CCRC Professional Liability: What Medical Practitioners Need to Know

Operating a retirement community is absolutely a full time job. People utilize these facilities when they no longer want the burden of living on their own, with all the responsibilities that a homeowner has, or when they not long want to live alone and want to be a part of community and the social life it offers. Your continuing care retirement community (CCRC) provides many of the comforts that a home can, and activities that allow these seniors a chance to meet new people and forge lasting friendships.

Some residents may also require care of one type or another, especially as they move from independent living to assisted care with the CCRC. You have a staff of trained and sympathetic individuals who desire to spend time with elderly residents that can provide for those needs as well. As a result of this care provided by a professional staff, such as nurses and physicians, your facility needs to have coverage for a number of risks and exposures, including incidents, whether accidental or intentional, that may spring up and could lead to costly litigation.

Types of incidents that can trigger lawsuits

Professional liability insurance for CCRCs is designed for medical professionals in the event they are accused of negligence, causing injury, or even food-induced illness. Administering medication in improper amounts or the wrong medication could cause seizures or other complications, particularly in older people. Professional liability also includes coverage for your medical director within the scope of his or her employment, during the course of providing services to residents.

Losses related to lawsuits are often large enough to put a company out of business. Even when vindicated, the bad publicity could further hurt future business prospects. There is a lot on the line when accusations are made that an error or negligence on your part caused physical or financial harm to someone.

Your current policy may not cover CCRC professional liability and that is a risk you simply cannot afford. That’s why you should invest the time to speak to a professional insurance advisor who is knowledgeable about retirement communities and fully understands the risks and exposures associated with this line of work.

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos cc

Insurance Agents Provide Independent Living Facilities Insurance for Owners

As a nation, we’re not getting any younger. As the number of senior citizens increases, with people are living longer, the need and demand for housing facilities is on the rise. For many seniors, who don’t require medical attention and merely need a comfortable place to call home, there are facilities available to meet those needs.

While the senior housing industry can now offer every level of care to seniors – from independent living facilities to nursing homes – the treatment of seniors is likely to continue to be an issue and a concern. There is also a question of safety, in terms of the types of accidents that commonly occur within a home, and with the added possibility of lawsuits, and in cases of serious injury, large damaging settlements.

Safety should be a goal of everyone involved

However, these concerns can be met with a viable solution; owners can look to agents that specialize in insuring independent living facilities with the experience to provide proper coverage at competitive prices along with the expertise to pinpoint exposures and how to address. With proper coverage independent living facilities will have the insurance to protect them in the event of litigation and claims against employees and other workers.

Safety should also be a strong focal point for owners, and as an owner you should take every precaution to remove any issues that could result in litigation. Providing a safe environment means implementing strong risk management protocols in taking care of seniors, making sure workers put away equipment and tools that could pose a risk, ensuring that the premises remain free of strangers and others not authorized to be on the grounds or in the facility, and holding ongoing training sessions and safety meetings to address issues when, and if, they arise.

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Food Contamination at Your Bar Can be More Dangerous than Alcohol

Many bar owners are so concerned about their liability issues concerning alcohol that they often overlook another very serious concern: food borne illness. For example, lemons need to be washed thoroughly before used as a garnish in a drink, but they’re not the only items that can spread food borne illness from behind the bar. As a bar owner you need to be concerned about food products you sell, as well as the cleanliness of employees handling these items.

“There are a lot of food borne illnesses that can be transferred through employees’ hands alone - E. coli, norovirus, even Hepatitis A,” says Cynthia L. Parenteau, a food safety consultant with Boston-based Berger Food Safety Consulting. The first key to protecting guests from illness is making sure that all employees wash their hands. And of course if someone does get ill, and decides to sue, you’re going to need food contamination insurance.

Dangers exist throughout the workplace

Still, there are other ways to experience food contamination. The ice machine, for example, can transmit dangerous bacteria to people drinking from clean glasses, causing yet another unsafe condition. This further underscores the necessity of wash your hands: Once your unkempt hand goes into the ice bin, the ice becomes dirty.

Also, never put a glass into the ice bin to get ice for a beverage; always use a clean ice scoop. Consider the real possibility that the glass could get chipped inside the ice bin without you or the staff noticing, and glass chips could be scooped up and served in the next cocktail.

If you serve snacks or hot food items they should all be rigorously inspected and handled with disposable sanitary gloves.

Prevention is worth a pound of cure and no one wants their business to be shut down for violating health and safety codes. What’s more, be sure you have the proper food contamination insurance to reflect your specific needs and exposures.

photo credit: Kake Pugh cc

What are the Advantages of Workers Compensation Claims Management?

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Many industry employers view insurance claims as simply part of the cost of doing business. Yet, for what it’s worth, plenty of workers’ compensation (WC) (and other costly insurance claims) can be prevented. Even after a claim is filed, there are steps you can take to help minimize its costs. This starts with creating a sound workers compensation claims management program.

Employers can benefit by better managing their WC claims

First off, develop a good relationship with your insurer. Understand that your insurance agent or your insurance company’s loss control representative can assist you in preventing claims, investigating claims, and managing the cost of a claim once it has been filed.

You should promptly report all claims to your insurer. Many owners fear that if they do that, their insurance premiums will rise. Yet, a minor injury could become much more severe, saddling you with the costs of a large medical bill, despite the fact that you’re already paying to have workers’ compensation coverage. Also, by promptly reporting all claims to your insurer, they can help to identify a claim that might be fraudulent.

You need to have a good return to work program designed to assign modified duties for those employees who are able to return to the job as soon as medically possible. You should implement a written policy that ensures all workers promptly report all claims to a manager and have someone available to help them with the procedure of filling out the required paperwork.

You should have open communication with your workers so that they know that you truly care about their safety and will do anything in your means to both, ensure their working in the safest possible environment and that the company will quickly come to their aid if they are the unfortunate victim of an accident while performing their duties. These are some very important steps towards a sound workers compensation claims management program.

Customer Satisfaction is Key to Successful Insurance Telemarketing

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Insurance telemarketing is an art and you need to hone your craft in order to be more successful at it. This begins with your first contact with a prospective customer. When prospecting, or calling people who won’t instantly recognize you, using both your first and last name builds your credibility and professionalism, and eases any skepticism. Once a relationship has been established, last names are no longer necessary.

Persistence really does pay off, but you don’t want to come off as annoying. If you ever receive comments about your being persistent, simply say something like, “I am. That’s because I believe so strongly in what I have, and how it will help you.”

When is the best time to call?

Have a specified field set aside in your computer or a consistent spot in your notes on the best time to call an individual. If you call the same people on a routine basis, knowing when you have a better chance of reaching them can save you a lot of time. If you catch them at a bad time, ask them when they would prefer for you to call, that way they will be expecting the call, rather than surprised by it.

Be sure customers are satisfied

Customer satisfaction is really at the heart of the matter. Dissatisfaction is the difference between customer expectations and results. It’s your job to understand what results your customer or potential customer expects, and then ensure that you can deliver before you sell them. It’s better to turn down a sale rather than have it turn sour. All good insurance telemarketing companies understand how important this fact is.

While you won’t always have a perfect fit with what someone needs, by referring them elsewhere, you are still accomplishing what should be your ultimate objective: helping the prospect get what they really want and need. They will appreciate your willingness to help, and perhaps when the prospect does have something you can help them with, they’ll remember you as a result of this exchange.