Healthcare as an industry has come a long way. And not just since the invention of penicillin or washing hands. Improvements in technology and the introduction of artificial intelligence to automate administrative tasks has advanced health care a great deal in the last few years. We may still be decades from open heart surgeries occurring anywhere outside of hospitals. But quality care is no longer limited to the rooms within their walls. As outpatient needs grow, healthcare has expanded to offer care in home.
While companies connecting home health aides with people in need may not have to worry over running a hospital, they do have other concerns. This is where home care mileage reimbursement comes into play. Home care mileage reimbursement, or the compensation home health aides receive for driving their personal vehicle for business, is a home healthcare company issue. Most home healthcare companies reimburse their employees driving for work with a cents-per-mile rate well below the IRS business mileage standard. This is only one of the reasons home care mileage reimbursement is a hot topic. Let’s dive into caregiver mileage reimbursement and how it can positively impact a home healthcare company.
There’s a term in the healthcare industry that applies here: preventative care. Even patients who don’t like needles understand that getting their flu shot will help them fight off infection. That brief sting is saving them sick days and the misery of, well, the flu.
The same can be said for caregiver mileage reimbursements. Problems arise if a home healthcare company doesn’t appropriately compensate their employees for miles driven. While many companies depended on their mobile workers to write off their business mileage in their taxes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act removed mileage as a tax deduction. Companies under-reimbursing their home health aides may be violating labor laws and risk lawsuits. And those can be far more costly than providing home health aides with the reimbursement they deserve.
Where would we be without x-rays and MRI machines? Technology and success in the healthcare industry seem to go hand in hand. These advancements save time and bring accuracy to what might have been an uncertain and inefficient process decades before.
Yet companies still rely on manual mileage logs for their home care mileage reimbursements. While automated mileage tracking may not be saving lives per se, it can save mobile workers time and companies a significant amount of money. But there’s more.
With the adoption of new technology comes the benefit of a better knowledge of the mobile workforce. Do you know the routine of a home health aide? How much time they spend with patients versus on the road? It would be impossible to know this information with manual mileage logs.
With automated mileage tracking, a home healthcare company can collect route information that provides these insights. Data like this would allow companies to share best practices from top performers, change routes to benefit patients and home health aides and much more.
Home care mileage reimbursements can be thought of as preventative care, an old system in need of updating or an opportunity for better insights. Together, these would guarantee a positive impact on a healthcare company’s mobile workforce. Interested in learning more? Check out our guide on the topic, Home Healthcare Industry: Prime for a Technological Revolution.