Screening Home Health Care and Hospice Caregivers

As a healthcare provider in either the home health care or hospice industry, it’s vital to ensure that you are financially protected with the right type of Specialty Insurance for the Healthcare Industry. Equally important is the hiring and screening of the employees that care for your patients. While you may have certain educational requirements they must meet and a certain level of experience they must have in the industry, you should not rely on these factors alone; employees should go through a rigorous background check and screening process.

Employment screening and specifically background checks in the healthcare industry are often regulated, and as a result many states have implemented  legislation for conducting home healthcare background checks. In Oklahoma for example,within the last couple of years they’ve established the Oklahoma Long Term Care National Background Check Program, which is a fingerprint-based national background check program. A similar Ohio regulation makes criminal background checks more frequent, detailed, and uniform amongst both home-based care workers as well as community-based caregivers. It’s important to check with your state for rules and regulations regarding this process.

Recent Federal healthcare laws now also require background screening in all 50 states. This means that no matter how your state regulates these checks, it’s required to do some form of federal background investigation to ensure that no information is being missed that could impact the safety of patients or fellow employees. This means being thorough; best practices include not only implementing FBI fingerprint background checks, but also a primary source criminal background check, such as criminal record searches for your county. This is publicly available information that could be vital to your screening process.

In addition, many legal experts and healthcare officials recommend conducting drug and alcohol screening. Even if a caregiver doesn’t have a criminal record, abusing drugs or alcohol could pose a serious threat to the patients they serve and a reflection on your agency as a whole. Home healthcare and hospice employers who engage in this type of screening for their entire staff can better mitigate the risks of these particular employees or potential employees.

The more thorough your employee and pre-employment screening processes are, the better risk you will be for an insurance company. Your insurance carrier will be more confident in your operations knowing that you hold your staff to an appropriately high standard.  You will be actively taking steps to reduce losses due to abuse, violence or theft for example.  Many insurance providers apply a surcharge to your premium if you are not performing appropriate checks (if you were to even qualify for coverage); the most rigorous procedures in place for background checks and drug and alcohol screening often merit a credit to your premium.  There are also insurance programs that offer the insured a discount on the background check services (such as IntelliCorp in our program) to ensure the quality and retention of new hires.

At Manchester Specialty Programs, you will find all the insurance coverage you need to operate your business, and all in one program. We deliver specialty insurance programs that are specifically designed for home care and hospice firms in both medical and support roles. Our comprehensive home health care and hospice provider insurance program is designed to help these agencies continue to provide the important services they offer throughout our communities. To find out more about our operation and all our specialty insurance programs, you or your local insurance broker can give us a call today at 855-972-9399.