Ask OmniSure is a series that answers real risk and safety questions from policyholders and insurers all over the country.
Question: Should underwriters consider state vaccination programs in their underwriting for skilled nursing facilities?
Across the US we’re seeing a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases due to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. Whether healthcare providers are leaving the vaccination decision up to individuals or they are implementing special programs to encourage staff to get vaccinated, the rollout plan of each state and municipality greatly impacts the level of risk for facilities. This is especially important in skilled nursing facilities where some of the highest-risk members of society reside.
This underwriter asks, should location and state vaccination programs play a part in the writing and reviewing of professional liability policies for skilled nursing facilities? To answer this question, we need to look at the effectiveness of these programs and how they impact patient health.
OmniSure specialists took a deep dive into the impact of vaccination rollout on COVID-19 cases in skilled nursing facilities. As of late February 2021, in 2/3rds of US states case numbers were on the decline. States with both national and local vaccine rollout support are experiencing the greatest decline in infections. In care facilities, this translates to a sharp decline in resident deaths in states that have the best rollout plans.
To learn more about COVID-19 trends across the United States, read the full report here.
Keeping this data in mind, it’s clear that vaccine programs can play an important role in the level of risk at the time of the underwriting process. Underwriters should pay attention to the location of their policyholders and decide whether to apply accompanying knowledge about pandemic preparedness and response in the area to their selection and pricing strategy.