For U.S. home care agencies rushing to implement federally-mandated electronic visit verification (EVV) systems, there looks to be some reprieve.
Last month, the House passed a bill to push the initial deadline of January 1st, 2019 a full calendar flip to January 1st, 2020 for Medicaid-reimbursed home care providers to be up and running with EVV.
While the bill still must pass the Senate, there is a strong likelihood this will move ahead, giving agencies some time to breathe and strategize about what their EVV technology will look like and, most importantly, how it will sync within an entire software system.
We’ve covered the $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act and what it means in previous stories (take a look here and here), but to recap: in requiring agencies to adopt EVV systems, it aims to diminish the significant issue of Medicaid billing fraud, poor oversight and improper payments. In fact, a brand new report this month shows that some insurers did not adequately recover millions of dollars in overpayments to physicians and home health agencies. Ultimately, with one in five Americans now on Medicaid -- a number sure to grow -- officials have sounded the alarm over the urgent federal responsibility to get things in order.
So, as of New Year’s Day 2020, home care agencies must possess a system that verifies its field workers delivered care, the date and location, when that appointment began and ended, and a client’s signature to wrap it up.
Open vs. Closed EVV
While several states -- more than half of the country -- have already taken steps to implement EVV, a significant number are still undecided in terms of whether to proceed with an open or a closed system.
With an open model, home care providers are free to choose from state-certified EVV systems and vendors, while a closed model mandates a specific solution for the entire state. Most states have currently adopted or are leaning towards an open model, which allows for much more flexibility for providers to choose systems that best meet their individual needs.
An open model also allows providers to look beyond the minimum requirements of EVV and seize a window of opportunity to modernize operations towards greater efficiency and better patient outcomes.
If you're in a state that’s decided upon or leaning towards an open or provider-choice mandate, a deadline pushed back 12 months can certainly be a blessing for those who have yet to implement an EVV solution.
That’s because this is a decision that should not be rushed and is best strategized as part of a larger conversation about whether one’s current technology is flexible enough to not only support new EVV measures, but also grow with any future requirements or trends in an industry that is evolving at great speed.
With client demands changing and client volume growing, there is an urgency in many countries for home care agencies to both modernize and standardize operations. Electronic Visit Verification serves the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but it also serves agencies by forcing such modernization. Wave goodbye to laborious paper-based reporting. Embrace digital workflows where time and attendance are tracked in real-time and shared across an organization. Deliver high-quality care to clients by freeing up nurses and other workers to support more clients at times convenient to both.
In short, EVV means a new level of efficiency and is a pathway straight to remote patient monitoring, mobile health management, and all the technological shifts to come that will save agencies time and effort and give clients peace of mind.
AlayaCare has long been focused on EVV, and we have built it into a full GPS-based mobile care management system. If you’d like to know more, drop us a line any time.