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The Technology Component Urgent Care Clinics Are Missing

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AN OVERLOOKED FINANCIAL REALITY Despite its undeniable growth and broadening support base, urgent care clinics can introduce financial complications for its workers. Namely, mileage reimbursement can become an unwieldy and potentially unfair process for the district or regional managers who are responsible for continually stocking urgent care clinics with necessary products, equipment and supplies. Some urgent care clinics provide company cars to their employees, as having the option to brand-wrap a company-owned vehicle can offer invaluable mobile advertising, enhanced brand imagery and greater community visibility. However, many smaller urgent care clinics rely on their employees to drive their personal vehicles for any stocking-related tasks. This means the clinic is responsible for reimbursing their employees with the costs associated with driving for work, as mandated by different state labor regulations (such as California's Labor Code Section 2802(a)) 2018 2019 IRS STANDARD MILEAGE RATES 54.5¢ / mile 58¢ / mile ↑ 6.4% MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT COMPLICATIONS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released its standard mileage rates for 2019, which allow urgent care clinics to fairly reimburse their employees for the work-related miles driven on their personal vehicles. These rates also help employees calculate the deductible costs of operating a vehicle for business purposes. However, with the new rate standard at 58 cents per mile (which marks a 6.4 percent increase from 2018's rate), some urgent care clinics may balk at the increase and choose to pay below the full standard. Worse, some clinics may not even have a formal mileage reimbursement program in place and resort to an ad hoc amalgam of company car, car allowance and mileage reimbursement programs that aren't sufficiently enforced. Currently, it's not illegal to pay below the IRS business mileage standard. However, it's important to acknowledge that employees have the option to sue based on labor regulations for the business miles they are rightfully owed. In fact, RadioShack, Starbucks and Uber should serve as cautionary tales and incite urgent care clinics to prevent similarly expensive payouts and lawsuits by implementing cloud-based mileage tracking and reimbursement technologies. Also, while it's not as immediately extreme a scenario, urgent care clinics could also suffer from losing talent to competitors if they miscalculate costs and under-reimburse their employees.

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