How to Prepare for the 21st Century Cures Act
New technologies are impacting every aspect of our lives – and homecare is no exception. From remote monitoring tools to platforms that can capture business intelligence insights, the home health community is already using technology to boost operations and improve patient care. As the population ages and more and more people turn to homecare, it will become increasingly important for the industry to embrace technology for its potential to improve patient outcomes.
Signed into law in December 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act’s purpose is to help bring new innovations and medical advances faster to patients who need them. Several of its provisions apply directly to homecare agencies. Here’s what providers need to know to prepare for the changes ahead and ensure compliance with the Cures Act Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) requirements.
What is EVV?
Included in the Cures Act is a provision requiring the use of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for all personal care services, home health visits, and private duty nursing provided under Medicaid.
EVV is a process that uses electronic means to verify care is delivered for personal or home health services. Agencies can use EVV as an effective tool to track caregiver arrivals and departures, ensuring patients get the care they need, when they need it.
What specifically needs to be verified?
In order to be compliant with the Cures Act, an EVV system must verify six elements:
Type of service performed
Individual receiving the service
Date of the service
Location of the service delivery
Individual providing the service
Time the service begins and ends
Understanding State Models
How states are to implement EVV, however, is up to them. While some states are still in the process of deciding which model best suits them, others have already put an implementation plan into place.
There are two main approaches for meeting the EVV mandate that most states have chosen:
Closed Model – In a closed system, the state chooses the EVV vendor and requires providers to implement that specific vendor’s solution.
Open Model – This is a hybrid approach where a state sets the requirements a solution needs to include for EVV, and providers can choose the EVV system that fits their individual needs.
In order to ensure compliance with the federal mandate, providers must adopt an EVV system that meets the requirements set forth by their state. Those who fail to comply will put their business at risk of fines or penalties by their state or payer.
How should I choose an EVV solution?
The EVV system you select depends on the requirements set forth by your state. While some states, like Connecticut and South Carolina, have adopted a closed model approach, where the state Medicaid program contracts with a single EVV vendor, other states, like New York and Virginia, are open model states, leaving providers free to choose the EVV system that works best for their agency.
How will EVV benefit my agency?
EVV tracks arrival and departure times, requires comments detailing the type of care provided, and notes when a visit hasn’t been completed – which essentially gives the provider more transparency into ensuring care is being delivered according to the patient’s authorization. Since all care visits are electronically verified, EVV also leads to improved communication and billing between providers and payers.
When is the deadline for implementing EVV?
While the Cures Act is a federal mandate with a deadline of January 1, 2020, many states have chosen to require EVV in advance of the federal deadline in order to ensure compliance and give providers time to transition. You can refer to our state-by-state EVV guide to confirm your state’s deadline.
In May 2019, CMS announced states can apply for an exemption to delay implementation of EVV for up to one year if they can demonstrate they have made a good faith effort to comply and have encountered unavoidable delays. You can also see which states have applied for and been granted this exemption in our guide.
Want to learn more about EVV in your state?
HHAeXchange is here to help you! We’re the industry leader in providing EVV solutions across the country with over 101.2 million visits confirmed annually through our platform. Contact us today to learn more about EVV in your state and ensure you’re prepared to meet the Cures Act deadline.