Do home health care aides commonly charge for travel expenses?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Is it common to charge for travel expenses and travel time when an in-home health aide has to travel as far as one hour each way?

Expert Answer

Merrily Orsini, MSSW, was a pioneer in the business of providing geriatric care managed in-home care. She currently serves on the board of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and is Chair of the Private Duty Homecare Association. She holds a master's degree in social work and is a nationally known writer and speaker on aging, elder issues, and in-home care.

Home health aides are paid by the hour or by the visit. When a patient or client lives a distance away from the agency, or from a major metropolitan area where there is adequate public transportation, it is common to charge either a set fee for travel within a certain radius or to charge actual mileage, which is based on the IRS reimbursed rate of $.55 per mile as of Jan 1, 2009. These travel expenses for home health aides are necessary and important so it is feasible to have an aide travel to get to a job, which sometimes is only for a short time period.