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While we tend to think of health care as being provided solely in places like hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices, the reality is that it is frequently provided in the comfort of people's own home. By way of example, consider the burgeoning field of telemedicine, which enables people to see a physician or nurse practitioner via the internet, and, of course, home health care providers.

For those unfamiliar with home health providers, they are the individuals or entities that provide both medical-related services in the residences of everyone from the elderly and the disabled to those who are gravely ill and those who are recovering from hospitals stays.

It's important for those considering launching a business catering to the needs of these often homebound people here in Florida to understand that there are certain requirements they must satisfy, including, most significantly, securing the necessary licensure from the Agency For Health Care Administration.

This naturally begs the question as to what types of companies or independent health care professionals must be licensed.

According to the AHCA, the following must be licensed or registered with the state:

  • Nurse registries: Entities that coordinate the provision of medical services by certified nursing assistants, home health aides, nurses or companions to patients in their homes
  • Hospices: Entities that provide continuous palliative and otherwise supportive care for terminally ill patients and their loved ones in a home setting
  • Home medical equipment providers: Entities that rent or sell home medical equipment, and provide services related to this equipment (delivery, assembly, maintenance, etc.)
  • Homemaker/companion services providers: Entities that help the elderly and the disabled with cooking, housekeeping and others chores, while also providing companionship
  • Home health agencies: Entities that provide both unskilled services (i.e., those provided by nursing assistants, companions, home health aides) and skilled services (i.e., those provided by social workers, therapists and nurses) to patients in their homes

What the forgoing serves to illustrate is that navigating the legal landscape of ACHA regulations as they relate to licensure can be a complex endeavor for those looking to enter to home health care industry. As such, they should seriously consider consulting with an experienced legal professional who can help assist them with this issue and other compliance-related matters.

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