Ethics is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “the discipline dealing with what is good and
bad and with moral duty and obligation.”
The Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council (IHHC) developed this Code of Ethics to establish and maintain the highest possible level of public confidence in its members. Through this Code of Ethics, it is our desire to assure that IHHC members protect and preserve the basic rights of their patients and clients by dealing with them in an honest and ethical manner.
This Code of Ethics serves to inform members and the general public of acceptable guidelines for the ethical conduct of home health care providers and their employees and representatives, and to serve as notice to government officials that the Council expects its members to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
IHHC and its members are committed to the values and standards of conduct represented in this document. Compliance with the principles set forth in this Code is a condition of membership in IHHC.
Since the spectrum of home health care providers represented by IHHC is broad, we refer to all home health care providers as members and all patients/clients/consumers as clients in the following statements. By maintaining membership in the Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council, members abide by and promote the following beliefs and supporting statements:
- We believe in client rights.
- We believe in client responsibilities.
- We believe in member rights.
- We believe in working together with legislative and regulatory bodies.
- We believe in having strong relationships with other providers and colleagues.
- We believe in ethical marketing and public relations practices.
- We believe in high quality standards.
- We believe in abiding by all applicable personnel laws and practices.
- We believe in following all law, regulation, and applicable business practices.
- We believe in responsibility to the Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council.
We believe in client rights.
- Members have the responsibility to develop, adopt, and observe clients’ rights in a manner necessary to contribute to lawful and effective client care and satisfaction. A copy of these clients’ rights will be provided to all clients regardless of age or reimbursement source, at or before the initial home visit. These rights will be respected by all home care personnel and integrated into all member programs.
- The client shall be treated with courtesy and respect regardless of their sex, age, color, creed or sexual orientation.
- The client has the right to be informed concerning their care, and to participate in planning and approving the care they receive; and to have their wishes and preferences honored whenever possible.
- Client privacy is carefully guarded. Personal information shall be used only as authorized by regulation.
- Oral and written statements to clients and to the public shall honestly and accurately represent services, benefits, costs, and provider capability.
- The member has a process by which complaints are received, recorded, investigated, and acted upon in a timely manner without repercussions to the client. Clients will be informed of this process at the initial home visit and as may be necessary.
- Services shall be delivered in a timely manner according to the service plan.
- The client has the right to refuse treatment within the confines of the law and to be informed of the consequences of his/her actions.
- A client denied service solely on his/her inability to pay shall have the right of referral.
We believe in client responsibilities.
- The client has the responsibility for assisting in the provision of a safe environment.
- The client has the responsibility for supplying accurate and complete information regarding past illness, hospitalizations, medications and other matters relating to his/her health.
- The client is responsible for informing the member when they are unable to accept a home health visit.
- The client is responsible for treating member’s personnel with respect.
- The client has the responsibility to participate in the plan of care.
We believe in member rights.
- Members have the right to refuse to provide care to the client based on their admission/service provision criteria.
- Members have the right to be assured of a safe work environment for their employees and representatives when providing services in the client’s home.
- Members have the right to discontinue services based on written and established policies and with proper notification to clients.
We believe in working with legislative and regulatory bodies.
- Members shall participate in and contribute to the Federal and State legislative processes as related to the home health care industry.
- Members shall voice the needs of the industry to those who can affect change.
We believe in having strong relationships with other providers and colleagues.
- Members shall engage in ethical conduct so that the client has freedom of choice.
- Members shall honestly and conscientiously cooperate in providing information for referrals and work cooperatively to assure comprehensive services tailored to meet the client’s needs.
- A member or its employees shall not knowingly initiate contact with a client currently treated by another home health care provider for the purpose of attempting to persuade the client to change home health care providers.
We believe in ethical marketing and public relations practices.
- Members shall not solicit or permit an employee to solicit clients through coercion or harassment.
- Oral and written statements to the public, clients, and other health care providers shall honestly and accurately represent services, benefits, cost, and provider capability.
- Members shall not engage in door-to-door solicitation of clients and shall not coerce or harass clients or families to utilize their services.
- Members shall not, either directly or indirectly, offer or provide compensation, gifts, loans, entertainment, favors, goods or services of value to any person or entity, including, but not limited to, employees, physicians or other health care providers, or businesses, for the purpose of inducing or influencing such person or entity to refer clients to the member.
We believe in high quality standards.
- Members will have a quality assurance plan in place.
- Members will maintain current licensure/certification as required and provide care within the scope of professional standards of practice and/or applicable laws and regulations.
- Members shall ensure that all caregiving staff are qualified, trained and supervised to meet the needs of the clients they serve.
- Members shall check references and conduct required background checks for all caregiving staff before they are assigned to provide care.
- Members shall develop a written plan of care, service plan or care plan for each of its clients, and provide a copy of that plan to the client. Services provided shall comply with accepted standards of quality and professional practice and will follow the care plan as prepared.
- Members shall have processes to provide on-call or back-up staff to fill in for caregiving staff in case of illness or emergencies.
- Members shall have a written procedure in place to respond swiftly and compassionately whenever client abuse, neglect, or theft is suspected or alleged.
- When direct care services are delivered, the intervention will be based on the assessment of the client’s total health status, functional ability, knowledge deficits, service needs and caregiver support.
- The level of service will be appropriately matched with the client’s needs and the caregiver’s qualifications as defined in the member’s job description.
- Continuity of service will be provided through a continuous process of communication, evaluation and coordination.
We believe in abiding by all applicable personnel laws and practices.
- Members shall be an equal opportunity employer and comply with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
- Members shall have written personnel policies in place, shall make them available and shall apply them uniformly to all employees.
- Members shall have an employee safety program. Coverage for job related injuries will be provided for all employees.
- Orientation will be provided for all staff prior to their assuming care responsibilities.
- Members shall provide and promote continuing education and in-service training for all employees and representatives to update knowledge and skills needed to give competent care and to remain in compliance with all applicable regulations.
- Members shall provide an on-going evaluation process for all personnel.
- Members shall hire qualified personnel and contract with qualified representatives, and shall utilize them within their scope of practice and at the level of their competency.
Members shall provide supervision to all personnel and representatives.
- Members shall insure adequate staffing to meet the needs of the clients to whom they render care.
We believe in following all laws, regulation, and applicable business practices.
- Members shall conduct business in accordance with fair business practices and comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including wage and hour, workers’ compensation, and anti-discrimination laws.
- Members shall invoice clients for the amount of goods and services consistent with the amount and type of goods and services provided.
- Members shall provide services commensurate with the clients’ legitimate needs.
- Members shall not engage in fraud, or pay or receive kickbacks in exchange for referrals.
- Members shall maintain records of care and services provided.
- Members shall include only legitimate expenses on Medicare Cost Reports.
- Members shall not engage in illegal “kick-backs” and “pay-offs” or other schemes to circumvent the law.
We believe in responsibility to the Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council.
- Members shall abide by the IHHC Code of Ethics.
- Members shall promptly and accurately pay all dues for membership to IHHC based on the current dues structure.
- Members shall participate and contribute talent to foster a dynamic, progressive organization from which all members can benefit professionally.