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How to Open a Rehab Center

There are many forms of rehabilitation that a community may benefit from having in operation. Knowing what kind of rehab you plan on providing will be the first step in this planning processing. Drug rehab, physical rehab, and psychosocial rehab are all potential options and each has its own unique challenges. Go with the one that best suits your own skills or the skills of your business partners.

The key to a good rehab center is to select a good rehabilitation model. There are numerous ones that are available for use in the public domain, such as the Clubhouse model. You can also use your own rehab model that you’ve developed if you wish. Market the strengths of this model within each of these following steps and you’ll have begun the entrepreneurial journey.

1. Secure a beneficial location for your center.

A rehab center has some unique challenges that must be met. Safety will always be your #1 priority, so you’ll need a building that can keep you, your staff, and your clients as safe as possible. Some states have specific requirements that must be met of the facilities in order for a license to be issued so that you can operate. Make sure you know what the local laws mandate and then look for a building with enough space to meet your needs.

2. Form a board of directors.

Whether you plan on operating the rehab center by yourself or you plan on hiring dozens of staff members, it is important to secure the support of your community. Recruit people to serve on your board of directors so that you can benefit from their local experience and niche expertise. Let the board of directors handle the initial marketing and community outreach tasks while you proceed forward with business licensing.

3. Register your business.

Every business requires at least a general business license in order to operate. You’ll need to have this license to apply for an EIN from the IRS so that you can hire employees if need be. Choose a business name and then register it with the Secretary of State or similar office. Certain jurisdictions also require city and county level licenses in addition to a state license, so be sure you’ve applied for every license to operate that is needed to avoid fines and penalties. If you’re planning on being a non-profit or tax-exempt organization, then this is the stage where you’ll need to apply for that status.

4. Certify your business.

Rehab services may be covered by taxpayer money. This is especially true for mental health services, which are typically certified by a governing agency. Physical rehabilitation may be covered Medicare or Medicaid, which may also require certification. Without this certification, you may not be able to conduct business. In some jurisdictions, you can begin a private rehab center without being certified, but you won’t be able to bill for services rendered through state or federal channels.

5. Start bringing in your clients.

Some rehab centers are a destination service, which means people may be ordered by the court to use you as a resource. Some centers, like a vocational rehab center, may need to recruit people in order to provide employment opportunities and supports. Employers, schools hospitals, and government agencies are all potential clients based on your treatment model. Contact everyone that makes sense.

6. Find your staff.

If you’re planning on hiring people to provide services, then now is the time to do so. You may not need to hire additional therapists, but if you’re providing job placements, you may need to hire someone to go out into the community and secure jobs for your clients. You’ll also need to look for janitorial staff or independent contractors, outside maintenance people if it isn’t covered in your lease, and other specific needs.

7. Throw a huge grand opening.

Your grand opening is going to be one of your largest events. It’s also the perfect time to do some fundraising. Invite everyone from your local community to tour your facilities and talk with your staff. Don’t forget to include invitations to the local media. Get as many names and addresses as possible, talk about the good things you’re going to be doing, and you’ll create a natural relationship where people will want to donate to such a good cause.

Knowing how to open a rehab center means you’ll be able to make a living by helping others in some way. Follow these steps and you’ll create a place in your community that will provide the supports that are needed.

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