Fee Per Visit
Many home health companies pay nurses and therapists a flat fee for each patient visit. Under the federal overtime laws, such an arrangement may be appropriate, but only if certain specific conditions are met. For example, if the employer also pays hourly for meetings or pays a set amount to be “on call” outside of normal business hours, then the employer might be required to make extra overtime payments for all work over 40 hours in any week. Work is defined not only as patient care but can also include drive time, charting, taking samples to the lab, preparing schedules, phone conversations with other medical personnel or patients, meetings, etc. Many nurses and therapists who work full time often spend well in excess of 40 hours per week doing all the activities their jobs demand. Courts have rejected employers’ attempts to deny overtime when paying workers a fee-per-visit if some portion of the worker's pay is tied to the number of hours worked.
Many home health companies that pay a fee per visit rely upon the fact that regulations are confusing so that they can avoid paying overtime. Home health nurses and therapists should not remain in the dark about whether they are entitled to overtime. We are here and available to discuss whether you may have a claim.
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