Despite the growth of telemedicine and the telemedicine software that runs it, some clear realities have made home health care more and more relevant today. Maximizing that opportunity means effective expense management; and a great place to start is mileage reimbursement.

Times have certainly changed since home health care began in the late 1800s, when impediments to care then were long, duty roads. Today it is the conditions of the patients themselves, who average three or more impairments to their daily living activities. More than 3 million Medicare beneficiaries receive home health services; and that older patient population, which has tripled over the last 50 years, is projected to triple again in the next half-century.

Home health workers drive to the moon – 17,000 times

More than 12,000 home health agencies are said to employ more than 400,000 licensed or registered nurses, aides and other practitioners. Home health care is primarily characterized by care, hospice and nursing, according to the US Census Bureau, and the industry is growing at a compounded rate of 5.8% every year. This growth has been a result of increased economic stimulation, an aging population and the increased coverage that the Affordable Care Act has provided consumers. As 70% of home health patients are senior citizens, and 89% of seniors to prefer care at home, it is no surprise home health care has become a $78 billion industry.

All that care to all those patients takes an astronomical amount of driving. According to a study conducted by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, practitioners delivering home health services in 2013 alone drove an estimated 7.88 billion miles. While the average trip was less than 11 miles, the sheer number of trips – more than 718 million – meant that in a single year home health workers drove the equivalent of 17,462 roundtrips to the moon.

A tailored approach to mileage reimbursement

Home health organizations face all the usual challenges in managing travel expenses: inadequate reimbursement policies, poor expense visibility, inefficient processes, delayed reimbursements and an inability to discern expense trends. Meeting those challenges take a tool designed to solve problems inherent in managing mobile employees while remaining both efficient and affordable.

SureMileage meets these challenges in three ways:

Point-to-point calculation. There’s no guessing or odometer estimating with SureMileage. It precisely calculates the mileage between destinations and automatically feeds that information to an expense reimbursement program.

Third-party integration. SureMileage works seamlessly with point of care software as well as major accounting and payroll systems.

HIPAA compliance. The makers of SureMileage are dedicated to maintaining levels of security and compliance that meet or exceed the standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Thousands of home health care providers are using SureMileage, which helps hundreds of organizations save 20 percent to 30 percent on mileage costs. Its automated mileage tracking virtually eliminates the inflated estimates commonly seen with odometer readings.

SureMileage works for all kinds of organizations, then goes the extra mile with HIPAA compliance.