Why Your Agency Needs Home Healthcare Insurance

February 10, 2021 •

Every healthcare professional and institution should have an insurance plan—a hospital wouldn’t open its doors without proper coverage, so why should a home health care provider walk through someone else’s doors without coverage too? While the risks posed in private home health care are different than in-patient care services, whenever you have another person’s life in your hands, you need to protect yourself, and your career, from the possibility of something going wrong.

The best method of protection from claims against you or your business is prevention, which in your field, means having home health care insurance. In this guide, you’ll learn about the two necessary insurance policies for home health providers and agencies—professional liability and general liability—and an additional third policy strictly for business, cyber liability insurance.

Why Home Health Insurance Matters

Home health is a massive industry that’s beginning its ascent to financially dominate the healthcare space. According to Business Insider, in the United States, the home care market is predicted to grow about 7% annually, from $103 billion in 2018 to $173 billion by 2026.

As home care outpaces the growth of all other care services, including hospitals (growing 5% annually), the risk of claims against home health providers and number of potential accidents grows in tandem—with more clients comes more responsibility. You’ll want to protect yourself from taking on the financial burden of any issues related to your professional duties, and non-professionally related accidents that can happen anytime you’re in someone else’s home.

Why Individual Home Health Providers Need Insurance

Even if your employer has an insurance plan, oftentimes that isn’t enough to protect you and ease your financial burden. You should pursue individual coverage for the following reasons:

  • Policy limits may not be high enough to cover all employees
  • Your type of employment, such as working part-time, may render you ineligible to be covered by your employer’s plan
  • If you’re able to have coverage from your employer, you still may be responsible for certain fees from a personal claim

In order to guarantee coverage, both home health care providers and agencies should have personal and general liability insurance, rather than trying to share insurance policies.

Home Health Care Insurance Policies

Between accidents, false claims, and working mainly with an aging clientele, you need insurance coverage working in home health care. Continue reading for a breakdown of the policies that make up home health care insurance, a necessity for both individual home health providers and agencies.

Professional Liability

Also known as medical malpractice insurance, this policy will protect you if a patient or a patient’s family member attempts to take legal action for what they believe to be a professional mistake. Whether or not a mistake was actually made in terms of medical care, the cost of going to court is extremely high and can take a huge toll on your reputation as an individual and as a business. So with that being said, what does malpractice insurance cover and how can it help medical professionals in legal situations?

Here are some of the ways this policy will benefit you:

  • Helps you secure and pay for legal representation
  • Covers associated costs of the claim, such as medical bills
  • Will pay for some, or all, of a settlement awarded

General Liability

General liability insurance offers protections against third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage, and while it’s a standard part of business health care insurance, it should be just as important to home health providers. However, general liability looks a little different for an individual care provider versus a home care agency—here’s how it applies to each:

  • Providers – When your workplace is someone else’s home, it’s crucial to have protection from patient claims that occur on their property. If you accidentally break something while you’re rendering your health care services, you could be held liable. General liability insurance helps protect you should you have to reimburse your client.
  • Agencies – Often referred to as business liability insurance, general liability offers coverage for any accidents that happen to clients or third parties on your premises. Should they incur an injury (due to any reason they see fit to blame on you) then your home care agency or medical staffing company could be liable for the costs of their recovery.

An Additional Policy for Home Health Agencies

In a digital world, new methods of care like telehealth have been developed, and nearly all patient information is stored online or in the cloud. While digital systems are a huge factor in the home health care boom, it also makes the industry particularly vulnerable to data breaches.

In 2019, the HIPAA Journal published an analysis of the previous year’s healthcare data breaches, responsible for the theft and exposure of 194.9 million records—nearly 60% of US patient data.

The digital trend also creates a gray area in terms of patient consent, since cloud-based storage often involves third-party access to patient data, according to Forbes. Having insurance that covers your agency’s cyber operations is more important than ever.

Cyber Liability

With cyber liability insurance, you’ll be able to better protect and maintain the privacy of patient information, while still using the digital systems that streamline home health aide work efficiencies.

A cyber liability policy will help cover the following expenses:

  • Notifying clients about data breaches
  • Legal fees associated with a data breach
  • Fixing cyberattacks and software attacks
  • Issues with cyber extortion and demands of ransom

Restoring and recovering your patients’ data and repairing your compromised digital systems can be very costly—not to mention the financial burden of legal fees you’d face as an individual caregiver or home health agency in a data breach lawsuit. Having cyber security is essential for all factions of the healthcare industry, which is why it’s a necessary policy within business health care insurance.

Home Health Insurance from NOW

Home healthcare insurance is a must, and NOW Insurance is here to help. Beyond general and professional liability insurance, you can also meet your business’ needs by adding a cyber liability policy, making NOW Insurance the one-stop-shop for all things insurance for healthcare practitioners and physician’s assistants. With over 20 years of experience ensuring medical professionals, you’ll also be ensuring your success in the rising industry of home healthcare. Your entire practice involves taking care of the health of your clients. Let us do the same for your business with the right insurance program.