Risk Management in Memory Care
Risk management encompasses more than insurance and safety programs, thought Frank Russo, senior vice president of risk and legal affairs and the privacy officer for Silverado Senior Living. So, he asked himself, what could he do to utilize risk management practices throughout his company?
“We, both myself and the executive team, including our CEO, recognized that there were initiatives in place that could involve risk management. Risk could be part of the discussion,” he said.
“There’s no secret sauce to it; visibility, relationship building and trust would be key to integrating risk management.”
Russo approached department heads within Silverado—from finance to marketing, HR to sales—and spoke on risk management. He showed the value in having risk management practices within each aspect of the company, and soon Russo was gaining responsibility in areas managed by others.
In HR, he earned a place in the hiring process. In marketing, he started reviewing marketing strategies—reading over an article before publication or running through possible risks of a promotional video.
“Risk management and legal are a strong part of the company’s culture now,” Russo explained. “We’ve made ourselves available, made a place where people want to talk to us.”
Joanne Wankmiller, managing principal and senior care practice leader at Integro Insurance Brokers has worked with Russo since the start of his Silverado career.
“Frank continues to be very collaborative with brokers, third-party vendors and insurance carriers. He reins in as many resources as he can find,” Wankmiller said.
And Silverado’s seen the results. Frequency of employment practice liability claims was reduced by 19 percent since risk management became an integral component of Silverado operations.
Severity of EPL claims was reduced by 22 percent, frequency of general liability and professional liability claims was reduced by 19 percent and total cost of turnover was reduced by 10 percent.
“There’s no secret sauce to it; visibility, relationship building and trust would be key to integrating risk management.” — Frank Russo, SVP of risk and legal affairs, privacy officer, Silverado Senior Living
“Workers’ comp claims have been reduced, which I think translates over to resident safety,” said Wankmiller.
Russo didn’t stop at numbers; safety and protection were paramount, due to the nature of Silverado’s work, caring for elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other memory loss afflictions.
“We have families asking us to care for their loved ones, so there’s a lot of risk to think about,” said Russo.
One area where Russo improved safety protocols was in active shooter training.
“The assisted living industry, as a whole, never had assisted living-specific active shooter training,” Russo explained.
Russo and the Silverado team created their own active shooter training video and made it free to the industry.
“We saw the need and made it happen,” he added.
Having a CEO, an executive team and a board that wanted risk involved in the day-to-day operations made Russo’s initiative possible. &