04.20.2022

SimiTree analysts expect data to reflect sizeable jump in direct care mileage cost

SimiTree data analysts expect incoming data for Q1 2022 to reflect the significant impact of explosive gas prices in March on home health and hospice agencies.

Direct care mileage costs accounted for 2.5 percent of total revenue in Q4 2021, the most recent data SimiTree makes available to the public.

But SimiTree Vice-President Brian Martin, who tracks data for The Financial Monitor, SimiTree’s industry-leading data analytics and benchmarking tool, expects that figure to climb as data is reported and analyzed for Q1 and beyond.

“This 2.5 percent represents a steady increase in direct care mileage cost quarter over quarter since the start of 2020,” Martin said. “We are expecting that trend to continue. But there are multiple other factors which are likely to impact direct care mileage data for Q1, pushing it higher."

Gas price impact

Gas prices spiked to a national average of $4.23 last month, as reported by the travel and navigation app GasBuddy on March 28. The app compiled data from more than 11 million price reports covering more than 150,000 gas stations across the country.

The March 28 report reflected the highest gas prices shown in GasBuddy’s weekly reports and has been trending down each week since. States with the highest gas prices in those weekly reports have been California, Nevada, and Hawaii, while the lowest gas prices were reported in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.

IRS mileage impact

A 2022 increase in the IRS standard mileage rate will also be reflected for the first time in Q1 data, Martin said. The IRS increased mileage reimbursement from 56 cents to 58.5 cents per mile at the first of the year, an increase of about 4.5 percent.

“Not every agency pays the IRS rate for mileage, but some do,” Martin said.

Brian Martin

Vice-President, SimiTree Financial Monitor

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