Hospices offer a variety of services to help transition their patients through difficult periods in their lives. In some cases, hospice services are used for rehabilitation, but most often, hospice facilities or home hospice services are tasked with providing terminally ill patients with end-of-life care. These services have a strong focus on keeping a dying patient as comfortable and as pain-free as possible during their last days, and can include medical, emotional and spiritual support.
Hospice facilities typically provide these services within their facility, and employ a many different types of staff members to do so. Hospice staff can include, but is not limited to, social workers, counselors, physical therapists, nurses, physicians, and medical directors who all work together to create and execute a plan to care for and support each individual patient based on their needs.
While the responsibilities vary among hospice staff, the standard of care practices and the risks involved in caring for hospice patients apply to everyone. Many hospice facilities may also dispatch skilled nursing staff to patients’ homes, which can add additional risks to an already lengthy list.
Hospice Care Liability Coverage
Working with patients who have high needs is risky in and of itself, and if an accident happens, causing a hospice patient to suffer further injuries, the facility or provider can be held liable. For hospice providers, it’s important to form a business protection plan with healthcare facilities insurance programs that are tailored to the provider’s needs. Some of the most important coverage types for hospice care providers are highlighted below.
- General Liability – This type of insurance covers some of the most common non-employee lawsuits that result from everyday business activities. If a patient or visitor is injured due to non-medical negligence (such as a slip and fall accident) it would be covered under general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability – This covers the facility from damages resulting from a medical-related incident – essentially it’s a type of malpractice coverage. Since hospice staff are sometimes treating patients around the clock, they are constantly at risk of claims of administering the wrong medication, providing incorrect treatment, inappropriate interactions with patients, neglect or any other possible on-the-job mistakes.
- Sexual Abuse – Also called sexual misconduct coverage, this is unfortunately another necessary coverage for hospice providers. Most general liability policies contain specific sexual abuse exclusions, so even with policies and procedures in place to try and prevent sexual abuse from happening, it’s important to have this coverage as well.
- Cyber – As more patient data is stored and transferred over online networks, the risk of a data breach increases. Health information breaches can have serious consequences for both healthcare providers and their patients. It’s important to have comprehensive cyber liability coverage that can help a provider and their patients recover financially if a data breach were to occur.
- Employment Practices Liability – This type of coverage protects the facility from a large variety of employment issues that can arise during the operation of their business such as wrongful termination, harassment and other related issues.
- Commercial Auto – This protects a hospice provider from damages resulting from an accident or injury in a commercial vehicle. Whether it’s transporting a patient or delivering medical supplies, any commercial use of transportation requires this type of coverage.
- Workers’ Compensation – All employers need this coverage, no matter the industry. With hospice staff caring for patients around-the-clock there are always risks for injury or accidents. Additionally, some patients can be difficult to care for and end up injuring staff unintentionally.
- Commercial Umbrella – Acts as a secondary line of defense for a business’s insurance coverage, offering protection over and above the primary policy limits.
Whether a hospice provider has 10 or 1,000 patients, there are always liabilities involved. If a patient or their family decided to sue a facility or provider, the cost of defending the case alone could cause major financial damage. National wholesaler Highland Risk Services works exclusively with agents to provide hospice programs and facilities with the right insurance solutions so they can offer the best care to their patients without the worry of losing money to liability claims.
About Highland Risk Services
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 offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, 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.