On July 17, 2018, it was announced that the bill to delay FMAP penalties for personal care services delivered without Electronic Visit Verification passed in the Senate. This bill enacts a 12-month delay, giving states until January 1, 2020, to implement EVV solutions.

The bill, H.R.6042, was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 7, 2018. It was agreed to by voice vote on June 19 and went on to Senate for consideration. On July 17, the bill passed in the Senate without amendment by unanimous consent. That means the bill is on its way to President Trump to be signed.

Preparing for 2020

With the FMAP reductions delayed a year, Congress believes that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should take steps to better prepare states for the implementation. CMS should convene at least one public meeting in 2018 for the purpose of soliciting ongoing feedback from Medicaid stakeholders on guidance issued by CMS on May 16, 2018, concerning EVV; and communicate with stakeholders regularly and throughout the implementation process in a clear and transparent manner to monitor beneficiary protections.

Stakeholders include State Medicaid directors, beneficiaries, family caregivers, individuals and entities who provide personal care services or home health care services, Medicaid managed care organizations, electronic EVV vendors, and other stakeholders, as determined by CMS.

Delay Has States’ Best Interests in Mind

NASUAD, who represents the nation’s 56 state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities, announced that they were in support of the EVV delay.

“Our members are extremely concerned about their ability to implement EVV in a timely fashion, given that the deadline is less than seven months away, and they only recently received guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding issues such as the full scope of services subject to the mandate, the nature of information that must be collected, and the criteria for receiving a good faith exemption from the FMAP reductions during 2019.”

NASUAD believes this delay will provide states with additional time to implement the EVV systems in a thoughtful and effective manner that achieves the dual goals of improving quality of care while reducing fraud, waste and abuse in the personal care system.

While the delay in the FMAP penalties will ease concerns about EVV implementation, the 2020 deadline will fastly approach. NASUAD and Tellus encourage providers to continue public engagement, procurement, and implementation activities.