By John Cunningham, marketing and sales director, myGeoTracking.
On December 2016, the 21st Century CURES Act was signed into law, resulting in new regulations for the home health industry. The CURES Act mandates the use of electronic visit verification, or EVV, for all Medicaid-funded personal care services. On Jan. 1, 2019, these new federal requirements for EVV went into effect for personal care services.
EVV is a method of utilizing electronic technology to capture point of service information related to the delivery of in-home services, such as:
- Type of service performed
- Individual receiving the service
- Date of the service
- Location of service delivery
- Individual providing the service
- Time the service begins and ends
Types of EVV
There are three ways through which Home Health Care provider companies can comply to the new regulations involving CURES Act. Let’s take a closer look at them.
This type of EVV solution uses a dedicated hardware device which is used to record caregiver’s scan of fingerprints or record voice samples to register visits.
Biometric recognition may seem like a good solution to comply with EVV at first, but this system has some drawbacks. These devices are expensive 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 don’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.
Based on a recent National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), it was found that almost half of the US household do not have a landline and are rapidly losing relevance. Smartphones have taken over and landlines are becoming obsolete. The decline of landlines makes this option historical and therefore a weak contender as an effective EVV solution.
Mobile technology (phone and tablets)
The modern EVV solution for all types of caregivers uses the app on the mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets. Most modern mobile devices have GPS for location-based Electronic Visit Verification via GPS tracking and geofencing.
Smartphones and tablets are constantly evolving and are becoming more powerful, and with increasing affordability of key technologies like mobile apps, sensors and cloud technology, the mobile technology offers to be the most future-proof EVV option.
Mobile technology EVV solutions go far beyond simple proof of visit. These more comprehensive solutions frequently combine mobile applications with back-office portals, providing additional functionalities:
- Receive alerts right away when visits are missed, or late.
- Capture data from field: signature, notes, photos and more.
- Easily schedule appointments for customers with caregivers and accurately track time and attendance.
- Validate visit verification and care delivery tasks via GPS geofencing, IVR, text messaging and manual clocking through app.
- Generate reports for documentation and audit.
- Monitor caregiver’s safety.
- Multiple language support through customizable mobile app.
- Integrate with back-office FMS.
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 technology has been available for more than two decades, but prior to the passage of the CURES Act, EVV was optional for states, providers, and managed care organizations.
According to medicaid.gov, states must implement the use of EVV for all Medicaid-funded PCS by Jan. 1, 2020, and HHCS by Jan. 1, 2023. Failure to which is subjected to incremental FMAP reductions, up to 1 percent, unless the state has both made a “good faith effort” to comply and has encountered “unavoidable delays.”
The technology market offers no shortage of solutions that could meet the new requirements — but for agencies with more progressive strategies, the Cures Act is a timely backdrop to think more broadly, and seize an opportunity to differentiate service.