Since the 21st Century Cures Act was amended in 2018, home care providers have been getting ready to meet new challenges set by the rules and regulations surrounding Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).
The Act mandates that States must require the use of EVV tracking for all Medicaid-funded Personal Care Services (PCS) from January 1, 2021. From January 1, 2023, this will include home and community-based services (HCBS).
In this blog, we offer six tips to help home care providers implement EVV successfully and identify the business benefits it can bring.
What is Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)?
EVV is a system for tracking work performed, hours, notes, accurate location information, and much more about the patient-caregiver interaction – to streamline care procedures. This data can be collected in numerous ways, for example, through a mobile app, voice signature, kiosk (via a tablet or other hand-held device), telephony, or FOB.
It was created to ensure that home care providers deliver the right services to the right clients/patients, stamp out fraudulent care claims, and improve the overall safety and quality of care provided.
States are required to implement EVV for all Medicaid personal care services and home health services requiring a provider’s in-home visit. Each state must also have specific EVV training requirements in place to help home care providers achieve EVV compliance.
What are the EVV requirements?
To complete an EVV correctly, six criteria must be recorded:
- Name of the care recipient
- Name of the individual providing the care service(s)
- Type of service(s) performed/completed
- Date of the care service(s)
- Location where the service(s) was delivered
- Time the care service(s) began and ended.
Home care providers need to check with their state’s governing body, as there may be additional state-specific requirements beyond this list.
How can home care providers successfully implement EVV?
1. Take a positive and proactive approach
As with any new initiative, your success in overcoming obstacles or difficulties when implementing EVV lies in the approach you choose to take. Rather than focusing on the headaches and upheaval it might bring to your business, embrace the positive aspects and all the benefits it has to offer.
Taking a positive and proactive approach to this challenge, rather than being resistant and reactive, will mean you identify and solve any problems before they even arise or at least before they escalate. Focus on proactive practices, like risk assessment and strategic planning, before you take action to implement the necessary changes.
A positive attitude from leadership will not only motivate and inspire your team but also impact your future business success.
2. Create a clear plan
Creating a clear plan and setting SMART goals will go a long way to helping you successfully implement an EVV system in your home care business. The entire process will seem much less daunting when broken down into smaller, manageable steps.
Setting goals is proven to help teams achieve greater results in less time and without significant stress. In addition, you and your team will be incentivized to complete the job by the deadline, as you can easily see and measure your progress toward your end goal.
3. Invest in the right EVV technology
How much choice home care providers have in choosing tech tools for EVV implementation will depend on their state. States can currently develop their own state-wide implementation model and strategies, administrative structure, eligibility, and penalties. You will need to contact your state’s governing body for more information.
In states where providers can choose, you should look for an EVV system that meets your state mandates, is flexible and configurable to leverage existing infrastructure, and that will keep pace as technological advances are introduced in the future. Flexibility also includes the ease of system integration, data aggregation, and the inclusion of data from third-party sources.
It’s also essential that your EVV system is HIPAA compliant, as it will collect and store personal health information (PHI) and the locations of staff and clients/patients to verify visits.
If you haven’t invested in a complete EVV system yet, now is the time to get on board to avoid being left behind by your competitors. Choosing Smartcare Software is one way to guarantee your business receives the EVV software, training, and tech support it needs.
4. Provide staff training and ongoing support
When introducing any new system, comprehensive staff training plays a key role in delivering successful implementation – along with clear and open communication throughout the process. How you introduce the new system and how your employees learn to use it must be well organized and engaging. This will motivate them to embrace the changes and all the benefits it has to offer.
Make full use of your EVV system supplier, who should provide proper tools, timely outreach, and training to help home care providers effectively empower all stakeholders using the technology.
In states with self-direction programs, in particular, you will also need to communicate with your clients/patients and their families about any changes they will experience and provide them with the training necessary to use the new system with ease.
In the early stages of EVV implementation, it is also advisable to have readily available on-demand support via text, online chat, or phone to mitigate any problems.
5. Ask questions as often as you need to
The EVV mandate requires states to consult providers and work with them to implement successful solutions. So, reach out to your associations and legislators to express your needs or concerns and ask any questions. This will be especially important if you provide home care services across several states.
As you set up your EVV system, collect the data, evolve your workflow, assess your tech solutions, and make any necessary adjustments along the way. If you’re in doubt at any point, ask your state’s governing body for advice before you become at risk for any penalties.
6. Track and measure data
After putting in that hard work, it’s essential to track and measure progress, explore areas for improvement and continually refine your EVV system as employee and client/patient needs evolve.
Make sure your EVV implementation plan factors in various options for tracking, monitoring, and recording care delivery data so your EVV workflows provide a seamless experience for your clients/patients and caregivers.
What are the benefits of EVV for home care providers?
Successfully switching to an EVV system means your home care business can better coordinate with clients/patients, caregivers, and third-party healthcare professionals. Other benefits include:
- Enhanced visibility and connectivity
- Greater operational efficiencies
- Better data collection and reporting
- Reduced admin errors
- Improved transparency/accountability
- Guaranteed compliance
- Improved staff monitoring
- Cost reductions/increased revenue
- More reliable and enhanced quality of care delivery
- Increased caregiver and client/patient satisfaction and retention.
As one of the fastest-growing industries, the home care landscape is ever-changing, with a continuous stream of challenges and opportunities for its leaders to navigate.
While many home care providers see implementing EVV as a significant challenge, with the right mindset and tools in place you can choose to see it as a major opportunity to help your business become more efficient and profitable.
To find an EVV system that supports your efforts and meets your state mandates – along with a software provider that will help and guide your business every step of the way – contact Smartcare Software today or request a free demo.