In an industry that has been challenged with many uncertainties, Congress approved the 21st Century Cures Act in early December. The bill passed strongly in both the Senate (94 to 5) and the House of Representatives (392 to 26), and President Obama signed the bill on December 13, 2016.
The 21st Century Cures Act is broad and covers many health-related topics, including requirements for electronic visit verification (EVV). The bill outlines that each state will be allowed to decide how visits are verified. Each state must institute EVV for Medicaid programs by January 1, 2019, or they will be faced with reduced government payments.
In regards to personal care services or home health care services, “electronic visit verification system” means visits conducted as part of such services are electronically verified relating to the:
- Type of service performed
- Individual receiving the service
- Date of service
- Location of service delivery
- Individual providing the service
- Time the service begins and ends
The 21st Century Cures Act does not mandate a specific verification system, creating an opportunity for providers to collaborate and lobby their states to adopt “open” EVV standards. In this case, the provider could supply the data to the state using one of five verification methods that best suits their agency’s needs. However, if states do mandate a particular vendor or EVV system, providers may be challenged with costly vendor changes or accepting inferior verification methods.
The five types of electronic visit verification are electronic random number match devices, biometric recognition, onsite dedicated tablets, telephony, and mobile devices. Of these five, the three main options are:
- Telephony/IVR (using a landline phone in the home)
- Device in the home
- Mobile apps
Because mobile devices are on the rise and landlines are on the decline, telephony becomes a less appealing option. Consider the facts:
- 51% of all homes do not have a landline (47.4 have wireless and 3.4% have no phone)
- 61% of adults over 35 do not have a landline
Our white paper “Considering Electronic Visit Verification?” describes the five EVV solutions mentioned above, and details pros and cons for each. It also includes a checklist to help your agency decide which system is best for you. Download it here.