If you’re in the home health industry, there’s a good chance you’ve at least heard of EVV. So what is it and why should you care about it?
EVV stands for Electronic Visit Verification. Essentially, it is a technology that verifies where and when a caregiver begins services for a client and when it ends. This provides a breadcrumb trail which serves as the basis for invoicing.
The need arose out of abuse from some providers who bloated and wrote timesheets. It has become too easy for an owner of an unethical agency to mark bogus service schedules and then bill Medicaid / Medicare for the services. The result was that billions of dollars were fraudulently or inappropriately collected by agencies.
Now, with EVV technology, it is indisputable that a caregiver is at the place from which they registered (via GPS or registered land lines). You can imagine the millions of dollars this has already saved the health care system.
New regulations require EVV
Many states have already started requiring electronic verification of visits for registered agencies, but the EVV requirement is poised to become a national mandate. During the last two months of President Obama’s tenure, he signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which contained numerous laws.
On home health, the Cures Act will require all home health agencies and personal care services that accept government reimbursements to have an EVV solution in place by the end of 2019 for care. personal and 2023 for home health agencies.
Upcoming state mandates
Some states like Texas and South Carolina had mandated EVV long before this issue ever became part of federal home care legislation. Most states didn’t even have it on the radar. Now that there is a national mandate in the near future, many states are in the process of creating EVV policies right now.
We will discuss some of the caveats and successes of the various state EVV mandates.
Single-vendor systems warnings
- In Louisiana, the state mandated a single system in 2013, then another in 2015. They ended up canceling both. Through this process, the state and the suppliers wasted a considerable amount of money, time and energy. Yet they have another mandatory approach which is being implemented this year.
- Connecticut is currently the subject of a class action lawsuit over its unique implementation of EVV from a group of some of the state’s largest vendors.
- Texas experienced major disruptions in care and reimbursements when its “preferred provider” was forced to pull out of the state. Vendors using this vendor had to migrate all of their data from one system to another and retrain their staff on a new system.
- South Carolina and Tennessee have providers that operate across member states that need to use more than one EVV provider. It is an operational puzzle for these causes. Some of them had to hire additional staff just to manage these different EVV systems.
- And if. What if this sole source goes bankrupt? What if their systems go down for an extended period of time? What if the quality of the data cannot be reliable without any monitoring?
In contrast, other states such as Missouri allowed providers to choose an EVV provider that worked best for them as long as the provider complied with Medicaid regulations. Over 600 vendors have implemented EVV in this state. We believe that the risks of litigation, the reliability and availability of a business, the business continuity of suppliers and the satisfaction of stakeholders outweigh the benefits of a single supplier system that does not allow competition. on the market. A multi-vendor solution is simpler, easier and more cost effective for all parties involved.
Finally, a state can implement a multi-vendor approach in three potential ways.
- Choice of supplier. Suppliers choose their EVV of choice and ensure that all standards are met. In addition, a common format export of the data may be required by the State.
- State overseer. State Supervisor of EVV in an open-choice model. An organization (public or private sector) without conflict of interest will verify and monitor the data and data quality from the different EVV providers in a single database or data warehouse, and provide information about the data to the State .
- List of approved suppliers. The report creates a list of approved suppliers. The list should not be static, but rather allows different vendors to be rewarded or punished for good or bad performance and design.
Suppliers have their say! Intensify
In the Cures Act, the mandate to verify electronic visits requires states to consult suppliers on a solution and the the solution is “not very restrictive”. Let’s say you’ve already spent time, money, and energy building a software solution for your business, including EVV. It works for you, and now you don’t even have to think about it.
What if all of a sudden you had to change your EVV provider? Now you need to extract all the data from your current EVV system and migrate it to the new EVV! What if the new mandated EVV is unreliable and breaks frequently (a common complaint from many vendors in a single vendor mandated state)? Not to mention, it will mean many hours of wasted training for your staff to learn a new system.
You are called to have a say in this matter in your state. Contact your associations and legislators to let them know that a Vendor Choice solution is best for everyone involved.
Don’t fight EVV, embrace it
Some vendors have resisted the idea of EVV, and like it or not, it’s coming. However, this is not a bad thing and it can actually make your business more profitable and efficient.
EVV allows you to automatically eliminate paper timesheets, record visits and create billing / payroll data with the push of a button. Plus, if an audit comes your way, you won’t have to worry about digging up piles of paper, you can just upload your data in minutes.
Most providers who use EVV find ways to save hours of administrative time, reduce overpayments, and find ways to increase their income. So embrace technology, it’s good for you.
What types of EVV technologies are there?
Originally, EVV started out as a landline technology that recorded call time to the customer’s home. This method is still widely used today. However, with the advent of smartphones, more and more tours are verified through smartphones using GPS tracking. It is by far the fastest growing method. In addition, computers and tablets can be used for verified tours.
Additional technologies include smartphone-less cellular services triangulation, stationary device recordings, and now bot voice recordings. The non-smartphone method occurs when a caregiver calls through a non-smartphone, and then the cellular carriers use the towers to locate the caregiver’s location. With a landline device, some areas do not have cell or landline service, so caregivers will scan a barcode, store a number, or scan an RFID card to point in / out.
- GPS smartphone
- Cell phone triangulation
- Computer or tablet
- Fixed base
- Voice bot
While you don’t need all of these technologies, some states require multiple technologies in an EVV solution. At a minimum, make sure that your EVV solution includes both a verification of the telephony and the mobile visit.
Source by Jared Schneider