In a couple of weeks from now, the month of January 2021 will be over. However, the implementation of the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) system for all the states in the USA is yet to complete post crossing the deadline of January 01, 2021. The majority of the states have already adopted it, and have found a statewise aggregator to help implement and train home and personal care businesses to reap the benefits of EVV.
After the good faith efforts request, the deadline moved to January 01, 2021, for all the states to implement this technology.
In the wake of the global pandemic Covid-19, several home care businesses had to shut down operations temporarily, leaving agency owners, caregivers, and other home care staff confined to their homes. As a result, the states where home care agencies were in-process to implement EVV had to put their efforts on hold. Consequently, there are few states where the implantation deadline has been extended to later months of 2021. To find out which state has a new deadline, visit the state health department website or Medicaid.
It is high time for home care agencies to get prepared if they are not in the final stages of implementation. Post-implementation, agencies will adhere to EVV compliance by recording the clock-in and clock-out time of the caregivers for every visit and transmit that collected data in real-time to the state in the correct format.
This article is intended to restate the basic information and provide what needs to be done in order to become EVV compliant in 2021.
What was the EVV Mandate?
According to the 21st Century CURES Act, electronic visit verification helps states decide how to group and report the data stored through EVV. If a state doesn’t fulfill the essential EVV mandate, it could result in losing 1 percent of their entire Federal Medical Assistance Percentage. This leads to a situation where the state itself must pay a more significant portion of the bill.
What exactly is EVV and what will it do?
EVV provides electronic proof that caregivers have arrived at their assigned place to provide caregiving services. The aspects that are verified under EVV are:
- Type of services offered
- Timely visits of the caregiver
- Date of service
- The exact location of the service
- Details about the individual providing services
- Tracking of time of beginning and end of the service
- Report generation
However, different states could demand additional information and can eventually set their policies regarding the monitoring and submission of data.
What Services Require Electronic Visit Verification?
As per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Every service that demands an in-home visit provided they are included in the claims beneath the personal care and home care services are undeniably subject to EVV implementation.”
In simple words, if a healthcare or personal care service is offered at home and is covered under Medicare or Medicaid for claims, EVV is mandatory. It also states that care services offered at a nursing home or hospitals do not require the implementation of EVV.
How are these Services Verified through EVV?
Most of the states have already switched to mobile EVV solutions as they are inexpensive as compared to the alternatives like biometric scanners installed in the clients’ place. Different states could choose an EVV model based on the fact that EVV mobile applications should leverage the global positioning system (GPS) tracking. Also, most of the states recommend mobile applications with features like scheduling, billing, and tracking, coupled with EVV for hassle-free verification.
Are Agencies Free to Choose any EVV Solution?
Yes, agencies have the right to choose any EVV solution based on their discretion and their needs. CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) does not endorse or suggest any particular EVV system.
However, there are certain aspects that need verification, which could also be considered as the base of any EVV system:
- The type of service performed
- Date and time of service that is being provided
- The details of the individual receiving the service
- The location and contact information of the individual receiving the service
- Details of the person delivering the services
- In and out the time of the service
The home care agencies operating in these states can choose an EVV vendor of their choice to attain compliance with the state and federal government regulations.
What if Agencies Fail to Implement EVV?
Such a situation also varies from state to state, but there certain aspects that shouldn’t be ignored while claiming Medicaid bills. The caregiver agencies must present electronic records like the documents containing information about the care services.
This information should contain mandatory fields like the in and out the timings of the caregiver, number of hours dedicated to a single client, adequate information about the type of service, details of the client (address, contact number, age), and details of the caregivers. Failing to provide these details through an EVV system may lead to rejection of claims, as per the guidelines issued by CMS.
The Advantages of EVV for Homecare Agencies
The basic idea of implementing EVV is to save the federal government funds by avoiding Medicaid fraud. Besides the advantage to the government, what EVV could offer the individual caregiver agencies besides just compliance?
The digital transformation of businesses is perhaps the main reason why agencies need to switch to mobile solutions that leverage EVV. With the right integration of software, agencies could be benefited in many ways. Some of the advantages of EVV to agencies are:
- Filling the communication gap between the caregivers, clients, and managers at the agency through text, call, and video lends a hand in improving productivity.
- Streamlining the processes through real-time tracking and adequate documentation.
- Automated timekeeping for every caregiver’s payroll.
- GPS-enabled tracking for both caregivers and for locating the destination.
- Optimization of caregivers for enhanced efficiency.
With the deployment of smartphones and tablets, home care agencies could eventually do a lot more than just meeting the EVV mandate. Improved communication, along with boosting productivity, could be witnessed with dedicated software to manage care delivery.
In other words, the implementation of EVV not only unleashes numerous possibilities in the home care industry but also provides solutions to speed up the process more smartly and reliably for meaningful and measurable results.
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