There’s no denying urgent care clinics are a growing sector of the healthcare industry. More and more patients want the option of walk-in appointments, without the long waits associated with visits to larger hospital. There’s a lot of opportunity for people with the resources and connections to begin an urgent care clinic. But something missing from most urgent care startup checklists, and even established urgent care clinics? A technology component. And that doesn’t mean x-ray machines and medical devices. We’re talking specifically about urgent care reimbursement trends.
With all the other urgent care staffing needs, people who travel for work often slip under the radar. But between those who travel from clinic to clinic for various reasons to those who provide outpatient care or transportation support, there’s a good deal of business mileage. Because of all the other pieces of the urgent care business model, vehicle programs are usually decided without thorough exploration into all viable options. That has led to the following urgent care reimbursement trends:
Many urgent care clinics reimburse using car allowances because they’re easy. Clinics pay drivers the same sum of money each month for the business use of their personal vehicle. Gets the job done, right?
Unfortunately, it does so at additional costs to both the driver and the clinic. Without proper mileage logs, car allowances are considered additional income. That means the company and the driver pay taxes on each installment. If a driver spends a lot of their time on the road, the money they receive might not even cover the cost of gas.
Other urgent care clinics reimburse using a cents-per-mile (CPM) reimbursement, also referred to as a mileage reimbursement. Clinics pay drivers a set rate for the business mileage they’ve put on their personal vehicle. The mobile worker tracks this in mileage logs they turn in every month.
This vehicle program also has costly flaws. Not only does mileage fraud plague most companies reimbursing with a cents-per-mile rate, but mileage logs are often found to be inaccurate. This exposes clinics to unnecessary audit risk. This doesn’t even take into account the administrative work of logging miles and paperwork of accounting for those mileage logs each month.
While neither of those programs are a perfect solution to the need for properly reimbursing employees, they both suffer one major flaw. Exposure to lawsuit. State laws in California and Illinois require employers to adequately reimburse their employees for the business use of their personal assets. That includes vehicles. While an allowance or a cents-per-mile rate may seem like enough at the outset, tax waste and low mileage may result in underpaying your employees.
A growing industry shouldn’t be slowed down by out of date reimbursement methods. Adopting automated mileage tracking guarantees an IRS compliant mileage log at the end of each trip. So long, tax waste and mileage fraud concerns. Automated tracking also offers key insights into your mobile workforce, offering opportunities to improve routes and better define regions being serviced. Curious to know more? Check out our mileage tracking solution, the Motus App.