By: Navin Gupta, VP, Home Health, Hospice & Private Duty, MatrixCare
On January 1, 2020, new federal requirements for Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) went into effect. EVV systems, according to the mandate, must electronically verify: the type of service performed, the individual receiving the service, the date of the service, the location of service delivery, the individual providing the service and the time service begins and ends.
This type of technology has been available for more than two decades, but prior to the passage of the CURES Act, EVV was optional for states and providers. Agencies are naturally concerned. With budgets already stretched thin, there is worry that meeting the EVV mandate will simply add yet another cost that further eats away at profits.
In reality, EVV can bring a level of visibility to the delivery and management of care which may yield unforeseen – and potentially substantial – gains in efficiency, communication, cost savings and care outcomes. When done correctly, the EVV system is a valuable tool that ensures patients receive the services to which they are entitled. If the EVV system is conceptualized or implanted poorly, however, it opens the door to a plethora of issues.
Here are three insider tips that all providers should keep in mind as they undergo the process of selecting an EVV vendor.
EVV Vendors Vary by State – The first step in choosing an EVV solution is to know the available options. Ideally, agencies would be able to choose the best EVV vendor from amongst all available. However, whether or not this is possible varies from state to state. Different states have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, different models.
Some, such as the “provider choice” model and the “open choice” model, give agencies substantial freedom in selecting an EVV vendor. Other models, such as the “state choice” model, are more limiting. Under this model, states contract with a single EVV vendor and require that all private duty providers use that particular vendor’s EVV system. From an agency’s point of view, the “provider choice” and “open choice” models are the most appealing. Regardless, agencies need to understand the model(s) employed in the state(s) in which they operate – and plan accordingly.
Not all Solutions are Created Equal – Agencies that do have a choice of which EVV vendor to select must determine which vendor system is right for them. A crucial part of this process is understanding some of the common approaches to EVV and how it impacts the ability to provide care. Broadly speaking, EVV solutions can be broken into two main categories – mobile devices and telephony.
Both allow caregivers to check in and out of home visits where times and locations can be electronically recorded. The two approaches differ in how this is accomplished. The first approach utilizes fully electronic methods such as mobile apps, tablets or reading devices. The second approach is the telephony method, where caregivers must dial a number from the patient’s telephone at the time of the visit. Typically, these utilize landlines and may not be as reliable. Because mobile devices are on the rise and landlines are on the decline, telephony continues to become a less appealing option. In fact, a recent study from the CDC revealed that more than 51 percent of all homes do not have a landline.
It is crucial that agencies weigh both options and decide which is best and which one has the funcationalities that would benefit the business the most. If the mobile version is the preferred route, then ensure that your vendor has flexibility with type of device, as well as connected and disconnected capabilities, like MatrixCare Private Duty.
Planning is Key – Implementing an EVV solution doesn’t have to be burdensome. Conducting thorough research during system selection and identifying and addressing potential issues before they become a problem is essential. As with other tech implementations, getting buy-in from the private duty aides who will actually use the system on a daily basis is a must. For instance, if EVV replaces paper timesheets, this is changing the process whereby aides get paid. You should take the following questions into consideration when making a decision on EVV solutions, and base all training and planning accordingly.
What kind of training will be needed to get caregivers and staff up and running? How complicated will it be to implement this system into our agency’s already established processes? What kind of support is available to us and for how long? How much time will need to be allotted to training?
In the next several months, providers across the country will be learning these types of implementation lessons as they roll out EVV systems.When selecting an EVV solution, it is important to pay attention to which functionalities would benefit the business, staff and clients the most. Would a robust solution that goes beyond the minimum proof-of-visit requirement be an advantage?
Make sure you’ve done plenty of research on which EVV vendor your agency chooses. Having a collaborative relationship with an EVV vendor helps inhibit potential problems and ensures the technology best meets your specific needs. With the right EVV solution, your agency can improve productivity, performance and patient outcomes – all things that positively contribute to your overall success.
MatrixCare’s compliance and regulatory team work to ensure we help caregiver organizations achieve regulatory compliance using our integrated solution. Please contact us to experience the MatrixCare difference.
This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice. MatrixCare strongly recommends each agency consult with counsel of its own choosing for legal advice on next steps in this matter that best suits it.