Home Health

New law allows delay of electronic visit verification requirement

States and providers alike may have more time to prepare for and implement electronic visit verification (EVV) as required under the 21st Century Cures Act.

The 21st Century Cures Act requires states implement an EVV system for providers offering personal care, homemaking, respite and other non-medical services funded by Medicaid. EVV was supposed to be in place by Jan. 1, 2019, but President Donald Trump recently signed into law a bipartisan bill allowing states to delay implementation.

States now can delay implementation as long as the state has made a good faith effort to meet the initial deadline and has run into unavoidable delays.

The new law also requires CMS to hold at least one public meeting in 2019 to get comments from stakeholders.

Requests for good faith effort exemptions should be submitted by Nov. 30, 2018.

States that fail to comply face initial federal medical assistance percentage reductions of 0.25%. Those reductions increase to 1% after 2023.

This change primarily impacts Medicaid for now, but will be coming later for Medicare and likely will be required for private duty agencies if they get institutional customers, like hospitals.

In 2017, billed Medicaid accounted for 1.8% of revenue for the home care industry, according to the 2018 Home Care Bench marking Study by Home Care Pulse in Rexburg, Idaho.

Serious penalties may befall agencies — not just states — that fail to implement EVV. Each state is expected to outline its own penalties for providers that fail to electronically verify visits for services covered by Medicaid. Experts anticipate penalties could include rejected claims or suspension from the Medicaid program.

Agencies in states that aren’t expected to meet the initial deadline may want to reach out to state officials to ask for a delay, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. — Kirsten Dize (kdize@decisionhealth.com)