Professional Liability – Importance of Screening and Credentialing

Due to the rising need for in-home care and services, new home health care models are being adopted, posing additional challenges related to employee screening. In addition, some states have home health care governance and management regulations over the hiring of direct care workers, including requirements for criminal background checks, child abuse clearance, licensing and training, and health screening.

The white paper, “Shift Change: Traditional & Emerging Home Healthcare Models and the Importance of Screening/Credentialing of Staff,” from one of our key Professional Liability carrier partners, Skyward Specialty Insurance examines two models – self-directed care and technology-based platforms – as well as the challenges and potential risks associated with these models.

Self-Directed Care Model

Under the self-directed care model, patients choose whom they want to provide their care, typically a family member or a close friend, and the state pays the selected caregiver. In the states where these programs are implemented, existing traditional home health care agencies are frequently asked to accept self-directed care customers and administer payroll and patient care administration. Even if the patient knows the caregiver, adequate staff screening is still required.

Technology-Based Platforms Model

Increasingly more home health care agencies are now using technology platforms to schedule services anytime and from various providers, including caregivers, CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. While these models provide convenience, some platforms focus more on the use of the technology and accessibility than on the patient’s safety and the needed level of care. In addition, the criteria for providers to use platforms for referrals or patient matches vary greatly depending on the technology platform.

Background Checks: Making Informed Hiring Decisions

As with the traditional home health care model, applicant screenings are crucial in making informed hiring decisions, maintaining quality patient care, and overall business management in these two new models. This includes conducting various detailed background checks (via national, state, and county criminal records, national/state sex offender registry, employment verification, motor vehicle records, and others) and having the correct basic information (such as the candidate’s proper name and current address) to capture accurate data. There is a risk of making a significant hiring mistake that jeopardizes patient safety if accurate and up-to-date information is not available.

The white paper illustrates the ramifications of employing the wrong individual. Caregivers with prior convictions or licensing concerns are thought to be more likely to conduct several patient- and/or property-related infractions, resulting in dissatisfied clients, financial penalties, and potential litigation. The white paper also offers a number of lawsuit scenarios that can arise when regular and rigorous screening methods are not implemented.

About One80 Intermediaries/Manchester Specialty

Manchester Specialty, a division of One80 Intermediaries, provides comprehensive business insurance solutions for home care, medical staffing, allied health, and human/social services organizations. Licensed to do business as a program administrator in all 50 states and D.C., our agent/broker partners and their Allied Health clients look to us for our expertise, broad product capability, and commitment to the market and the quality and stability of our insurance programs.

For more information call us at 1-802-472-1500 or visit Allied Health Care Firms – One80 Intermediaries.