Overtime laws could change the game for home health

Nurse Leader Insider, May 26, 2016

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

First appeared in Homecare Insider.

The Department of Labor’s final rule on overtime requirements for salaried employees, issued last week, will have repercussions for home health agencies (HHA) and hospice providers, industry experts said. The final rule, which will take effect December 1, 2016, increases minimum salary requirements for overtime exemptions for salaried workers from its current level of $23,660 per year, or $455 per week, to $47,476 a year, or $913 per week.

HHAs with salaried employees under that new threshold will have to pay overtime—1.5 times an employee’s regular rate—for labor beyond 40 hours within a workweek. The rule change will cause a “significant administrative burden” for home care and hospice because the business is visit-based, William Dombi, vice president for law at the National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), told Home Health Care News. He predicted that tracking staff time would be a major task for HHAs.

Minimum wage and overtime protection for hourly homecare workers became the law of the land last fall, when the DoL extended a 2013 rule to the field of home health. The latest rule applies to salaried employees who previously made too much—i.e., more than $23,660 annually—to be eligible for overtime. HHAs are expected to respond to the rule by possibly cutting hours to avoid overtime situations, or by altering compensation—possibly by moving away from payment on a per-visit basis, Home Health Care News has reported.

Medicaid-funded homecare agencies that serve individuals with intellectual or development disabilities will have until March 2019 to implement the overtime rule, as will Medicaid-funded residential care facilities with 15 or fewer beds, according to the Labor Department.

Source: Home Health Care News, U.S. Department of Labor

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Nurse Leader Insider!

Most Popular