454 Las Gallinas Avenue
The Doctors' Insurance Agency is proud of the work that we've done over the years providing insurance for physicians, facilities and healthcare organizations. We have recently been expanding our coverage to include custom designed medical malpractice policies for physicians who are contracting to provide medical director services for Assisted Living Facilities:
There are many types of Assisted Living Facilities, consider the many different solutions to the medical assistance that is provided to so many in our society desiring continued quality of life, safety and peace of mind.
Additionally, there are Personal Care Homes, Adult Foster Homes, Community Based Residential Care, Independent Living Homes.
Assisted Living Facilities need a comprehensive professional liability insurance solution because, just like with the surgeon or primary care physician, when there are allegations of negligence, you need to have confidence in the company you've been paying to respond in just this instance. The Insurance Carriers keep their promises when the claims are presented, this is the time that claims representation is so vital to the continuity of the facility and the success of the business. Families turn to the legal system when a resident is injured or killed because a facility failed to provide sufficient care or supervision to residents.
Our agency needs to understand the best resource available, with the most competitive premiums for assisted living facilities so that when allegations (like the most common) are presented, you have the right people responding.
Many residents are at high risk of assisted living facilities are at risk for injury, in spite of assistance levels, and The best way to fight lawsuits is to avoid them in the first place. Steps can be taken in this regard. The goal is always to avoid the lawsuit, and then, if there is one, to mitigate the damage. There are strategies for both avoidance and mitigation.
Focus on the basic compassionate care (again, similar to the physicians risk management plan). The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to develop a deep commitment to excellence in operating the facility.
It is advised that administrators use the Resident Health Assessment, AHCA Form 1823. ensuring that these forms are properly and fully completed, signed and dated is an excellent defense strategy for assisted living facilities.
Remember, too, that an administrator of an Assisted Living Facility must determine that each resident is appropriate for admission and for continued residency. Trying to overreach the medical capabilities of the facility is one of the more common causes of liability for these facilities.
Just as with Emergency Departments in hospitals, it is important to monitor the staffing numbers and ratios / patients compliance and calculations. Drawing on physician practice management analogs, physicians to nurse practitioners and nursing staff is regulated, similarly, assisted living facilities must be mindful of the number of staff to patients so that they can defend their position in a lawsuit if one is presented, and of course, consistent with the mission of raising the standard of care and fulfilling a mission of compassion requires that these ratios are never stretched.
Assisted Living Facilities can avoid costly fines and adverse events by properly training staff and paying close attention to daily work schedules for direct care staff. Time sheets and work environment in day care settings can be a direct cause of effective stewardship, care and health services.
And, as is the case with all medical practices, assisted living facilities must maintain records specifically listed in Rule 58A!... this clearly states that records which must be kept regarding:
Like a lot of patient safety strategies that we see in our work with The Doctors' Company, a focus on record keeping, documentation and planning avoids the large, devastating event.
John Heilman, the lawyer author of the above article says that record keeping helps administrators focus on the basics. This sounds like our medical Director for The Doctors' Company – David Troxel, M.D. Pathologist, Board Member of The Doctors' Company; who always reminds our members of the importance of proper documentation and files. Create internal incident reports. In addition to incident reports, internal incident reports should be created as a standard practice. Each facility should have a well-defined and understood policy of how to report any breach of the standard of care.
The Doctors' Insurance Agency is working hard to be in the best position to respond to all of your questions for professional liability insurance; from our colon hydrotherapy program to this fantastically innovative and competitive Assisted Living Facility Insurance program.