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Nursing Home Best Practices

The quality of care and comfort that a nursing home provides is the backbone of their success. As most long term care facilities strive to reach excellence, there are some best practices that should be implemented in each to achieve this. With that said, ensure your clients are securely protected with an iron-clad Nursing Home Insurance Program and share the following recommendations with them. Provide high-quality care. A 4 or 5-star review from Medicare means that your clients have achieved excellence in their service. Furthermore, this company-wide reputation can be further promoted if there are no state survey discrepancies on file. Respect for residents is paramount. All residents are treated with respect by staff- this includes offering as much freedom, choice, privacy and involvement in care planning as is consistent with safe care, says Elder Care Helper. Offer person-centered care. Allow the residents as many choices and options in regards to what they eat, what they wear, bathing, activities, etc. Ensure their rooms are personalized and provide comfort for the residents. It’s also recommended that regular meetings are held to discuss residents and families and to resolve any conflicts or concerns immediately. Low turnover rates. Long term employees are indicative of good management, employee satisfaction, and quality care. If the turnover rate is high, that might imply that the nursing home has a lot of room for improvement in these key areas. At K&B Underwriters, we specialize in protecting nursing homes against a variety of risk exposures that they might face. Our innovative programs seek to safeguard assisted living facilities in order to mitigate risk, reduce losses, and control costs. To learn more about our operations, contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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Tips on Avoiding Medical Malpractice Claims

The scope of work for nurses in assisted living homes is ever-increasing. As these professionals take on more responsibility, they inevitably take on more risk. While nursing homes nationwide strive to provide quality and dependable care, litigation due to malpractice continues to be a cause for concern among this industry. With that said, let us take a closer look at how your clients can improve their chances of avoiding litigation and maintain their reputations. Even more importantly, however, is securing them with a comprehensive and customized Nursing Home Insurance Package. Know strengths and weaknesses. Arguably one of the most critical components of avoiding malpractice claims is understanding limitations. Not everyone is an expert in every aspect of the job, so if your clients are feeling overwhelmed or they are not comfortable performing certain tasks alone, they are encouraged to speak up. Remember, claiming they were unfamiliar with something after an injury has occurred will not hold up in court. Be mindful when delegating tasks. In order for a nursing home to run efficiently, a group effort must be made. Ensure your clients delegate tasks accordingly to their subordinates, as any mistakes in this can lead back to management and ownership. If there is a problem employee or the quality of work is not up to par, your clients are required to document the instances immediately. Pay attention to medications. Medication errors are the most common and potentially most dangerous of nursing errors; make sure you use the “five rights” of medication administration: right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, right time, says Nursing Journals. Use common sense. Avoid giving personal opinions to residents- instead, stick with the facts. Further, always be polite and discretionary. Even if a patient is upset or a mistake happens, communicate clearly, accept ownership, and be sensitive to their needs. Next, before signing any documents, your clients should read it thoroughly. Lastly, do the right thing. Never let a patient go through with a risky surgery without the proper preparation and research, ensure they are always being monitored, and treat them with respect. At K&B Underwriters, we specialize in insuring the nursing home sector. We understand the constant risks that they face and seek to protect their operations and employees as they work to serve their communities. For more information about our products, contact us…
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The Rise of Telemedicine in Nursing Homes

With razor-thin margins in the long-term care industry, new ways to promote revenue are being introduced. While the idea of telemedicine is not new, it is for these facilities. Furthermore, telemedicine allows a wide range of services to be offered to these patients at a lesser cost. As we take a closer look at the implications of this service and how to make it work for your clients, ensure they are covered with a customized Nursing Home Insurance Program to secure their operations. The American Telemedicine Association defines telemedicine as “the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.” The most common implementation of telemedicine is face-to-face video chatting with patients and doctors. This modern technology is ideal for those who live in rural facilities and find getting specialized treatment a challenge. Especially if there are issues with mobility, age, and physical condition, this development is a way for your clients to better care for their patients. Furthermore, telemedicine increases risk management as immediate consultations via video conferencing can reduce the lag time it takes for the doctors to refer patients to see specialty professionals. According to McKnight’s, in recent years, the acquisition cost of hardware for medical telecommunications has fallen drastically and purpose-built hardware is no longer required; excellent videoconferencing applications are available for use with off-the-shelf consumer computer equipment.  Of course, high-speed internet and secured network connections are critical to the success of telemedicine, as well, but all within reach for any long-term care facility. Furthermore, video calls can be placed in a multipurpose room or an office, wherever is feasible. Next, ensure your clients are reimbursed for their telemedicine services. At K&B Underwriters, we strive to insure nursing homes nationwide. We are well positioned and experienced in the field of senior living facilities and provide the proper support and tools to protect their operations. To learn more about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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Unwell Prisoners to be Sent to Nursing Homes?

A new bill in Michigan proposes that frail prisoners who are eligible for parole will be sent to nursing homes rather than stay in prison. As these prisoners cost the government over $5 million each year in additional healthcare costs, the bill is pushing for nursing homes to acquire some of those costs and responsibility. While not everyone is on board with this decision and is still being fought, it’s imperative to for nursing homes to be equipped with the best Nursing Home Facility Insurance available to accommodate the additional exposures they may face. Representative Al Pscholka seeks to save the state prisons approximately $5.4 million each year by passing off the unwell prisoners to nursing home facilities. According to the Associated Press, these frail prisoners cost three to five times more to take care of each year. Pscholka also notes that many of these frail prisoners are likely to be abused in prison or are bed-ridden, so sending them to nursing homes would be a better fit. Pscholka’s bill would allow around 120 prisoners up for parole each year — roughly the same number that die in the state’s prisons each year, says McKnight’s. Furthermore, if the bill is passed, it may include Medicare coverage for these individuals. Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections states that the majority of their prisoners were incarcerated in the 1980’s due to the “tough on crime” era and are not particularly threatening to civilian society. On the contrary, Melissa Samuel, vice president of government services for the Health Care Association of Michigan, explained “We’ve always had concerns with this fundamentally. The association feels that regardless of their health that these people should not be put into long-term care settings, specifically nursing facilities.” So, what’s the solution? Some are proposing a dedicated facility for these former inmates to receive the proper care they need. The bill is now with the Senate for their consideration. At K&B Underwriters, we strive to insure nursing homes nationwide. We are well positioned and experienced in the field of senior living facilities and provide the proper support and tools to protect their operations. To learn more about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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Improving Employee Retention in Nursing Homes

It’s no secret that this industry has high turnover rates. The costs of employee acquisition and training can take a bite out of the budget, costing the company thousands over the course of the year. However, these staffing and retention tips, given straight from the experts, are great tools to implement in order to reduce employee turnover and increase guest satisfaction. While many top company strategies may be out of the question, plenty of these ideas can be emulated in any size nursing home facility. In addition, ensure your clients’ facility is adequately protected with Nursing Home Liability Insurance to cover all their bases. The goal is to implement benefits and strategies that will encourage employee retention. For example, consider posting job opportunities internally for a few days or a week before allowing outside applicants to be notified. This way, employees are likely to feel valued and get a leg up on the competition. Or, consider offering employees who have previously worked at the nursing home their original benefits and seniority within two-five years of resigning. Not only will this benefit them greatly, your clients will be able to hire experienced, qualified workers for the job. Thus, reducing acquisition and training costs. Another way to boost employee morale and reduce turnover is to show videos of how these nursing home facilities are positively impacting the residents and their communities. While the industry may have its fair share of challenges, an uplifting video may just provide the little reminder and words of encouragement for the employees to keep going. Experts recommend choosing one to three ideas and incorporating them into the culture. According to McKnight’s, the result could be an improved corporate culture, happier workers, lower turnover and less absenteeism. At K&B Underwriters, we specialize in insuring the nursing home sector. We understand the constant risks that they face and seek to protect their operations and employees as they work to serve their communities. For more information about our products, contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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Tips for Providing Quality Nursing Home Care

Nursing homes are a necessity for many aging adults. This industry seeks to provide exceptional care and attention to these individuals in order to provide them comfort and peace of mind. With that said, there are some tips and tricks to share with your clients that will help to improve patient care and reduce Nursing Home Liability. Be Prepared Whether the patient has an emergency reaction to a food product or fell down the stairs, nursing home staff should always be prepared. This means carrying the appropriate materials, maintaining supervision over patients, and being proactive about creating a safe environment. Be Flexible No matter how well nursing staff can plan, something is always bound to change. Therefore, it’s important to be flexible when working with the elderly and always allow for plenty of time for meals, exercise, and medical exams. Manage Paperwork Staying on top of paperwork is critical. As nursing staff are often managing multiple patients with multiple medications and needs, this is essential in keeping them safe and reducing liability for the nursing home. Furthermore, any incidents that occur, new patients, evaluations, etc. need to be tracked via a paper trail, even if it’s digital. Brush up on Skills According to All Nurses, take continuing education classes on-line, attend seminars, and read articles. There is never enough information one can absorb, especially as nursing homes are always evolving. Further, as everything is becoming digitalized, it’s imperative to become familiar with computers and understand how to input and update data on the system. At K&B Underwriters, we understand the risks involved with operating a nursing home facility and the importance of the care of patients. Therefore, we strive to write comprehensive policies to secure assisted living facilities against the scope of risks they may face. To learn more, contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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Transition Coming for Nursing Care Facilities

The traditional fee-for-service models that nursing homes operate under are slowly beginning to change. As a wave of older citizens move to nursing homes, facilities are transitioning to managed care models, which holds them more accountable for performance and resident satisfaction. During this time of transition, it’s important that these facilities are equipped with Nursing Home Insurance to mitigate risk and financial loss. McKnight’s states that this year, some 800 hospitals will be taking part in an ongoing bundled payments demonstration project and a mandatory bundling for lower joint replacements. Under the plan, hospitals are required to accept bundled payments for hip and knee replacement procedures for 90 days after admission. This first development to cut costs is Medicare’s first test step in enforcing a managed care model for senior living facilities. This way, centers can focus more on value-based payment programs rather than volume-based outcomes. In addition, a readmission penalty program will be taking effect in 2018, which nursing homes need to prepare for. What’s more, patient care, patient relations and operations will also be overhauled within the coming years. These changes are all being developed in order to care for the baby boomers who will be steadily approaching their 80s in the next decade, an age in which long-term care is more likely. The transition between SNF and homecare facilities will also be affected. Depending on the occupancy and the needs of the individual’s care, Medicaid might transfer patients between each other. Therefore, some mergers and acquisitions for small to mid-sized facilities to accommodate this shift may be in the near future. Some helpful tips for nursing home owners and administrators, as recommended by McKnight’s are as follows: Align incentives with the incentives of those who are paying for your services. Remember that your revenues are someone else’s costs. Maintain at least a three-star (out of five) CMS ranking. Admittedly, this might be difficult with the new PBJ reporting. Work on increasing the ability to care for clinically complex patients. Many facilities are converting their staffing models to increase the number of RNs and reduce LPNs. Continue to work on uniform data collection efforts, especially collecting the right data at admission. Maintain high-quality outcomes, while working to achieve length-of-stay efficiencies. At K&B Underwriters, we have a unique understanding of the senior living industry and write coverage specifically with…
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Healthcare Group Settles for $125M from Overbilling

Considering that they work with clients who tend to be fragile and prone to accidents, nursing homes face heightened risks for negligence-based lawsuits. A comprehensive Assisted Living Professional Liability policy is absolutely critical to protecting these facilities’ financial interests. Recently, it was reported that a healthcare group settles for $125M from overbilling. Obviously, it’s critical that your clients perform due diligence when choosing third-party therapy providers with whom to partner. Whistleblower Reports Company for Overbilling Medicare In January, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the conclusion of a 5-year investigation into RehabCare, the country’s largest provider of skilled therapies. RehabCare and Kindred Healthcare Inc. (which purchased RehabCare in 2011) agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying $125 million for improper billing practices. The lawsuit was brought by former RehabCare therapists Shawn Fahey and Janet Halpin. The pair alleged that RehabCare regularly booked assisted-living residents for therapies they did not need, that were never performed, or that supposedly were performed while patients were asleep. Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that RehabCare continued to schedule therapies for patients even after their doctors recommended that they be discharged. For their role in bringing the fraud to light, Fahey and Halpin will receive a $24 million portion of the settlement money. RehabCare continues to deny the allegations but says it settled to provide “clarity” for all parties involved. Just the Tip of the Iceberg? The January settlement is just the latest in a string of settlements involving alleged overbilling by RehabCare. In 2014, Maryland’s Episcopal Ministries to the Aging paid $1.3 million to settle allegations that it looked the other way as RehabCare overbilled Medicare. In 2015, assisted living company ArchCare paid $3.5 million and a Maine nursing home paid $1.2 to settle similar allegations related to RehabCare’s alleged inflated billing practices. K&B Underwriters specializes in safeguarding nursing homes from the myriad risks they face each day. We offer an array of programs designed to mitigate assisted living facilities’ risks, control costs and minimize losses. Contact us at (855) 883-6306 to learn more.

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Bed Prices Reach an All-Time High

While it should come as no surprise, the costs of operating a nursing home, or any assisted living facility for that matter, has dramatically increased. A new report has demonstrated that in 2015, record highs were reached, costing them an average of $85,900 per bed. While maintaining these costs and doing their best to implement best practices and equipment, this sector needs a comprehensive Assisted Living Facility Insurance program for adequate protection. Irving Levin Associates said that the average price per bed has increased 12% from 2014, which is another year that also saw record-setting high prices. What’s more, the average cost of senor living units have also increased greatly, reaching over $189,000 each. Steve Monroe, report editor, said that the average skilled nursing cap rate, the ratio of net operating income to property asset value, fell to 12.2%, which is 10 points above the record low; the drop in cap rates, combined with a higher cash flow per bed sold, has contributed to the jump in average prices. Also popular on this industry’s front are acquisitions. A total of 357 publically announced acquisitions occurred in 2015 alone, which is 14% more than the year before. “The record number of individual transactions in 2015 demonstrates how strong investor demand continues to be for senior care properties. The real surprise was how much the average price for nursing facilities increased in a year when public company stock values fared so poorly,” says Monroe. The only market to see a decrease in costs in the senior care industry is the independent living community. As this market continues to grow, there will be more statistics on these findings in the following years. At K&B Underwriters, we specialize in protecting nursing homes against a variety of risk exposures that they might face. Our innovative programs seek to safeguard assisted living facilities in order to mitigate risk, reduce losses, and control costs. To learn more about our operations, contact us today at (855) 883-6306.

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Continuous Technological Monitoring: Improving Elderly Care

The advent of new technology has allowed for the improvement of senior care nationwide. While most don’t associate cutting –edge technology with the elderly, these breakthroughs have boosted various components of geriatrics in recent years. As the care model has shifted from hospitals to home environments, these new developments are making progress at improving their quality of life at home. However, in order to secure their operations, your clients need to be equipped with a comprehensive Senior Living Risk Management Program. McKnight’s states that with the advent of new technologies, including sensors, health trackers, and applications aimed at seniors and their caregivers, the traditional ‘technology and geriatrics don’t mix’ paradigm is quickly changing. For example, EarlySense is an innovative and breakthrough technology that “invisibly” and accurately tracks patients with no wires and aims to assist medical teams in hospitals with early detection of significant patient changes of condition, says the article. Senior care facilities need only put the equipment under a mattress or chair cushion in order to obtain the patient data. The vitals that are tracked continuously can provide indications of more serious risks that the patient might be exposed to. These sensors can also monitor a patient’s movement. If erratic movement or increased effort is detected, the staff is notified immediately and are able to identify if the patient fell or was attempting to exit their bed. The use of this technology has been an essential component is the senior healthcare facilities in which they are implemented. By monitoring health, movement, and vitals regularly, minor and severe symptoms can be identified early on and potentially reduce the risk of injury or severity of the condition. At K&B Underwriters, we specialize in protecting assisted living facilities against the scope of perils they face. Our unique approach provides proactive support, tools and programs that prioritize the safety of residents. To learn more, we invite you to contact our experts today at (855) 883-6306.

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Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance

 
Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance

 
Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance