I practiced as a home health RN for several years when I started my law practice. I am actually planning to transition back into home care at some point when I can:
1. Find a home care agency in Cincinnati, Ohio that will hire me as a RN per diem when I am also an attorney; and
2. Carve out 2-3 weeks for orientation (I will do it unpaid) a few hours a day to transition back into home care.
I am busier than ever and it probably won't happen in 2010. Maybe I need to think about a different type of position in home care as a nurse that fits into what I am doing with my law practice. I smell money:)
Okay, if you are practicing in home care, why don't you have your own professional liability insurance policy with a license defense benefit? Please explain to me why you feel you don't need your own policy. You have the need for speed to purchase your own professional liability insurance policy with a license defense benefit. See
See Marsh Affinity at https://www.proliability.com/
See Nursing Service Organization at http://www.nso.com/
I posted a few months ago about if you are a home health nurse or independent provider nurse and you are practicing willy nilly in Ohio, Kentucky, and/or Indiana that I am looking forward to your call.
Its only Feb. 14th of 2010 and already this year I have spoke with 5 home care nurses who:
1. Was named as a defendant as a home care nurse in a nursing malpractice case;
2. Fired from a home health agency and reported to the State Nursing Board for a suspected professional boundaries violation; or
3. Working as an Independent Provider (IP) in the State of Ohio and being investigated by the Ohio Attorney General's Office for Medicaid Fraud;
4. Working as an Independent Provider (IP) in the State of Ohio and being investigated by ODJFS for an issue in the home which will more than likely be subsequently reported to the Ohio Nursing Board; and
5. Working as an Independent Provider (IP) in the State of Ohio and receiving a Proposed Adjudication Order from ODJFS proposing to terminate the IP's provider number for a variety of allegations. This will utimately be reported to the Ohio Nursing Board.
What is an Independent Provider (IP)?
The legal risks associated with home care and especially being an IP-RN, IP-LPN, or RN Supervisor for LPN-IPs are mind boggling and I am hearing from more and more nurses who are working in these capacities naked. By naked, I mean "bare" and without their own professional liability insurance policy with a license defense benefit.
Home care and working as a IP is nice because of the autonomy. But with the autonomy comes increased responsibility, accountability, and the potential for legal liability. I know its sounds corny but I am receiving sooo many inquiries and having legal consultations or taking cases involving home care in the last 18 months vs. my 9 years of solo practice.
I have to post something about Ohio RN-IPs, LPN-IPs, and RN Supervisors for LPN-IPs later this month but I need more coffee and a Pepsi to draft that particular post.
1. If you are working as a home care nurse or as a independent provider in any state, make sure you have professional liability insurance (written for you as a nurse by a insurance company insuring nurses; not that mess that's written with your homeowners or condo insurance).
2. If you are an IP you are a business owner. You have to think like a self-employed business owner and not like a nurse employee. This is significant because you need an appreciation of the risks, liabilities, and clerical/administrative tasks associated with the business. When you run a business you wear many hats or you hire the staff to wear those hats.
The business involves your nursing license and you must have harmony with your business and your license and you need a risk management plan that includes REGULATORY COMPLIANCE. Why? You are the business and you are providing care. Please remember and please believe you are not working in an agency where the burden of regulatory compliance falls on the employer. You are the employer.
Risk management and regulatory compliance is something I find self-employed nurses struggle with because we are transitioning from the employer-employee mindset into the self-employed, business owner, and entrepreneur mindset. We are NOT provided with the tools for this in our initial training and basic education (nursing schools prepare you for the NCLEX only IMHO) and therefore you need to acquire these tools yourself.
Do you have the tools needed to navigate the potential for liability in your nursing practice?