The following is a guest blog post by John Cunningham, Director of Marketing & Sales at Abaqus Inc.
Under the federal 21st Century Cures Act, all Medicaid-reimbursed home care providers across the United States will be required to utilize electronic visit verification (EVV) in home care visits as of January 1st, 2019. By issuing a mandatory EVV compliance, the federal government believes that fraud and abuse rates with home health care providers can be reduced to a substantial amount.
What is Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)?
EVV is a type of technology that a caregiver can use during a home visit to capture information about the visit. The information is captured on a mobile device using a suitable EVV app.
EVV-compliant software offers digitization of paper-driven data collection and are to be used by agencies and government entities for compliance and quality assurance. The main features of electronic visit verification will include:
- Date of service provided
- Time of service provided (start and end times)
- Type of healthcare service performed
- Location of the service provided
- Information of service provider (individual’s details)
The ease and speed of adaptation have relatively increased than before, and the app-based mobile data collection software are straightforward to use so you no longer need to spend a hefty amount of funds to train your staff to use such tech.
Types of EVV Solutions For Your Home Care Agency
There are generally three ways through which Home Care Providers can comply with the 21st Century CURES Act:
- Biometric Recognition
- Mobile Technology
Let’s take a closer look at these solutions:.
Various biometric recognition systems can be employed to uniquely identify caregivers based upon one or more intrinsic physical traits. Biometric traits or characteristics that can be utilized to uniquely recognize an individual through fingerprints, face recognition, palm prints, retina recognition, iris recognition, and voice pattern.
While biometric recognition may seem like a good solution to comply with EVV at first, this system has some drawbacks. The biometric devices are costly and each care recipient has to have a dedicated biometric device installed on their premises. It can be an inconvenience to both the business and the patient.
Telephony method is commonly used in the home setting and doesn’t require the companies to install or service any devices. To record a visit with this method, the caregiver uses a recipient’s landline phone to dial a toll-free number at the start and completion of service delivery.
Landlines are becoming obsolete. Based on a recent National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), it was found that almost half of the US household do not have a landline. The decline of landlines makes this option a weak contender as an effective EVV solution.
This is the latest EVV solution that uses smartphones and tablets to record visits via an app. Most modern mobile devices have GPS chips for location-based services. Electronic Visit Verification via GPS tracking and geofencing provides you with a holistic solution to manage your mobile caregiver teams.
Smartphones and tablets are constantly evolving and are becoming more powerful, and with increasing maturation and affordability of key technologies like mobile apps, devices, sensors, and cloud technology, the mobile technology offers the newest and the most future-proof EVV option.
These more comprehensive Electronic Visit Verification solutions go far beyond simple proof of visit. Mobile technology EVV solutions frequently combine mobile applications with back-office portals, providing additional functionalities. Apart from visit verification, any GPS-enabled phones and tablets can be used to do some of the following functions:
- Capture data from the field: Signature, Notes, Photos and more.
- Provide Payroll Timekeeping for the caregiver.
- Multi-channel visit verification: Geofence, IVR, Text Messaging and Manual Clocking
- through App.
- Generate reports for documentation and audit.
- Track mileage and other costs.
- Monitor caregiver’s safety.
- Multiple language support through a customizable mobile app.
- Integrate with back-office Financial Management Systems.
To sum up, EVV via mobile devices and apps present a seamlessly fast, easy, secure, error-free and future-proof verification solution for both our customers and their caregivers.
EVV applies to services rendered in the home under Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and home health skills. According to medicaid.gov, the official website of US Government, implementation dates for Personal Care Services (PCS) deadline is January 1, 2019, and Home Health Care Services (HHCS) is January 1, 2023.
Ultimately, for agencies with more progressive strategies, the Cures Act is a timely backdrop to think more broadly and seize an opportunity to differentiate service.
Abaqus, Inc. is a provider of a powerful platform, myGeoTracking, for EVV solution for in-home care providers. myGeoTracking leverages the advancements in the modern technology in the smartphones/sensors, apps, location-based services, and cellular communication to provide you with a scalable and a robust in-home care workforce solution to help meet EVV requirements for Medicaid compliance.