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Liability Insurance Costs Grow: Managing Risk

By Samone Maddox
June 26, 2019

The adult residential care industry has seen tremendous growth in the past decade which is only predicted to grow with the arrival of the baby-boomers. In the U.S., families rely heavily on adult residential care models because children don’t always live as close to their parents as they once did. With the continued demand, the industry has also seen an increase in risk, insurance claims, and now a predicted spike in insurance costs in 2019.

 Several well-known insurance companies have decided to leave the industry due to significant claims payouts, while others will remain but increase insurance rates to make up for the high claim frequency and costs. Some predict that insurance rates will increase by as much as 30% in 2019 for the senior and long-term living industry. A rate increase that many facilities, especially smaller ones, will not be able to afford without drastically increasing their fees.

With the possible rate increases, adult residential care facilities should review existing risk management plans and identify areas that need improvement.



 Fall Prevention Strategy

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Forty percent of insurance claims are a result of resident falls. Adult residential care facilities need to have robust fall prevention strategies in place to help minimize claims. Facilities should begin by reviewing fall history and looking for trends in why residents fell. Once they can identify trends, steps should be taken to implement policies and procedures to minimize future falls.


Common fall prevention techniques include:


  • Keeping walkways and common areas free of fall hazards.
  • Using alarms that allow residents at risk for falling to request assistance when they want to move from one place to another.
  • Conducting routine checks on high-risk residents.
  • Making sure residents have adequate resources to help prevent falls including walkers, canes, and non-slip shoes.
  • Installing handrails in hallways, rooms, and bathrooms.



Consistently Reviewing Care Needs


Residents’ care needs don’t always remain constant, making it vital that adult residential care facilities review resident care plans annually at a minimum. As care needs change, staffing should change to accommodate these needs and assure residents have adequate help when they need it most. If a facility is not able to adjust staffing, they should reconsider what types of residents they accept into their care.


 It is essential to understand that hiring just anybody to care for residents doesn’t help provide quality care. Staff members should be trained appropriately and undergo ongoing education to help minimize risks and potential insurance claims.



 Establishing Wellness Programs


Plenty of businesses utilize wellness programs as a way to reduce employment expenses from workers compensation claims and excessive time off work. The same type of wellness programs can be implemented in adult residential care homes to help improve residents’ ongoing health as well.


Wellness programs can include daily exercise, community activities to increase engagement, and mental exercises to help dementia and Alzheimer’s residents. When residents are more active physically and mentally, they are less likely to experience falls, elopements, and depression which can reduce potential risks and claims.



 Don’t Forget Communication


One of the critical factors in reducing claims and lawsuits is having strong relationships with family members. The more the resident’s family understands and knows about what is happening at the facility, the more they trust in the care being provided. Too often lawsuits are filed because the family wasn’t aware of changes in the resident’s needs or the steps being taken to ensure the best care.


 If you have concerns or questions about your existing risk management strategies, contact the team at Personal Care & Assisted Living Insurance Center (PCALIC) today. We specialize in working with adult residential care facilities with their insurance and risk management needs.

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