Employee Handbooks for Home Health Agencies

Home Health Care agencies owe it to their business and to their patients to have an employee handbook that is complete and properly updated and maintained. This handbook is a way that your insured can state their mission, judge employee behavior in a true and fair fashion and implement employment guidelines and procedures. Employee handbooks will also include workplace behavior and performance expectations, information regarding pay and benefits, and employee time off.

Although this information is important for any business, there are a few specific details listed that are critical to home health agencies and their insurance providers.

  1. Abuse, Neglect & Sexual Harassment – Behavioral guidelines, whether that is relating to race, gender, religion, age, ethnicity or sexuality. Your insured is open to these types of risks as it involves the treatment of their patients and their  business’s reputation. Advise your insured to have a clear no-tolerance policy for any type of sexual misconduct within the workplace and to establish a process that will have all patients assessed for potential abuse and neglect. Your insured’s employees should also be instructed to report any suspicious behavior to their supervisors.
  2. Workers Compensation – A coverage provided to your insured’s employee at no cost to them by their employer. Your insured’s employee handbook should include what this exactly means to their employees and what responsibilities they have if an incident occurs. Advise your insured that their employees should report the injury      immediately to a supervisor, no matter how minor they think it may be.
  3. Smoking – As a specialist in Home Health Care insurance, we have noticed an increase in claims due to home health care employees smoking when on duty at a patient’s home. Advise your insureds that their employees should not smoke when visiting a patient’s home, even if they are outside the facility. They should enforce a no-tolerance policy if an insured’s patient informs the insured that their caretaker or nurse has been smoking on the premises.
  4. Falsification of Records & Data Breach – The healthcare industry is especially at risk for leaking sensitive patient information and falsifying patient records with incorrect information. Every home health care agency should include a no-tolerance policy for this type of misconduct, which may result in disciplinary action or      termination of the guilty party.
  5. Emergency Disaster Plan – Every insured should include a catastrophe plan of some sort; for example see Emergency Evacuation Planning for Homeless Shelters. The purpose of the Emergency Disaster Plan is to prepare your insured and your insured’s employees with proper procedures and coordination that will reassure the care and protection of their patients during an emergency situation, such as a natural disaster, bomb threat or fire. These types of situations each require a different course of action and should be treated as such. Make sure that the employee handbook guides the insureds through each disaster and how they can be ready and prepared. Advise your insureds to implement their Emergency Disaster Plan into their training program for their employees and update the plan on a regular basis.

Please note: The above mentioned provides only a selection of what important items should be included in your insured’s employee handbook and does not cover all areas of concern. For additional information, we advise insureds to contact their insurance broker and brokers to contact their insureds’ insurance carriers.

For information on AFC’s exclusive, “A” Rated, national Home Health Care Insurance Program, In-Home PlusSM, visit our website or call 877-456-5323. In-Home PlusSM offers a comprehensive package specifically designed to meet the needs of a full range of eligible home health care services.

AFC Insurance writes this blog. The content and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly for informative purposes from sources that are presumed accurate. AFC Insurance does not assume responsibility for any misguided information and no guarantees are implied.