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February 11, 2010 / Brett Cohrs

3 Suggested Guidelines for Vetting a Personal Care Home

A horrible thing happened in the Atlanta area a couple nights ago. You can ready the story here. A personal care home was destroyed by fire, killing two of the residents. I’ve assisted quite a few personal care homes in finding insurance coverage. This incident is a prime example of why a personal care home needs to make sure they have general liability and professional liability in place prior to starting operations. More importantly, though, it shows how important it is for involved families or friends to take some time make a thorough review of any care facility from the small 3 bed facilities to larger hospitals. Among other things,

1. Get proof of insurance directly from the home’s insurance agent. Don’t take it from the care home director. Policies cancel, get nonrenewed, etc., so a certificate of insurance (aka proof of coverage) not received from the agency might not be current or valid.

2. Confirm through your state’s governing agency that the care home is currently licensed and has taken care of any inspection recommendations. For Georgia, you can find licensed providers by noodling around here.

3. Visit, visit, visit. Confirm that your loved one is receiving proper care. My grandfather is in a hospital/nursing facility right now–a very reputable one in the city–and my mother still has to stay involved almost on a daily basis to make sure he is receiving the care he needs. Stay involved.

And to providers: This incident could happen if you are not careful with emergency plans and properly trained employees. Do you have coverage and are you licensed? Do you take seriously your inspection reports? We all know that it could happen regardless of how careful you are, but have you done everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t? What corners have you cut?

Do any care providers have suggestions on how best to manage the risk of caring for an elderly or a developmentally disabled population? Do any clients or clients’ families have things they’d like to see their care providers do better?


One Comment

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  1. Lance Puig / Mar 27 2010 12:28 am

    Very helpful tips, thanks!

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