Home Health Care Provider & Business Liability Insurance: An Introduction

Meta-description: What types of liability insurances are available to home healthcare providers and businesses? Learn more on this post.

Baby boomers are the largest [1] population in the US, followed only by millennials who are yet to catch up. And they are retiring, which explains the surge in demand for home health agency (HHA) services.

Home healthcare aides assist the elderly who wish to age at home with medical and daily tasks. These aides are especially valuable to those recovering from major surgeries or ailing from serious illnesses and disabilities that demand constant care. Home healthcare aides and the agencies managing them are responsible for important services, exposing them to serious work-related risks. The work environment in this industry is the client’s home, where injuries, damage, and hazards can occur. This could result in clients filing lawsuits, which can impact HHA business such that you cannot recover.

There are ways in which home health aides can protect themselves from liabilities without incurring significant financial or reputational harm. To minimize the damage of client liability claims, HHA could invest in a home healthcare insurance that covers such claims.

Different types of insurance for home healthcare providers

As home healthcare involves working within the client’s home, the aide and agency are expected to take certain risks. During the period of employment, any untoward incident could occur causing the client to claim liabilities. These liabilities could fall within the scope of your responsibilities or occur as accidents that aren’t related to your services. There are different types of insurances, each of which covers a separate area of risk. Here are a few types of home healthcare insurances to which you could subscribe.

General liability insurance

Consider the situation wherein an elderly patient falls and sustains a hip fracture when under your supervision. The family may place the blame on you, stating that the accident wouldn’t have occurred if you had paid more attention or rearranged the furniture to prevent it. Events such as this that don’t directly relate to your responsibilities as a home healthcare aide are covered by general liability insurance. In such an instance, general liability insurance would cover the medical costs and claim.

Imagine a scenario where you accidentally knock over a vase in your patient’s house and break it. Your home healthcare agency’s liability insurance will cover the cost of replacing the lampshade.

It’s important to note that your general liability insurance will pay for claims that fall within the dollar limit that you have purchased. Any amount over that limit will have to be covered by yourself.

General liability insurance is one way to deal with liability claims, but home healthcare aides also have the option of committing to long-term training for the improvement of skills.

Slips, falls, and breaks can be avoided by being extra vigilant, particularly where there are wet, slippery, and poorly lit areas. You can also focus on paying extra attention to your wards when they’re moving around in the more dangerous areas of their homes.

General liability issues also stem from a poor understanding of patients’ needs and preferences. That’s why it’s essential to collect all information about a patient before commencing work as a home healthcare aide. For instance, if your patient is allergic to peanuts, you may want to steer clear of all dishes that include traces of peanuts.

Professional liability insurance

Negligence or malpractice claims are made when it’s established that a home healthcare aide didn’t respond in a reasonable way to a certain situation. This is judged by holding home healthcare aides to performance standards that are deemed generally acceptable in the home healthcare industry.

An example of such an instance is when a patient has to be admitted to the hospital, and the family claims that the home healthcare aide didn’t change dressings properly. A patient could also be admitted to the hospital as a result of wrongful administration of medication.

Managing transport for home healthcare patients with disabilities can be tricky. For instance, a home healthcare aide could accidentally drop the patient when transferring him or her from a wheelchair to a vehicle. Such claims are covered by professional liability insurance.

Professional liability insurance also covers misplacement of information. If a home healthcare aide misplaces a file with critical information, the cost for damages is covered by professional liability insurance.

Cyber insurance

Computers and mobile devices are an indispensable part of today’s healthcare industry. Where there are computers and mobile devices, there’s a serious risk of cyber-attacks. Although the chances are low, cybercriminals could hack into your devices to steal patient information for all the wrong reasons.

Data breach is a serious issue and could cost the defending party anywhere close to $500,000. The costs for legal defense and settlements can be covered by cyber insurance if you have subscribed to it. Cyber liability insurance typically covers security and privacy liability, data recovery regulatory proceedings, privacy crisis expense, and damages suffered by the victims due to the data breach.

Wrap

Home healthcare providers are faced with substantial risk because their work involves elders suffering from debilitating disorders and disabilities. The health, safety, and privacy of any provider’s patients are costly expenses for agencies or aides to bear. The right healthcare liability insurance can be the difference between losing your business and keeping it afloat. This article describes the different types of insurances for home healthcare agencies and aides that you can consider.


[1]          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/

Author: Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to editor.webposts@gmail.com.