The Benefits of Care Provided the Elderly in Intermediate Care Facilities

Elder Immediate Care Facility

 

Content Updated: Jan 22, 2018

An intermediate care facility (ICF) is a type of healthcare facility designed to provide custodial care for individuals who are unable to care for themselves because of mental or physical infirmity.

ICFs are typically used by individuals who are disabled or non-acutely ill, but can provide a wide range of benefits for elderly patients as well. These care facilities provide less intensive care than what is offered at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, while giving patients an alternative to being in the hospital for extended amounts of time.

Who ICFs Work Best For

Seniors with chronic conditions who can’t live independently but do not need constant care can benefit from the services of an intermediate care facility. While ICFs were first established in the 1980s to help transition hospitalized elderly to their home within a few months, only half of the elderly discharged patients were able to return home and nearly 25% stayed in the intermediate care facility for over one year.

Intermediate care facilities provide supportive care and nursing supervision under medical direction twenty-four hours per day. The goal of these facilities is to enable patients to return to a home setting and regain or retain the functions of daily living if possible. The services an ICF can provide are of great benefit to elderly patients for a variety of reasons:

Patient Independence

Intermediate care facilities help to provide greater independence to elderly patients, which in turn increases their quality of life. May seniors could use some additional assistance with daily tasks, but don’t require specialized medical attention on a daily basis.

Intermediate care facilities can help with a multitude of tasks including; getting dressed or undressed, bathing and showering, daily hygiene, using the restroom, moving around the facility, laundry and housekeeping assistance, transportation to and from activities and appointments, and reminders to take medications.

Because ICF residents have more control over the structure of their daily life, they also feel more confident and motivated to reach their therapy goals.

Affordability

Intermediate care facilities can be less expensive than other types of care due to needing less administration and other resources to provide adequate service. This results in a decrease in operating expenses and, thus, the cost for the patient.

Elderly patients who do not require constant nursing care may find that an ICF is an affordable alternative to a nursing home. Studies show that patients in intermediate care facilities recover at the same rate as those who remain in the hospital. Because intermediate care is proven to be an effective alternative to an extended hospital stay, elderly patients can save money on costly hospital stays.

Simplified Care

Intermediate care facilities provide focused service, taking away from less important administrative tasks and centering on services that the patients really need. Regulations for intermediate facilities means standardized care for patients. Family members can rest easy knowing their elderly loved ones are being well cared for in a safe environment while still maintaining a large part of their independence.

Intermediate care facilities can also remove the challenge of decision-making. The decision to move an elderly patient back into a home environment can be challenging to make. Since patient recovery can be very unpredictable, intermediate care facilities provide an opportunity for continued monitoring by a physician, who can help decide when the time is right.

About Highland Risk

At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.

Matt Prewitt Joins Highland Risk Services, Inc.

 Matt PrewittHighland Risk Services is pleased to announce that Matt Prewitt has joined Highland Risk Services’ wholesale brokerage as Vice President. Mr. Prewitt is based at Highland’s headquarters in Chicago, IL.

As Vice President, Mr. Prewitt brings his 15 years of insurance experience to enhance and expand Highland Risk Services’ business production and development. Prior to joining Highland, Mr. Prewitt was the Senior Vice President of the Healthcare division for Risk Placement Services.  In this role, he was focused on placing healthcare risks to include long term care, miscellaneous facilities, physician and hospital placements.

“We are thrilled to have Matt join the Highland team” said Brian Daly, president of Highland Risk Services.  “We are a rapidly growing organization and a person with Matt’s proven track record of generating business opportunities fits in with our strategy.”  

Ryan Gillispie, Executive Vice President of Highland Risk Services, remarked, “Matt’s experience and industry knowledge makes him a valuable addition to Highland. I’m confident that Matt will play a key role in developing new business opportunities as we continue to grow our business.”

Mr. Prewitt remarked, “I am excited to be joining Highland Risk Services.  Highland is a great organization and I look forward to working with this group to continue its record of success.”

Matt Prewitt can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847-999-9478.

Cyber Security Training for Employees

If your business's cybersecurity consists solely of antivirus and firewalls, you are missing a dangerous area of risk: employees. Internal negligence and mistakes account for a significant portion of cyber attacks. Luckily, the appropriate cybersecurity training to prevent these mistakes is simple and easy for employees to learn.

Password Security

Businesses need to be extra cautious about their password practices in the face of rising cyber threats. Employee passwords should meet the following parameters:

  • Not a password used by the employee on personal accounts
  • Must be at least 10 characters
  • Must not contain dictionary words (opting instead for randomized patterns)
  • Must contain lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Must be changed at least every quarter
  • Must be deleted when an employee leaves the company
  • Must require two-factor authentication to reset the password

Avoiding Phishing

Reports show that up to 91% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing attempt. Phishing occurs when a criminal emails an employee asking for sensitive data under the guise of being a trustworthy authority. Usually, the criminal picks a facade like being a lawyer, vendor, IT specialist, creditor, government regulator, or other imposing figure. The well-meaning employee then releases either the sensitive data itself or the means to access it. Employees report that they responded to these malicious e-mails out of curiosity, fear, or a sense of urgency that prevented them from okaying the response with a superior.

Training employees to recognize and report phishing attempts can reduce the risk of falling victim. Running simulations can help demonstrate the difference between a legitimate email and a phishing attempt.

Unsecured Wi-Fi and Devices

Employees should be trained to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi and devices. Any Wi-Fi network that does not require a password is considered unsecured; these are commonly found at coffee shops, printing studios (like Kinkos), airports, etc. The same risk also exists in other places where Wi-Fi passwords are widely shared.

Unsecured devices are a risk to the business, too. This happens most often when employees use their personal desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access business information. When these devices are not protected by antivirus software, they are susceptible to cyber attack.

Review Cyber Liability Insurance Policy

Cyber Liability policies can protect a company's assets if it is breached, even if an employee is at fault. Most policies cover legal fees, government fines, IT overtime, data recovery, credit card company penalties, and consumer credit monitoring. However, some policies may require proof that the company conducted Cyber Security Employee Training to help show an attempt to mitigate the company's risks. Businesses must have a cyber liability policy and should review any obligations

If your business's cybersecurity consists solely of antivirus and firewalls, you are missing a dangerous area of risk: employees. Internal negligence and mistakes account for a significant portion of cyber attacks. Luckily, the appropriate cybersecurity training to prevent these mistakes is simple and easy for employees to learn.

Password Security

Businesses need to be extra cautious about their password practices in the face of rising cyber threats. Employee passwords should meet the following parameters:

  • Not a password used by the employee on personal accounts
  • Must be at least 10 characters
  • Must not contain dictionary words (opting instead for randomized patterns)
  • Must contain lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Must be changed at least every quarter
  • Must be deleted when an employee leaves the company
  • Must require two-factor authentication to reset the password

Avoiding Phishing

Reports show that up to 91% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing attempt. Phishing occurs when a criminal emails an employee asking for sensitive data under the guise of being a trustworthy authority. Usually, the criminal picks a facade like being a lawyer, vendor, IT specialist, creditor, government regulator, or other imposing figure. The well-meaning employee then releases either the sensitive data itself or the means to access it. Employees report that they responded to these malicious e-mails out of curiosity, fear, or a sense of urgency that prevented them from okaying the response with a superior.

Training employees to recognize and report phishing attempts can reduce the risk of falling victim. Running simulations can help demonstrate the difference between a legitimate email and a phishing attempt.

Unsecured Wi-Fi and Devices

Employees should be trained to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi and devices. Any Wi-Fi network that does not require a password is considered unsecured; these are commonly found at coffee shops, printing studios (like Kinkos), airports, etc. The same risk also exists in other places where Wi-Fi passwords are widely shared.

Unsecured devices are a risk to the business, too. This happens most often when employees use their personal desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access business information. When these devices are not protected by antivirus software, they are susceptible to cyber attack.

Review Cyber Liability Insurance Policy

Cyber Liability policies can protect a company's assets if it is breached, even if an employee is at fault. Most policies cover legal fees, government fines, IT overtime, data recovery, credit card company penalties, and consumer credit monitoring. However, some policies may require proof that the company conducted Cyber Security Employee Training to help show an attempt to mitigate the company's risks. Businesses must have a cyber liability policy and should review any obligations

Gov. Rick Scott Bill To Install Generators In Assisted Living Facilities

One of the most heartbreaking stories to come out of the devastation of Hurricane Irma might have a life-saving ending. In the months after the storm, 14 residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died due to heat-related illnesses and complications. The nursing home, located 20 miles north of Miami, had lost power to its air conditioning system on September 10, a scenario Governor Rick Scott hopes to prevent from ever happening again. However, associations representing care facilities are finding the new regulation and the potential requirement to carry liability insurance too far-reaching, expensive, and unrealistic.

The governor's emergency rule issued in October stated that all nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida are now required to install generators that can provide power in the event of an electricity outage. The care homes must also allot for 96 hours of fuel to run the generators. The governor's orders required compliance within 60 days.

Associations representing these kinds of facilities immediately opposed the ruling with two legal filings, arguing that the regulation was not in response to an “immediate danger.” They argued that it could take six months to two years to install a proper generator system. Despite their appeals, the First District Court of Appeal allowed the rule to stand.

Only a few weeks later, an administrative judge sided with the nursing home associations, agreeing that the new rule required too much of the facilities with too short of a deadline. The judge also felt the end of hurricane season being weeks away should allow the facilities more time to abide by the new regulation. With Governor Rick appealing this decision, the rule remains in effect as the battle continues in court.

Florida legislators are attempting to cement this regulation and are taking the cause even further by requiring all nursing homes and assisted living centers to obtain liability insurance. Their proposed legislation would also allow more state access for investigations and even prioritizes care facilities during power restoration efforts. If passed, this law would require generators in place by July 2018, the start of the next hurricane season, with fines of $1,000 per day for non-compliance.

Meanwhile, the fallout for the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills is not slowing any time soon. Families of affected residents have sued the nursing home for negligence, claiming the facility failed to call 9-1-1 or notify emergency officials of the need for help. State and federal agencies, as well as the local police, are investigating criminal charges. The state of Florida has revoked the center's license, and the feds have banned it from receiving Medicare funding. The center is now closed indefinitely after laying off 245 employees.

 

Professional Liability Insurance for Real Estate Companies: What You Need To Know

Real estate is a high-investment and often high-risk industry. The nature of the business involves hundreds of thousands to multi-millions of dollars on the line and complex legal transactions, making investors, residents, and other associates more likely to pull the trigger on a costly lawsuit if they feel the company was in any way negligent. Having the right insurance in place is essential to keeping a real estate company from paying exorbitant lawyer fees and judgments which could drive the business into insolvency. While there are several policies that should be in place, one of the most important for the real estate industry is professional liability insurance.

Professional liability insurance—also sometimes referred to as professional indemnity or errors & omissions—covers real estate companies against lawsuits claiming negligence, misrepresentation, bad-faith negotiation, inaccurate or misleading advice, and other professional mistakes. Keep in mind that these claims do not need to be true for the insurance to cover the legal costs. In fact, professional liability insurance covering the real estate company against groundless lawsuits is a very common occurrence. Professional liability is often combined or overlapped with directors & officers insurance (a type of policy that exclusively protects executives from personal financial responsibility), and it serves to fill in coverage gaps in general liability policies.

Let's look at a few real-world examples that indicate the need for real estate companies to carry professional liability policies.

In one case, the owner of a recently purchased home sues the real estate company claiming his agent failed to notify him of existing water damage. In another scenario, a potential tenant sues a real estate company claiming they lost their promised apartment due to discrimination. In the case of real estate developers, the homeowners can sue years down the line if they believe the construction was mismanaged and caused preventable damages. There are even cases where investors may sue a developer if they believe they were misled about the costs of a project—a tricky situation because construction often runs over-budget with no inherent negligence on the part of the developer. These are just a few of the many examples in which professional liability insurance can protect a real estate company.

It is important for real estate companies to review their insurance policies carefully. Common exclusions may be applied in the case of criminal intent (such as a case of fraud or otherwise knowingly wrongful acts), injuries resulting in death, or property damage caused directly by an agent. It is important for real estate companies to work with an experienced insurance agent to ensure there are no coverage gaps between the various necessary policies.

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