A recent report released forecasts the loss rate for long-term care facilities will continue to increase by 6% with claim frequency driving the increase at an expected 3% growth rate. This will be the sixth year in a row that the annual cost to defend, settle or litigate claims will rise – projected 2019 costs are $2,410 per occupied bed. Additionally, findings identified arbitration agreements contributed to a 3% decrease in claim costs.
With this knowledge, what can senior living management do to limit their claims? Here are a few options:
- Evaluate the current admission and discharge processes to identify if resident care needs can be provided not only for new admissions but also for those currently in your community. During the admission process, challenge your thoughts on the ability to provide the necessary care and services as well as the family dynamics of future residents. Many times, the health of a current residents declines and the existing environment is no longer safe or care needs exceed the ability to provide quality care. How has your community planned to address discharge to a more appropriate setting?
- Educate family members on realistic expectations relative to the care and services provided in a senior living setting. Family members need to be reassured they are making the best decision for their loved one as well as the realities of nursing home life.
- Implement an adverse event management process which focuses on those resident events that correlate to survey deficiencies as well as potential professional liability claims or lawsuits. This process engages a clinical risk manager to assist community staff in identifying appropriate interventions as well as documentation and family communication. By quickly managing these events communities are able to mitigate financial risk associated with surveys and liability insurance.
With rising costs, senior living communities should be aware of ways to improve the efficiency, safety and success of the organization. The right preparation can help senior living communities cut costs stemming from claims. If you’re looking for ways to minimize risks and cut costs, contact an AssuredPartners Senior Living expert.
Source: Aon Global Risk Consulting - 2018 Aon General and Professional Liability Benchmark for Long Term Care Providers Actuarial Analysis