Power for Change offers in-home counseling to hundreds of clients in Wisconsin, sending 50 clinicians on the road to conduct therapy sessions in Green Bay, Greater Milwaukee and points between. Keeping track of client visits, hours and travel for dozens of therapists working as independent contractors presented various challenges.
The mental health practice relied on its clinicians to accurately calculate and report their locations and travel times, a system with drawbacks for the company and therapists alike. A key issue: Power for Change had no way to view and verify its clinicians’ whereabouts during the workday.
A client raised a red flag with a call to report that a therapist hadn’t arrived as expected.
“This was a very big challenge because we just had no way of holding these 50 clinicians accountable,” said David Pickering, Power for Change’s IT director. “Inaccurate billing or over-billing for travel or session times, those were kind of all over the board.”
"Inaccurate billing or over-billing for travel or session times, those were kind of all over the board" said David Pickering
Manual reporting posed burdens for clinicians as well. Therapists submitted billing after returning home, but some waited until the end of the week to work on their invoices. They needed to remember travel times from days earlier and any unusual events, like a client crisis that may have required a longer session. Tracking travel times meant noting any breaks or stops taken along the way.
Power for Change found a solution to these issues when it adopted Timeero, tapping into the app’s geofencing and time tracking technology to generate accurate, real-time records of its clinicians’ activities. Using GPS technology, Timeero’s software allows companies to monitor worker locations, mileage, hours and schedules, easing the payroll reporting process and improving accuracy and efficiency.
The company wasn’t interested in tracking therapists in their off hours, Pickering explained, “but we like to be able to hold them accountable and be able to see where they are at a specific location at a specific time, and Timeero definitely helped us do that.”
Timeero has given Power for Change the ability to view locations for all its clinicians when they’re on the clock and to manage billing based on more accurate data -- all with an easy, appealing interface. “This reduced faulty sessions and this also reduced faulty travel, so we were able to cut costs and manage clinicians more effectively out in the field.”
It’s also a time-saver for clinicians. “Timeero makes it easy to track travel and sessions and quickly bill,” Pickering said.
Rather than trying to recall how long it took to travel to a session or how much time they spent with a client, or doing the math necessary to generate a bill, therapists can easily view the information on the app.
“Timeero condensed all this,” Pickering said. “Now, all they have to do is go back and look at their timeline,” which will show real-time travel and session data needed for billing. The time-entry layout is “fantastic,” keeping vital information neat and organized, he said. “I love using it, the clinicians love using it because they can see their time throughout the week.”
“Having the GPS geofence technology capability is an awesome feature. Basically it sets up a perimeter around a location that a clinician is going to log into and we’re able to see that location when they clock in, clock out.”
The app can also make it easier to handle sticky client calls. Should someone report that a therapist didn’t show up for an appointment, for instance, Timeroo’s clear timeline allows the company to document and prove exactly how long the clinician was on site, Pickering said.
While many businesses set up geofencing to track employees at static work locations, Timeero allows Power for Change to enter codes and establish locations for individual clients across Wisconsin. “We are able to input that very quickly,” Pickering said. Clinicians using the app on company-issued iPads check in upon reaching the client’s home and punch out when the session ends. “It’s very user-friendly, we really appreciate that,” he said.
“Having the GPS geofence technology capability is an awesome feature. Basically it sets up a perimeter around a location that a clinician is going to log into and we’re able to see that location when they clock in, clock out.” If the clinician clocks in from an unexpected location -- perhaps the session took place at a park rather than the client’s home -- the app shows the inconsistency in red and allows for an explanatory note. The clinicians like having that feature Pickering said.
Timeero’s team, including CEO Barima Kwarteng, supported Power for Change in adopting the app, walking them through every aspect of the program and addressing any issues, he said.
“Our first experience was exceptional. Timeero has been nothing but an exceptional program to use,” Pickering said. “Barima and his team are 100% approachable.”
Apprehensive clinicians needed some convincing at first, however. “As soon as we talked about implementing this a whole bunch of red flags went up,” Pickering said. Therapists were concerned about managing the new technology, that they might be tracked 24/7 or that the app would access their iPad cameras.
The company, however, was interested only in their session times, locations while working and travel billing, not their off-hours activities, Pickering said. Timeero tracks clinician locations only when they’re clocked in, he noted.
“After about a week, they found the user interface very easy to use,” Pickering said. Not only do clinicians easily track their session and travel times, but the app catches errors, allowing the professionals to go back and edit their data if they forget to check out when leaving a client. (It also gives check-in and check-out reminders.)
From management’s perspective, Timeero helps the company reduce faulty session and travel reports and allows it to see clinician locations at all times, whether they’re near the home office in Green Bay or two hours away in Milwaukee.
“It just gives us greater peace of mind,” Pickering said. “Also for future ventures if we wanted to expand north or somewhere else, having Timeero definitely allows us more flexibility in being able to locate our clinicians and their whereabouts.”
Beyond offering strong initial support, Timeero’s team also communicates when new updates or features are available, like the ability to automatically check in and out, he noted. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the app’s announcement field allowed Power for Change to alert clinicians to the opportunity to register for vaccinations.
“We’re very, very happy with Timeero. Timeero is a top-notch program. We have been using it for almost two years now, which I cannot believe,” Pickering said. “We’ve been able to cut our billing costs substantially, we’re able to serve our clients more effectively and our clinicians are able to bill more accurately.”