Is Your Home Care Agency Affected by the Electronic Visit Verification Requirements in the 21st Century CURES Act?

As hard as it may be to believe, we’re already nearing the end of the first quarter of 2018. And if you work in the home care industry then you know this means there are just nine months left before new Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) requirements will go into effect around the country as part of the 21st Century CURES Act.

Most home care agencies at this point are at least familiar with the CURES Act, but many people we’ve talked to are still confused over what the new requirements are and exactly who they apply to. So we thought we would take a moment to clarify what we currently know and to offer some thoughts on choosing an EVV system if needed.

EVV Requirements Under the 21st Century CURES Act

Essentially the CURES Act was passed in late December 2016 to do a number of things, one of which was to help cut down on Medicaid fraud in the home health industry. Under this new regulation, every state across the U.S. must ensure that home care agencies providing Medicaid services and seeking Medicaid reimbursement are using an approved EVV system to accurately track and record caregiver services provided to clients. The first requirements, effective Jan. 1, 2019, will apply just to personal care services covered by Medicaid, while the home health services sector covered by Medicaid will have until Jan. 1, 2023.

States are allowed to independently determine the specifics around what EVV systems they will accept as approved systems in their own states. A variety of models to this are being used. For example, several states are using a “closed” model where agencies will be required to use a system of the state’s choosing. Other states are using an “open” model where agencies can use the vendor of their choice as long as it meets certain federal requirements.

If a state fails to comply with the new requirements set forth by the CURES Act regarding use of an EVV system, that state will be penalized by losing a percentage of its Medicaid funding that is provided by the federal government.

Choosing an EVV System for Your Home Care Agency

So, we’re clear now on the basics around the 21st Century CURES Act as it relates to the new EVV requirement, but what do you do if your agency provides Medicaid services and you know you’re subject to this new regulation? How do you make sure you’re handling this piece of your business properly once the new requirements go into effect?

First, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to get a handle on how your state is choosing to comply with these new requirements. Have they designated just a few specific EVV providers that agencies can choose from? Have they developed their own EVV system that all agencies in their state must use? or are they leaving it up to the home care agencies to choose any EVV provider they wish to work with?

Once you understand the specific parameters your state has established around the use of an EVV system to track Medicaid-funded personal care or home health services, then you can move forward. If you determine that you do have a choice in which EVV provider you use, here are some things to think about as you evaluate your options:

  • Training – What kind of training is going to be needed to get your caregivers and staff up and running and using a specific system?
  • Cost – Is the system affordable? Keep in mind not only the fees involved but also the time it will require to implement and train your staff.
  • Ease of Use – How complicated will it be to implement a specific system into your agency’s already established processes? What kind of support is available to you and for how long?
  • Platform – Is this a telephony system that your caregivers can access from any telephone, or will it be a mobile app for smartphones? will you expect caregivers to install the EVV app on their personal phone, or will you provide on to each caregiver?

Electronic Visit Verification with the Rosemark System

At Shoshana Technologies, we’re proud to offer a couple of different EVV options as part of our flexible Rosemark System, depending on your needs.

Telephony

Our traditional telephony system is made available by way of a unique phone number given to each customer agency which caregivers call to begin and end their shifts. Using this system, office staff can send notifications and messages unique to a specific caregiver’s shift. These can range from general alerts about the agency or caregiver to as specific as reminders regarding what tasks need to be completed during a shift. Caregivers also have task codes they use to record the tasks they complete which helps add to their accountability.

Further customization of the system is also possible, like establishing a requirement that caregivers use their client’s phone to call in to the system so as to ensure accuracy. It’s also possible to include a GPS component as part of our telephony system. our Rosemark System utilizes advanced tools to ensure the most accurate location generation.

Caregiver Mobile App

Our Caregiver Mobile App (CMA) is another option that we’ve built from the ground up to address many concerns we’ve heard from agency owners when it comes to accountability for caregivers in EVV. Our CMA, available for iOS and Android, uses GPS to determine a caregiver’s location and then uses that information to determine whether they are within an acceptable range of the client’s home to begin or end the shift.

Within the app, caregivers are able to view announcements and reminders from the home office about their upcoming shifts as well as send voice messages back to the agency. They can also view the tasks for a specific shift laid out in front of them in an intuitive format that makes it simple to track and record, making it easy to integrate into their daily process with minimal training. They can even use the app to capture a client’s signature for care plans.

According to a long-time Rosemark customer, Ed Charters, of Visiting Angels in Waldorf, MD, “The Rosemark Caregiver Mobile App has made our Electronic Visit Verification process much easier. Instead of our caregivers relying on the client’s phone, the CMA puts the power in their hands. Allowing our caregivers to use the CMA works much easier than having to worry whether or not they’ll get a chance to use their client’s home phone or if they’ll even have the landline they need. By making our process easier, we’ve also freed up office staff time that we can use to focus on what really matters instead of verifying spotty clock-ins.” For more information about our affordable mobile app and all of its features, click here.

While it may seem 2018 has just begun, we all know how quickly time can fly so there’s no better time than now to take a closer look at these new EVV requirements that are coming. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make sure your agency is managing this piece of your business properly. And for more information about our Rosemark System’s EVV options, please contact us at 734-662-3537 or info@rosemarksystem.com.

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