Home healthcare organizations are in a challenging position. They’re expected to continually improve patient care while cutting costs and responding to ever-changing rules and regulations. That makes compliance a major challenge for home healthcare companies.
In addition to complying with rules from state or local governments and those requirements from contracts with customers, home healthcare organizations also need to manage compliance with their own company policies. Here’s our handy 3-step guide to time and expense for home healthcare compliance.
Home Healthcare Auditing and Reporting Software
Step one: create a company handbook for employees & arrange your approval processes
This is a vital step on the way towards compliance. If you’ve already got this covered, then you’re on the right path. Some organizations are still in the process of figuring out what their rules for timesheets and expense reports are, so they need to spend the time to understand what will most efficiently help keep their organization afloat and what will be manageable for employees. Here are the many kinds of policies most often implemented within an employee handbook:
- Car Rental
- Cell Phone
- Business Meals / Entertainment
- Per Diems
- Pre-trip Authorization
For details on the specific policies that you might have concerning these categories, be sure to check out Best Practices for a Smoother Expense Reporting & Auditing Process.
Once you’ve got your policies written, then you need to figure out which employees will report to whom. This will become your approval process. A recommendation is to have at least one level of approval, though two levels is preferred. Also, don’t forget about exceptions for specific expenses or submissions.
Related Article: 26 Sample Employee Handbook Policies for Improved Compliance
Step two: Establish your reporting process & your auditing process
Now that you’ve got your policies in place, it’s time to begin reaping the rewards of your work. All the data that your employees and managers will submit then becomes valuable at this stage. The main question to answer at this stage is what kind of information you want from your data. The reporting possibilities are endless, though there are some recommendations, including:
- Monthly, quarterly, yearly expense reimbursement tracking by user, by expense or GL account, by department, by project
- Corporate credit card transaction reconciliation, and usage tracking
- Measure approval duration by approver (how long a report sat in a manager’s approval queue)
There are many others. For even more specifics on these reports and other recommendations, see Best Practices for a Smoother Expense Reporting & Auditing Process.
Once your reporting data is gathered, set up your auditing procedures. This is the stage in which you’ll be able to uncover fraud and follow trails to explore changes in the system. It’s recommended to run condition-based audits over canned reports, though canned reports can be helpful occasionally. Condition-based audits will provide you with relevant data to your company’s situation. Home healthcare organizations, for instance, might value data concerning mileage and they will also benefit from ad hoc or random auditing.
Step three: Perform quarterly and annual reviews to make changes
This might seem superfluous, but a good compliance system needs maintenance. That means completing reviews on a quarterly and annual basis to establish which policies are doing well and which might need revision.
Sometimes, the original vision for a policy sounds like a good idea, but in the real world, it doesn’t work out because it’s too strict or too lenient. Reviews will help determine which policies need revision so that you can keep your system running smoothly for years to come. A little bit of maintenance goes a long way when it comes to home healthcare compliance.
Learn more about how DATABASICS Time & Expense for Home Healthcare™ can help your organization.
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