The 21st Century Cures Act signed in 2016, does just that – brings Medicaid-reimbursed home care providers into the 21st century using electronic visit verification.
Electronic Visit Verification or EVV for home care refers to an electronic way to verify care provider visits using a GPS-enabled mobile app, calling a toll-free number from the patient’s landline phone or having a dedicated EVV device in each patient’s home.
The act was signed in hopes to reduce fraud and human errors and help improve the safety and quality of care for patients. Other goals include increasing overall caregiver efficiency and having electronic records make for a faster turnaround of claim review and reimbursement for all parties involved.
The Evolution of EVV Systems for Home Care
Before EVV, caregivers would log services, many times after leaving the home, and complete the paperwork without any proof. This led to missed visits, unreliable information, payroll fraud and lack of validation that patients received their full promised and proper care.
Earlier rollouts of EVV included telephone-based check-ins from a patient’s landline, matching the phone calls from the home to the patient’s address.
The evolution of technology now brings more options to EVV systems for home care including mobile apps that track GPS and biometric visit data.
EVV System Deadlines for Home Care
Originally to be in place by January 1, 2019 for personal care services (PCS), the deadline was moved to January 1st, 2020 after President Trump signed the Public Law 222 from H.R. 6042, delaying implementation for personal care services.
As the January 1, 2021 deadline approached, a handful of states met the mandate while the rest received a “good faith effort” exemption, providing an additional year to implement, test and iron out any issues with their EVV system.
As for home health care services (HHCS), the deadline remains January 1, 2023; although some states already require EVV for both PCS and HHCS or plan to implement both at the same time.
State vs. Cures Act Guidelines
The Cures Act does not specify a single EVV system to use, just requirements in which such a system must meet. Each state is responsible for deciding how to gather, report and verify the data, and may also include additional requirements other than those listed in the Cures Act.
States also have the choice to have a closed or open model. This allows states to choose an exclusive state-wide EVV system or allow home care providers in their state to choose their own EVV system that can meet the established requirements.
Each home care provider should research their state’s individual guidelines before moving forward with an EVV system. If the state is still undecided, but the provider wants to start the EVV process in order to get ahead and have time to test ease-of-use and integration, they should choose an EVV system that is customizable and able to quickly adapt and train to ever-changing requirements before it affects the service’s Medicaid reimbursement.
EVV System Requirements
According to the 21st Century Cures Act, the EVV system for home care should:
- Collect the below data and keep it private, secure and HIPAA compliant
- Type of service performed
- Name of the individual receiving the service
- Date of the service
- Location of the service delivered
- Name of the individual providing the service
- Time the service begins and ends
- Verify the completeness and validity of the data
- Allow easy access to the data for regular checks or audits
- Be minimally burdensome to caregivers and patients
- Provide training, support and/or educational materials
Choosing an EVV System
Having a customizable EVV platform allows the home care provider to not only follow all regulations listed in the Cures Act, but also their state requirements. It also allows home care services to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by providing better data and service to their clients.
Implementing an EVV system for home care has the ability to improve overall caregivers’ productivity from spending hours on paperwork down to minutes, giving them more time to help improve the health care services provided to their patients.