Home Health Providers: Get Your EVV Ground Game Underway
Home Health providers must act now to ensure a smooth path to EVV compliance in 2022. This discussion will focus on how to get started with EVV. When people hear “get started with EVV,” many think first about technology implementation. But don’t skip a step- if you implement technology before you formulate your ground game – meaning your path towards the end goal - the process will be harder than it needs to be.
So, let’s walk through this next stage of EVV compliance. As a starting point, take a step back and think through your agency priorities and, specifically, how EVV will impact your operations. Assess the complexity of your compliance environment and then consider how EVV implementation might affect your current workflow, and most importantly your team. What follows is a roadmap to do just that.
Assess the Complexity of Your Compliance Environment
How an agency implements EVV technology will be influenced by the extent that the regulations affect your specific operation. First, quantify the percentage of your services that are affected by the EVV mandate. As a review, services which are subject to EVV are Medicaid-funded and included on your state’s list of required services, often at the procedure code level. If you have a high percentage of services subject to the mandate, chances are that the workflow changes will affect the majority of your staff, for both caregivers and administrators. If you only serve a few Medicaid patients or provide few services impacted by EVV, your compliance requirements might have a more limited effect on day-to-day operations.
Next, identify the portion of your staff who will be providing EVV-mandated services. You might find that the EVV mandated services are only delivered by one small team, or alternatively that all of your staff could be affected at some point in their week.
During the process of assessing EVV requirements, often agencies find out that have a more complex compliance environment than they initially realized. Here are a few drivers of high complexity:
- Operates in multiple states
- Bills to more than one payor
- Delivers multiple lines of service
The implication for providers is that each state and payor can have different EVV requirements, and that each visit must capture and relay EVV according to those specific requirements. States set their own EVV implementation guidelines – so not only do EVV requirements differ between states, they can also differ between payors in the same state, such as a state fee-for-service claim versus an MCO claim.
Finally, expect these requirements to change over time. EVV compliance is evolving, and with more home health providers coming into the fold, I would anticipate states and MCOs to hear feedback and adapt as needed.
Prioritize a Positive Caregiver Experience
Regardless of your specific agency’s compliance environment, don’t place the burden of complexity on your staff. As you get started with EVV, be proactive to formulate an approach that supports your team and simplifies their day-to-day. It will go a long way to retaining your staff, who are your most important assets.
It is in the best interest of your patients and your caregivers to make EVV straightforward- so that caregivers can spend less time documenting care and more time providing care. The best technology supports care delivery in a simple, unobtrusive way. So how can you make it easy for caregivers? Most caregivers prioritize safety, flexibility, and prompt and accurate payment. EVV solutions can offer benefits beyond simple compliance, so as you develop your approach, consider how an EVV tool can support the safety of your caregivers as well as ensure they get paid quickly and accurately. Caregivers need to check in and out seamlessly, regardless of whether they are providing services in the home or community. For a caregiver that is filling in, make sure they can start an unscheduled visit without hassle. Finally, don’t make your caregiver manage multiple tools – just put one in their hands that makes their job easier.
Streamline Agency Operations and Simplify Workflow
Although caregivers are the face of the client experience, back office staff are also critical to successfully support patient care. They manage a complex set of processes to ensure patients are served – scheduling visits, managing payroll, and billing claims. Support for these back-office teams should be an important factor as you plan EVV implementation.
EVV will have a direct impact on administrative workflow, so one consideration is how EVV will work within the context of the systems that you already have in place. Whether you run your operation on paper, by spreadsheet, or with an existing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, your team will need to develop new processes with an eye towards optimization. EVV provides an opportunity to automate by reducing administrative burden, minimizing manual data entry, or streamlining time and mileage reporting.
Prepare for EVV requirements to impact billing and claims. You will need a process to collect EVV data for each affected visit, document any exceptions, and relay that information to the payor in the required format. You should develop a workflow for any corrections and updates to your visit data. After visits are documented, your back-office team will need a workflow to manage billing. As you map it out, figure in how you will comply with rounding rules, transmit claims, and make any pre-payment corrections.
The best advice to simplify implementation: Gather feedback from your team. Map out a workflow. Be proactive in documenting your priorities and identify gains that you hope to realize as part of EVV implementation.
Get Your Ground Game Underway
EVV is coming quickly to Home Health and January 1, 2023 is right around the corner. Get started now so you can plan a smooth rollout and leave time for your team to adjust to each new process. If you would like to discuss your specific operation or need help evaluating your compliance approach, CellTrak is here as your resource. We can share our expertise and help you develop a solid “ground game” that you can use as a foundation for making your technology choice. Tune in next week for our third post in this EVV series, which will focus on considerations for technology selection.