Business Overview

Hospice, also known as palliative care, offers clients a safe and caring environment as they prepare to pass on. Terminal patients are kept comfortable, receiving round the clock medical attention. Family members are offered support and education as they prepare for the passing of a loved one.

Who is this business right for?

This business is best suited for individuals who are passionate about helping others and can offer compassion and understanding to their clients. Additionally, owning a palliative care facility requires a leader who is ready to face the challenges that come with running a multi-faceted facility, meeting the needs of employees spanning several departments.

What happens during a typical day at a hospice business?

Your day-to-day activities will vary, depending upon how large of a role you wish to take within the organization. Initially, many palliative care facility owners serve as the hospice administrator, which requires them to wear many hats. Their typical duties include:

  • Answering emails and phone calls from prospective clients/patients
  • Meeting with prospective clients/patients to identify their needs
  • Keeping up with local, state, regional, and national regulations to ensure the facility is in compliance
  • Identifying organizational policies that require updating and implement changes
  • Budget management
  • Maintaining relationships with vendors, medical professionals, and support staff
  • Fundraising
  • Education
  • Overseeing the recruitment, hiring, training, and supervision of workforce

As the business expands, you’ll want to employ team members to take over many of the above duties, as well as the day-to-day administrative duties you’ll initially be tasked with.

What is the target market?

Hospice care is reserved for terminally ill patients with a life expectancy of 6 months or less. If an individual lives beyond that timeframe, the medical director or physician must recertify that they are terminally ill.

How does a hospice business make money?

Both nonprofit and for-profit hospices receive funds from multiple sources. For many, charitable donations and grants comprise a great portion of their revenue. Additionally, they’re reimbursed by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid for each terminally ill patient they care for. Most facilities are reimbursed on a per diem basis, offering a set payment amount for each day the patient is enrolled in the program, regardless of services required. For patients who require around-the-clock home nursing care, hospice is reimbursed on an hourly basis.

What is the growth potential for a hospice business?

Due to changes in patient needs and preferences and an increasingly aging population, the hospice industry has grown to almost $19 billion over the last decade. It’s projected to grow another 7.4% annually through 2017. Through strong marketing campaigns and cost-saving initiatives, many hospice founders report aggressive growth, beginning their first year of business. Dedicated and innovative entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to participate in a profession with virtually unlimited growth potential.