and families.
The U.S. hospice market size was noted at USD 32.1 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at an encouraging annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.20% within the next few years. Have it in mind that the growing geriatric population in addition to the rising prevalence of chronic and age-associated diseases is expected to boost the market growth.
Another advantage of starting this business is the financial stability that comes with it. According to reports, well to do hospice care business owners make around $120,000 to $175,000 profit.
While this will vary depending upon the number of patients your business cares for, the average billable hour rate for services provided, the number of hours each patient is provided each month, this figure is expected to keep rising owing to the rising demand in the industry.
According to reports, the U.S. population aged 65 years and above is expected to reach 95 million by 2060 from 52 million in 2018. This entails that successful businesses in this field will keep making money and that’s more profits for their owners.
Starting a hospice service business can be quite rewarding as you are solving a very critical issue for your customer. When starting a hospice service business, you get to the opportunity to invest your energy into something you are truly passionate about! You’ll find yourself devoting as much time and energy as possible into the business to make it successful.
These businesses are known to cater to a wide range of clients with differing needs. Working with many patients provides diversity in the tasks and job duties you perform. Variety in your day-to-day activities while working will surely make the job more exciting and also help to sustain your interest in the field. With starting a hospice service business, there is truly never a dull moment.
You also get to meet interesting people from all walks of life. With starting a hospice service business, there is not just one business model to choose from. Although this may complicate things, it’s great to have different options and sources of revenue.
Opportunity to Offer Emotional Support
Note that one of the interesting aspects of this business is the ability to serve as a supportive figure for individuals and families going through difficult times. It also provides the platform for you to serve as an advocate for the patients and guarantee that they’re receiving optimal care. You and your workers will be expected to offer educated guidance and support to patients and their families.
Indoor Work Environment
Due to the medical nature of hospice care, most of the work you do will be carried out indoors. Have it in mind that this serves as an advantage, especially for individuals who prefer to work in air-conditioned, sheltered settings.
The care your business provides can take place in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities and in the patient’s home. While owners may not always get involved, note that you get the opportunity to work in multiple hospice locations with various patients, but these are all indoor, well-kept environments with medical personnel.
Cons of Owning a Hospice Business
There are some cons of starting this business too, and they may include;
Irregular Work Hours
In this line of business, the amount of work assigned to you and your schedule will be inconsistent, and this will surely reflect on your income. Owing to that, it is important to set boundaries and budget accordingly based on the amount of work you plan to have.
With starting a hospice service business, all responsibilities and decisions are in your hands. Although this is not necessarily a negative thing, work-life can take over at times. These irregular hours can take away from your ability to schedule non-work activities with your family and friends.
May Have Multiple Patients At Once
Hospice businesses are known to work with several patients at the same time. Note that these patients may be in different locations, such as hospitals, nursing homes, or the patient’s personal residence, requiring you to always travel for work.
It’s not uncommon for hospice owners to commute with their workers between patients. It’s very pertinent to have organization skills and attention to detail so you can keep track of the resources and support needed by each patient.
The emotional demand that comes with this business is another disadvantage to consider when starting this venture. Individuals who qualify for hospice are often terminally ill and may experience pain, discomfort and sadness.
You are always expected to show compassion and professionalism to ensure that you’re meeting the patient’s physical and emotional needs. You will have to learn to manage your mental health and emotions to ensure you survive in this business.
When the economy is down, hospice service businesses are one of the first things to be cut. Also, note that it can be more of a challenge to make passive income in this business. Most often, the amount of revenue you bring in is limited by the amount of time you have in the day.
In addition, the cost of various types of health-care equipment, the rising cost of insurance and the dependence of many elderly patients upon government insurance programs like Medicare will genuinely influence your business revenue negatively.
Having to contend with all of the government and insurance-industry red tape to receive payment can be one major disadvantage.
Exposure to Illness
Until you have adequate staffing that will allow you to delegate responsibility, you may be required to carry much of the burden associated with running the facility. It may include working in hospitals and other medical care facilities, and this entails getting exposed to illness more often than the average person.
Although a good number of hospice patients are terminally ill and not contagious, you can still come in contact with individuals who are ill or employees who work directly with these patients.
When you start this healthcare business, you offer guidance, resources and support to individuals undergoing end-of-life care, known as hospice. Note that carefully examining both the advantages and disadvantages of starting this business can help you make such a decision.
You should consider working with hospitals, physicians, and other facilities in the community to educate consumers on the benefits of hospice care. By creating awareness, you establish yourself as a leader in the industry and develop a strong referral base.