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Home Health Care Risk Management Part 1 – The Growth of Home Health Care

Home Healthcare Commercial Insurance

Home health care is defined as skilled nursing care and certain other health care services that you get in your home for the treatment of an illness or injury. At last count, there were 12,445 Medicare-certified home health agencies and 20,660 other home care companies in the United States. Indeed, home health care is the fastest growing sector in the industry serving those who require elderly health care. This is due to a number of reasons:

  • The enactment of Medicare in 1965
  • The 1987 revisions to Medicare, which introduced reimbursement to home care agencies
  • The continual growth of our aging population
  • The increased life expectancy of seniors
  • The willingness to decrease the length of hospital stays and provide early discharge of many patients to home care

Classification of Home Care Agencies

Freestanding proprietary agencies provide most formal home care. Home care is also provided by hospital-based agencies, with nonprofit public and private health agencies providing a smaller portion. There are three major classifications of home health care agencies:

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Risk Management for Healthcare Staffing Agencies

healthcare staffing agency insurance

Healthcare staffing agencies employ physicians, nurses, medical technicians, and healthcare professionals to work as contractors. Some major liability issues need to be taken into consideration due to a healthcare staffing agency’s operational dynamics.

  • Contracts may transfer risk or responsibility to the agency.
  • The agency ultimately lacks control over the day to day operations of the health care setting, which includes setting’s standards and policies; their coordination of services, and records; the quality of their other workers; and compliance with regulations.
  • Maintaining a positive relationship with the contracted client can often influence not only the staffing agency’s ability to report or address areas of concern and adverse events; the ability to investigate; but also the agency’s ability to defend itself.
  • If there are liability issues, it may be difficult to coordinate a defense because there are multiple defendants.

In order to meet the risk management needs of a healthcare staffing agency, there are some best practices for your healthcare staffing agency.

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities Benefit Senior’s Finances

CCRC

For seniors living on their savings built over a lifetime, moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may offer exactly the stability that they want and need. The devaluation of the housing market and concern over our economic instability may play an important role in this decision. In fact, choosing a CCRC can actually reduce financial risk for seniors.

A CCRC is a particular type of retirement community that offers several levels of health care on one campus.

  • Independent Living - Also referred to as “residential living,” these freestanding units and independent living apartments are for residents who do not need personal assistance.
  • Assisted Living - Also referred to as “extended living,” this serves those who require some help with the activities of daily living.
  • Memory Care - Sometimes referred to as “special care,” these units provide for those suffering from Alzheimer or other memory impairing conditions that need attention that is more intensive.
  • Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation - This option provides both short and long-term acre in an on-campus healthcare center.

A CCRC is a financially wise decision for a number of reasons.

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Allied Health Care Experiences Continual Growth

Allied Health Professional

Allied health care includes professionals – excluding doctors, nurses, dentists, and podiatrists – serving in medical facilities and occupations. The majority of healthcare workers serve in the 85 different professions identified as allied health. According to a University of California study, about 60% (8.4 million jobs) of all healthcare workers are in allied health professions, and this number continues to grow.

Reasons for the Growth of Allied Health Care

  • The aging baby boomer population - The eighty million seniors referred to as the baby boomer generation are beginning to reach retirement age. This is influencing allied healthcare by creating many openings in the industry. Additionally, baby boomers will need more health care as they age.
  • Increased longevity - Due to the improved quality of medical care, seniors are expected to live longer. This leads to an increased need for allied healthcare workers.
  • Shortage of doctors and nurses - In the next fifteen years, we will see a shortage of doctors and nurses, driving a need for more allied health professionals to provide necessary specialized services.
  • Advances in technology - Modern medical care is far more advanced than in the past. Now there is a demand for specialization in every health care field. Additionally, as new methodologies and equipment improve medical care; specialized positions will continue to be added.
  • National emphasis on the importance on wellness and need to reduce high obesity rate - As the United States pursues preventative and corrective measures to make our population healthier, more allied healthcare professionals, such as nutritionists, will be needed.

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When to Report an Incident in an Assisted Living Facility

An incident report is a form filled out to record details of an unusual event that occurs at an assisted living facility involving a patient. Guidelines usually require an incident report when an event occurs that harms an individual, illustrates a potential for harm, or evidences serious dissatisfaction by patients, visitors, or staff. An example of an incident requiring a report would be if a patient's visiting family member helps him out of bed despite directions to the contrary by staff members and the patient falls and is injured.

Incident reports must be completed promptly with all the circumstances surrounding the event, while the details are

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