Home Care Heroes Blog

Home Care 101: Travel Miles, Travel Time, Errand Miles, and How to Calculate Them

home-care-website-speedOne of the tricky parts of a home care software implementation is making sure that the software vendor understands how you deal will travel related compensation to your caregivers and travel related charges to your customer. A typical set of travel “rules” for a home care agency are as follows:

Travel Miles

  • Caregivers aren’t paid from their home to their first visit of the day or from their last visit of the day back to their home. This is generally considered to be their “commute” and not reimbursable
  • Travel “between” visits is generally reimbursed to the caregiver. Some agencies pay the caregiver for their travel time. Others pay for their travel miles, and some pay for both travel time and travel miles.
  • In most cases travel miles aren’t billable
  • Many agencies don’t pay for travel between visit if there is a large amount of elapsed time between the visits (in many cases an hour or more). This is considered by those agencies to be a “second commute.” A typical case would be a caregiver who starts the day with a client (e.g., services them from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM) and then goes back at the end of the clients day (e.g., from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM).

Errand Miles

Another type of travel is “errand miles” where the caregiver is going to the grocery, the pharmacy on behalf of the client, or driving them somewhere. In this case, the caregiver is already being paid for their time because it occurs during their shift, but if the caregiver is driving in their own car, they are generally reimbursed based on the mileage that they drove. In many cases, these errand miles are also billable to the customer (at a fee per mile).

Check with the Labor Council in Your Area to Make Sure That You are Compliant

In some cases, the reimbursement to caregivers for their travel is a matter of agency policy, but there have been cases where caregivers have escalated gaps in travel reimbursement to their labor boards, so make sure to be compliant.

Working with Your Software Vendor for Travel Charging and Reimbursement

At Ankota, we’re surprised to find that many of our new customers coming over from another software vendor are calculating mileage manually and outside of the system. We’ve developed a highly configurable system that doesn’t require coding to calculate the travel the way that the agency and the state needs it. But occasionally someone stumps us with a new wrinkle.
In Ankota’s case, we enhance our system to cover the new rules. If you want to work with a software vendor who will meet your specific needs, we’d love to talk with you. Please contact us if you're interested in chatting about how Ankota can help you business.

If you're interested in learning more about managing a Home Care business, please download Ankota's free e-Book by clicking here:

"Home Care 101" - Free eBook

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.


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