According to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, patients’ private residences continue to be the most popular place for hospices to provide care at 55.7%. These home healthcare workers help patients with important daily tasks such as tracking medication, bathing, carrying out physical activities and simply socializing with other people. These services have been especially vital during the coronavirus pandemic when elderly patients are isolated from their families and communities during a critical point in their lives.
The demand for in-home hospice care is expected to grow as the Baby Boomer generation ages, too. This generation consistently chooses in-home care over staying in long-term nursing facilities. They’d much prefer the lower costs of aging in place along with the comfort and convenience of a community they’re already familiar with. As demand expands, hospice care providers will no doubt expand services to meet it.
The expected expansion in hospice care only puts more pressure on healthcare organizations to solve a critical problem: hospice mileage reimbursement.
The Need for Hospice Mileage Reimbursement Management
First, let’s frame the problem hospice care faces. As the demand increases for hospice care workers, it’s incredibly important for them to make the most of their time. In particular, their driving time between patients. The more time HHC workers spend driving, the more labor expenses increase and overall productivity decreases. To adequately address these issues, hospice care providers need to find a software solution for mileage reimbursement and optimizing travel times.
A mileage reimbursement is a payment you give to your employees that is calculated based on the number of miles they drove for work. Each year, the IRS announces a standard mileage rate that taxpayers can use to determine the cost of a reimbursement. Employees keep contemporaneous mileage logs of their trips and use these to submit expense reports for each pay period.
The issue with these mileage logs is probably evident to you already; there is no accountability in this process. Employees simply log the mileage recorded on their odometers, and you have to trust that it’s accurate and that workers didn’t count any non-work related travel. It also becomes more difficult to verify their mileage as their work demands increase causing them to travel much more.
To ensure that your organization chooses the best solution for tracking hospice mileage expenses, you need to prioritize several key features.
Automation of Workflows: The mileage reimbursement process should be easy for everyone involved from employees to administrators and managers. Hospice care workers shouldn’t need to manually record mileage, and submitting trips for review and approval should be seamless. With a system capable of managing these workflows, reimbursement requests won’t get lost in the shuffle and bottlenecks should be a thing of the past.
Structural Versatility: The expense reimbursement process will be a bit different for every organization and company who implements one. Make sure that this versatility is built into the tool you employ to manage mileage reimbursement. You shouldn’t need to change your expense approval processes; it should adjust to your workflows. This also means that your solution should be able to integrate with your existing accounting and payroll system.
Flexibility in Cost: Mileage reimbursement, unlike other options such as company cars or a car allowance, allow for some variation in costs as the demands of your employees fluctuate. Therefore, your hospice mileage reimbursement solution shouldn’t force you into a scenario in which you must continue paying the same cost regardless of how often your workforce traveled in a given month. Find a solution that allows for flexibility in costs rather than locking you into pricing you don’t always need to pay.
Employee Insights: Utilizing a tool to manage mileage reimbursement comes with the benefit of gaining a deeper understanding of the routines of your HHC workers. How many patients they visit a day, how long a visit lasts on average, what routes they take, etc. Data like this will allow you to analyze what works best in your organization, enabling you to identify and make necessary changes, including optimizing routes to be the most beneficial for patients and employees.
Hospice Mileage Reimbursement With CompanyMileage
An effective hospice mileage reimbursement solution brings your organization many benefits in a rapidly expanding industry, and when you choose SureMileage by CompanyMileage, those benefits only grow.
Our novel software solution calculates trip mileage for employees, so they can focus on their jobs and less on keeping track of odometer readings. Instead of verifying mileage after the fact, our system simply calculates the mileage between the beginning and ending point of a trip, thereby eliminating the possibility of detours or inaccurate mileage estimates winding up in the trip log.
At the end of the day, they simply submit their trips, and our system handles the rest, automatically moving expense reports through supervisor and admin approval. All of CompanyMileage’s solutions integrate with most payroll and accounting systems, so once a mileage reimbursement has been approved, payment is swiftly issued. When all is said and done, most employees spend just 1-2 minutes a day managing trip expenses.
CompanyMileage customers also use SureMileage as an opportunity to learn more about their mobile workers. In real-time, learn more about employee schedules and how they are managing their time. And, when employees aren’t using our system, you don’t need to continue paying as though they are. We’ll even allow you to adjust your contract for months in which you expect less usage by your mobile employees.
Hospice mileage reimbursement can quickly become a big problem for your organization if it’s not properly managed. With the help of a solution like SureMileage, you’ll be prepared to expand your home care services to meet the needs of more patients. Request a demo with CompanyMileage today to learn more!