COVID-19 Impacts on Employees
The world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been in full swing since mid-March. Yes, I know it feels like longer, but it has truly just been a few months. There have been overwhelming short and long-term impacts within healthcare, both from a financial and human capital perspective. Healthcare organizations have been forced to adapt very quickly with little to no consideration for corporate finances, so that patients would receive the best possible care and mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.
From an employee perspective, people have had their work location and schedule adjusted, while other changes were reflected in employee pay rates, bonus incentives, job and position requirements. More specific updates to employee health and safety procedures have also been implemented. These changes may have both employee and employer expense reimbursement implications, depending on an organization’s policies, as well as Federal, State and Local regulatory requirements that have now changed.
How to Improve Analytics & Reimbursement for COVID-19
One of the ways that healthcare Human Resources and Payroll staff can support their organization is to ensure accuracy with the volume of employee data updates. They can also support reporting needs for Covid-19 tracking and capturing the necessary data for expense reimbursement credits and stimulus program offerings. A few considerations around pursuing reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses may include:
- Determining what expenses are reimbursable (Employee and Employer);
- Determining what information must be provided for each reimbursable expense;
- Determining the who, when, where, and how of reimbursement request submissions;
- Gathering the required data for expense reimbursement; and
- Staying current on COVID-19 expense reimbursement rules & timelines, legislative changes and new offerings.
While these five focus areas may be a sound starting point to ensure data accuracy and expense reimbursement during COVID-19, finding answers may not be straight forward. Digging deeper by identifying reliable resources and support can help.
Examples of research sources for HR & Payroll include:
- The CARES Act document provides guidelines and is a great starting place.
- State websites are a good source of specific information.
- COVID-19 statistics websites contain quite a bit of information, but you must determine which ones are appropriate for your organization.
- Your software vendor may have additional functionality that can be implemented to help with COVID-19 health and safety tracking as well as expense payments, reimbursements and credits for employees and employers. Next step for success: Contact your software vendor or vendor account representative to see what information they have and what features/functions can be implemented to assist your organization.
- A Third-Party Administrator can possibly assist with identifying rules and regulations around receiving a COVID-19 employer credit and reimbursement, as well as providing ongoing updates.
- As soon as data requirements are available for COVID-19 purposes, begin working on the data extraction and reporting. This will help identify potential data needs and gaps so that your organization can remain focused on patient care and safety while others work to keep the reporting tasks from becoming too daunting.
What About Employee Occupational Health and Safety?
As it pertains to employee health and safety at work, it is important to have a tracking mechanism for recording the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to adhering to new procedures that have been created as a result of the pandemic. Your organization should have an Occupational Health and Safety solution that you can leverage. This is where having a strong partnership with your software vendors or vendor account rep can help.
Since COVID-19 is a part of our new normal, it is critical that HR and Payroll professionals know where to start and how to take that first step forward into the brave new world of COVID-19 tracking, reporting and expense reimbursement. If you need help with COVID-19 tracking and reporting, system configurations, or applying the practical guidance within this article, reach out to ROI’s experienced, strategic HCM team of Consultants.
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