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By Jonathan Bechtel
Founding Partner

Home health care aides provide a valuable service to individuals who need help with daily personal and medical tasks. Many aides work independently of nursing facilities and health care agencies, which means they have a higher risk of running into legal compliance problems. One area of specific concern is the websites that these professionals use to market their services. If they don’t have certain information on their sites, they could find themselves falling short of the standards that are required of them. The malpractice attorneys of Stanfield Bechtel Law provide practical advice for reducing the chances of a Department of Public Health (DPH) audit and what to do if you find yourself the target of one, or of a lawsuit.

Do’s and Don’ts for Website Compliance

Whether you have a website, a Facebook page, or some other form of digital marketing, these are some pointers for what to include (or not) in your advertising space:

Do list the services that you provide. The term “home health care aide” is similar to other terms such as home aide or home care aide. The latter terms may refer to professionals who do not provide nursing or medical services. To the extent you provide such services, you should clearly list them on your website. It’s also a good idea to mention any specific services you do not provide.

Do describe your approach to home health care. It is expected that the home health care aide will develop a personalized care plan to assist the individual patient. You should describe, briefly, your approach to developing this plan. Will you cover personal care such as toileting and exercising? Will you help administer medications and monitor the patient? You don’t have to describe everything your care plan will address, but be specific enough so the patient understands.

Do explain the patient’s payment options. If your business accepts Medicare, meaning it is Medicare-certified, then be sure to inform patients on your website. Also list any other payment options so the patient has alternatives to choose from. In the event you do not accept a particular form of payment then state this.

Don’t do anything that may violate HIPAA. Most medical professionals are familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But their websites may inadvertently violate the law. A HIPAA-compliant website is required if it is used to collect, display, store, process, or transmit protected health information. Our attorneys can help you with this.

Don’t use testimonials without written consent. Many home health care aide websites use patient testimonials. But these should be obtained from the patient using carefully drafted consent forms. Otherwise, you could be accused of publicizing private health details in violation of HIPAA regulations.

What If You’re Facing An Audit or Professional Malpractice Lawsuit?

At Stanfield Bechtel Law, we take a proactive approach to DPH audits and malpractice lawsuits against medical professionals. We can help reduce the chances of a website audit by reviewing the contents of your site and providing specific recommendations for changes you should make. We can also discuss the standard of care you are expected to provide and examine your current operations to ensure they measure up.

In the event you find yourself the subject of either a DPH investigation or malpractice claim, we are ready to represent your best interests. We can defend you in your audit and work to reach an amicable resolution. The same is true with a malpractice lawsuit, which could be settled out of court or defended in the courtroom if necessary.

If you’ve never had an attorney review your home health care aide website or your business practices, it’s time to do so. Let us take a look and help reduce the chances of legal or other adverse action against you. Give us a call today.

About the Author
Jonathan believes the client should always come first, and aims to deliver a positive experience to exceed client expectations.