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3 risks to address when starting a hospice business

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Healthcare Business

Hospice services are crucial for the comfort of ailing individuals and their loved ones. Not long ago, those dealing with terminal illnesses often had to spend their last months of life in a hospital setting. They lived far from their loved ones and may have been lonely and uncomfortable in their final days. Healthcare practices have shifted in recent decades, with hospice support becoming the standard for those in need of end-of-life care.

Hospice services is a growing sector of the health services industry. The demand for hospice services may continue to rise as Baby Boomers age and their health declines. Ambitious individuals and investors may want to fill that market demand by starting a new hospice company. Doing so is a process fraught with risk. Those aspiring to start offering hospice services professionally need to address the following three common causes of liability.

Employee lawsuits

Hospice workers, like many other types of employees, can take legal action against businesses for issues ranging from discrimination to wage violations. It is therefore crucial for those starting hospice businesses to understand what obligations the company may have to its workers. From proper training and handbooks guiding worker conduct to contracts protecting the organization from frivolous lawsuits, there are many ways of mitigating the risks of employees suing the company later.

Employee injuries

Hospice is a very hands-on profession. The demands of patient care can lead to serious physical injuries ranging from repetitive stress disorders from frequently lifting a patient or immediate injuries from providing physical support for their body. Hospice workers may also travel to the homes of individual clients, which means they are at risk of a car crash. They can even face violence from patients with dementia or angry family members. Proper insurance and workplace safety standards are necessary for the protection of businesses that may otherwise be liable for the expenses generated when employees get hurt.

Lawsuits by dissatisfied clients

Perhaps a client takes issue with the conduct of a specific hospice employee. They may allege that a worker abused a vulnerable older adult, negligently caused their premature death or otherwise caused verifiable harm. Vicarious liability rules often make businesses responsible for the negligence and misconduct of workers who are on the clock. Frustrated or dissatisfied clients might therefore take legal action against the hospice provider because of the conduct of a specific employee. Proactive enforcement of workplace standards can help deter worker misconduct and limit the risk of lawsuits.

Effectively mitigating liability related to starting a hospice company can be a challenging undertaking. Entrepreneurs who seek out appropriate support can potentially limit the possibility of a lawsuit or insurance claim that could negatively impact their organization’s operations and budget.