This Sunday, November 3rd, daylight saving time ends and standard time begins at 2 AM local time. The time “falls” back by one hour, which for some may mean an additional hour of sleep, but for care staff who are on the clock, it means an additional hour of their shift.
The time change can create confusion and, even though it happens twice a year, can still take both providers and their clients by surprise. So what does this mean for healthcare providers? It’s important to be conscious of the upcoming change, especially for scheduling and billing.
If an employee is scheduled to work an 11 PM to 7 AM shift, for example, they will be in the client’s home or facility for an additional hour. If an agency does pay/bill the extra time, when closing weekending on November 9th, for example, the scheduler must manually adjust the schedule up by one hour. This would mean the 11 PM to 7 AM shift would be reflected as 11 PM to 8 AM on the schedule (in ContinuLink, this would be the Schedule Calendar page) in order to pay/bill 9 hours instead of 8 hours.
Why does this change happen every year? Although there is some disagreement among states as to whether or not daylight savings should persist (or become the new norm), in the U.S. the practice of changing the clocks twice a year dates back 100 years, and had been first conceived well before then. Daylight saving time is intended to provide better use of the daylight by collectively shifting clocks (and thereby the workday) to correlate more closely with the sunrise and sunset during the summer months.
Although many may consider time as something that is universally accepted, there have been many instances of revision and even flexibility in the way that that hours in a day have been tracked in different eras and cultures.
The current daylight saving time schedule began as recently as 2007, following the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which states that daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
While the specific policy for handling the time change will depend on your own agency and the technology solution you have in place, it is important to be mindful of daylight saving time and to communicate to employees and clients accordingly.
Are you a user of one of our solutions? Reach out to support at any time for assistance on how to prepare for daylight saving time by accessing the support section within the platform or by calling 844-730-6528.