Using PTO Cash Outs to Help with the Holiday Season

The labor shortage, particularly for agencies managing group homes, shows no sign of abating. These are new and old remedies providers are using to fill and cover visits.

  • Allow staff to cash out their PTO and work extra shifts. This doesn’t cost anymore real money and helps provide extra hours of coverage. Many DSP’s welcome the extra money.
  • Encourage all qualified staff to apply for extra hours through your scheduling system. This helps share the overtime around, and may even reduce overtime if part time workers request the hours.
  • Communicate open shift opportunities to all staff automatically.
  • Pay staff 150% or 200% uplift when they work a holiday. Replace guaranteed holidays with extra PTO that has to be requested like other PTO days. This helps fill difficult to fill shifts.
  • Include overtime and holiday pay uplift in job postings. Amazon and Walmart don’t pay out much (if any) overtime, especially to new staff.
  • Create a DSP transition training program to encourage people from other industries who have been displaced, or are still at home, to see how they could quickly become a DSP.
  • Use pay differentials for difficult to fill shifts and visits. This avoids a long term commitment to base pay if and when extra funding is reduced or the labor market returns to normal.

Using Scheduling for Residential Billing

Providers use Staff and Client Scheduling to track billing for group homes.

This method for tracking client attendance in residential programs assumes clients are in attendance most of the time. It follows the exception rule: if 80% or more of the time, what happens is what is scheduled, an effective solution will update the schedules to reflect what actually occurred.

The only edits required are to track absence and reasons.

Day-to-Day Operational Steps

  • Maintain daily schedules for individuals by Group Home. This is easy and requires little maintain as attendance changes very little, or not at all.
  • Edits are only needed for an “on exception” basis if the individual was absent for some reason, such as hospitalization, with family or guardians, etc.
  • All that is required is to update the hours, change the billing code, and document the reason.
  • Admin can audit reports and generate billing directly from schedules.
  • At the end of the billing period, administration rolls the schedules forward for the next Billing Period.

Advantages Over Using Spreadsheets

  • Unlimited history is automatically retained for audits and queries.
  • A record of who changed which schedules, and when, is captured automatically.
  • Client schedules can be shared across the agency.
  • A record of schedule vs. actual is retained and available for cross-checking.

Advantages Over Using EHR

  • Using schedules is simple and requires little training.
  • The license fees are much lower than for an EHR.

Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Treasury Department has established the Paycheck Protection Program, which is a $349 billion relief fund to assist small businesses and non-profit organizations, like Agencies, through the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is intended to pay for eight weeks of a business’s payroll costs & assist in retaining employees.

Download the Fact Sheet

Download this fact sheet to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program and how your agency can apply for it.

Fill out the form below to be emailed the download link.

In-House Payroll or Payroll Service?

This is a genuine dilemma with no straightforward obvious answer. Here are the main points that should be considered:

  1. Does a payroll service save time?
    • Employers still need to maintain employee records, PTO, accruals, and deductions on any system. This work does not go away with a payroll service.
    • Payroll services do not offer a payroll rules engine. If your organization has pay differentials, holiday pay, overtime, etc. these may not be automated and can be very time consuming to manage.
    • If processing payroll in-house, allow extra time for tax filings and payments.
  2. Is it cheaper to process payroll in-house?
    • Depends. The cost of running payroll in-house is much lower than using a payroll service, but if your organization needs to hire an extra person or pay overtime, then the savings may be minimal. If your existing staff can handle the extra work, mainly tax filing, then the savings can be significant.
    • Payroll services charge by employee or transaction. If your employees are paid minimum wage, are part time, or are paid sub-minimum wages under a Section 14(c) Subminimum Wage Certificate Program the proportion of the fees to payroll is relatively high.
  3. Cash flow
    • Payroll services require the money to be deposited early. With in-house payroll, the money does not leave your bank account until the direct deposit is released, or the employee cashes a paper check.
    • Payroll services take the taxes out each pay period including the employer taxes. With in-house payroll, the money does not leave your account until the taxes are paid.
  4. Direct Deposit
    • Direct deposit is supported by in-house payroll and payroll services.
    • With in-house payroll, the money can leave your bank account later.
  5. Tax Filings
    • Filing your own taxes takes time and has liability, as the filings must be done. However, many organizations do so.
    • If your organization only operates in one state, filing taxes is relatively straightforward. Filing in multiple states is more complex, even if there is only one employee in a state.
  6. Integration
    • MITC Payroll eliminates the need for Employee Imports and Timecard Exports. Payroll and Timecards are matched up, providing a tight audit trial. The employee check stub automatically displays in myMITC self service.
    • Payroll services often charge extra for General Ledger integration and do not always offer the flexibility in-house payroll does.
    • 401(k) and HSA filings are the same. Payroll services charge extra and may not do a very good job.
  7. Time and Attendance closings
    • Payroll services require the payroll to be processed earlier than with in-house payroll. This can have a knock-on effect on how much time managers and supervisors have to approve time and attendance, and payroll to audit time and attendance. The less time, the more likely the work will be rushed and not done in sufficient detail.
    • If a supervisor or manager needs to delay a time and attendance approval for part of any employee’s time and attendance, doing a “make up” payroll a few days later can be more complicated with a payroll service.

Your Billing Integration Options with Agency Workforce Management

Could a typo cost you thousands of dollars? When it comes to Medicaid audits, yes. If your organization manually enters data into a billing system, it is not only wasting time but also making itself vulnerable to costly errors.

But data entry is not the only option. Billing integration software ensures billing accuracy and speeds up the billing process by importing time and attendance records directly to your billing software. The software automates calculations, tracks state requirements, and gives your billing system all the information it needs for compliance. It also lets you off the hook for hours of data entry.

Integrate with Your Billing Software

Providers have significantly more options to manage payroll and billing with Agency Workforce Management than with any other software vendor. Agency Workforce Management provides revenue cycle management for many billing systems, including:

  • Amber Clinic
  • Annkissam
  • EZClaim
  • Fund E-Z
  • HSys
  • Millin
  • OnTarget
  • PrecisionCare

Direct exports are also available to a number of state systems and EVV data aggregators.

Additionally, Agency Workforce Management can import data from EHR providers such as Therap and Foothold to reconcile billing with time and attendance. This works with attendance records from Agency Workforce Management or records imported from any other time and attendance system such as ADP or Kronos.


Don’t Forget About Payroll Integration

Which payroll service do you use? No matter what it is, it will integrate with our software. Agency Workforce Management can speak to any existing payroll system, period. This means that the same advantages of billing integration – like time savings and error avoidance – can apply to your payroll process, too.