Home Health & Hospice

New DOL proposal to extend overtime pay could affect home health and hospice providers

Homecare Insider, July 6, 2015

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule that would extend overtime pay to nearly five million workers within the first year of implementation by raising the exemption threshold from a yearly salary of $23,660 to $50,440. And while this move is intended to protect low-paid employees by restoring the original scope of the provision—it’s evolved over the years to apply to highly-compensated white collar professionals and workers in low-end managerial and office positions alike—a major home health and hospice trade association says the rule could also have an impact on provider operations.
 
Currently, the salary level under which administrative, executive, and professional employees (whose positions constitute white collar jobs) are eligible for overtime compensation is $23,660 per year, or $455 per week, on a salary or fee basis. The new regulation would change the annual salary for overtime eligibility to $50,440 per year, or $970 per week, on a salary or fee basis.
 
The proposed rule would also introduce mechanisms for measuring and promoting the ongoing validity of the exemption threshold, as well as for ensuring that the exemption is applied only to the appropriate employees—“bona fide executive, administrative, and professional workers who are not entitled to overtime” rather than “overtime-protected white collar workers.”
 
Although the proposal centers on providing fair compensation to lower-paid workers, its full implications for organizations—including healthcare providers—remain unclear. However, after an initial reading of the rule, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice states that it “might have an impact on home care and hospice, depending on the rule’s application of standards to per-visit compensation which has previously fit into the fee basis for professional services.” The trade association plans to analyze the proposal in more depth to gain further insight into its potential impact on the provider community.
 
To read the full proposal, click here.
 
For additional information and resources on the proposed rule from the DOL, click here.