Starting a Non-Medical Home Care Company? SC Requires a License

home health care
Home health care is one of the biggest growing businesses in the country. With growth comes scrutiny. As in AC which now requires a licensing application in order to open a company. Getty Images

Home care companies are coming out of the woodwork, almost literally. With an increased desire to "age in place", more and more services are being delivered straight to the home. One of the fastest growing businesses is non-medical home care. If you plan or are starting a Non-Medical Home Care Company in South Carolina, you now need a license to do so. Look for more scrutiny of the industry over time.

There is a difference keep in mind between medical and non-medical home care. Non-medical home care services include personal care, assistance with daily living activities, meal preparation, housekeeping and transportation.

Medical skilled home health agencies administer skilled licensed nursing and rehab services under physician's orders with strict guidelines.

Non-medical in-home care services in South Carolina will now have to obtain licenses in order to operate.

The law took effect in 2015 after officials in the state's Department of Health and Environmental Protection finished designing the licensing process.

Among the things they address are:

  • license application and renewal procedures
  • criminal record checks for applicants
  • drug testing of applicants
  • responsibilities and duties of a licensee
  • fees the department may charge to process an application for a license
  • criteria that a licensee's employee, agent, independent contractor, or referral must satisfy before providing in-home care service
  • standards for liability and other appropriate insurance coverage
  • sanctions that the department may impose for a violation

The senior care sector consistently scores well on Franchise Business Review’s franchisee satisfaction surveys and that’s largely because of the “pros” that the sector provides. These include:

  • relative scheduling flexibility once your business is established and you have the right employees
  • ability to work out of a home office, which keeps cash requirements low
  • the senior care market is one that continues to grow and prosper despite what’s going on in the world economy
  • the ability to do good and to develop strong ties to the community and clients.

On the flip side, it’s getting harder to differentiate yourself because there are over 40 brands now where 10 years ago there were half a dozen. It’s harder for the consumer to differentiate the differences between companies and their offerings.

This of course is part of a trend across the country to provide greater regulation for this fast-growing business sector.

Smart operators in the so far unaffected states would be wise to start reviewing the legislative requirements. Prepare yourself now. Because when legislation comes to your state you will be well ahead of the game. The competitive differentiation will help you corner the market, at least for a while!


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