One of the more obvious ramifications of COVID-19 has been seen in high rates of staff turnover at nursing homes. But that trend had been in place long before the pandemic, with the median staff turnover at U.S. nursing homes of 94% and a mean rate of 128% in 2017 and 2018, according to industry journal Health Affairs.
Mean rates exceeded 100% across all three primary employee types studied — registered nurses (140.7%), certified nursing assistants (129.1%), and licensed practical nurses (114.1%).
With facilities suffering this rate of turnover, exposure to lawsuits and insurance claims asserting wrongful termination or unsafe on-the-job conditions – especially in the era of pandemic – could escalate. Take, for example, a claim filed in 2018 that was never pursued to resolution. The claimant’s attorney picks up the case again in 2021, but the specifics of the situation have been lost to memory and time.
Refuting those challenges becomes difficult, if not impossible, opening the door to financial exposure for the nursing home facility.
Situations like this – which are not as rare as one might think – only serve to emphasize the need for diligent, comprehensive, up-to-date record keeping regarding all employees, their performance records, any disciplinary actions required, and the details of how their employment ends. Only documentation like this can prevent or limit potential damages being charged to the employer.
An escalating rate of turnover cannot be used as an excuse for substandard record-keeping.
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The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.