Overtime pay in home care is a tough issue to solve amicably for all parties. There's been a lot of attention to this issue among legislators and the latest is that the supreme court has denied the emergency stay regarding the overtime rule. This was released as breaking news by Stephen Tweed of Leading Home Care in this article.
This is a classic case where if you hear either side of the argument in isolation, you're likely to side with what you hear. For example:
I'm a caregiver providing round the clock care in the home of an elderly client. Isn't only fair that I should be paid for all of my hours and be paid overtime? OF COURSE!
I have a live in caregiver who helps me with my activities of daily living. She's been with me a long time and we are more like family. If I have to pay her overtime, I won't be able to keep her and will need different caregivers for no more than 40 hours each week. It's hard for me to deal with changing caregivers all the time and they don't know me as well as Carol. Shouldn't there be an exception? OF COURSE!
The Consequences of Doing What Seems Right
An industry vet told me this morning about some well meaning politicians in California who changed the rules so that live-in caregivers would be paid for all of their hours. The result of this victory was that many elderly California residents had to give up their caregivers and move into nursing homes. It seems that both the caregivers and their clients lost - what a shame!
I've also seen lots of situations where caregivers work for multiple agencies doing 40 hours for each so they can get their hours. I bet there are even situations where two caregivers switch places with one another.
A Tough One to Solve!
I'm not political and issues like this remind me why. In the manufacturing industry, many US jobs have been lost to outsourcing and automation. By contrast, Germany has tended to keep more manufacturing jobs in their country and their economy has thrived more than most.
What Does This Mean for Home Care?
Home care is in a tricky situation with a huge shortage of caregivers. My predictions are that 1) caregiver wages will go up, 2) automation and home monitoring will become more mainstream so that people can stay without caregivers for more hours of the day, and 3) home care will move more to a model where caregivers are meeting with multiple clients in a day. Ultimately I expect necessity to be the mother of invention here.
The Mother of Invention
At Ankota, we especially enjoy working with home care agencies who want to experiment with new models of care delivery. If you have a great idea but your software is holding you back, let us know. We'll listen, and if we can help, we will!
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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