Health managers in the thick of real-world implementation of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) are urging stakeholders to look beyond its start-up costs and compliance mandates and see the technology for what it’s really designed for: improving efficiencies and quality outcomes.

During the’ 2018 EVV Summit panel, Home Health and EVV, moderated by Joe Moser, Principal, Health Management Associates (HMA) experts from across the agency spectrum extolled the virtues of EVV on several fronts, while questioning its effect on financial bottom lines.

Kyle Simon, Director of Government Affairs and Communications for Home Care Association of Florida (HCAF), Joe Marte, Business Development Officer and District Manager for Healthcare Plus Senior Care and Richard Li, Director of Application Services at Maxim led the discussion around how EVV can help streamline efficiencies in home health care.

“If your system is not fully integrated with an aggregator or state EVV solution, it’s actually going to cause some overhead when you try to adapt to it,” said Li.  “Overall, EVV will improve efficiencies in terms of correcting the data at the point of care.”

However, Li noted, the caveat is managing the revenue cycle to determine how intrusive the mandate or the model that states push out is in consideration of agencies large, medium and small.

Recognizing the Pros of EVV

Passed in 2016, Congress mandated through the 21st Century Cures Act that states implement and activate EVV for personal care services by January 2019 and skilled workers by 2023. Congress has since passed a bill delaying any financial penalty until 2020 to give states more time to implement.

Despite its challenges, the EVV mandate can help reduce fraud and abuse, added Simon.

Marte said adopter mindsets needed to change, and to throw the government compliance component of the technology “out the window.”

“We need to look at the quality outcomes it can bring and the efficiencies it can bring,” said Marte. He said agencies are still hiring people on a regular basis just to repeatedly check and recheck paperwork “to make sure we are doing everything right because we are scared of Medicare or Medicaid or of anybody coming in and giving us flack.”

 “This is really a gift, to help improve our agency to give us the best possible outcomes. It can make us very efficient if we get the right mindset behind the program.”

With EVV, managers know that their caregivers are onsite, doing a good job, that there are no fraud issues, and no family members concerned that the client isn’t getting proper care. said Marte.

“It really gives a transparency, when you set expectations with clients, providers and the states. We want the best care for you, we want you happy and healthy at home and now we will be able to track that service in the home.”

Li agreed with his peers, noting his company is looking at EVV as much more than a time tracker or care plan or a vehicle for compliance adherence.

“We are looking at EVV notjust for times in and times out; we are looking at it as a platform for quality management. Matrix also uses it as a tool to help the company manage the changing conditions in the care setting, he said. “Don’t underestimate the influence of the caregivers, what they observe.  If we can leverage the mobility that devices bring on board, that’s giving insight and closes the loop of caregiving.”