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The state of Texas has mandated that all Medicaid-enrolled Home Health Agencies (HHA) implement Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) systems by June 1, 2015. This mandate can prove beneficial to the HHA industry in that it is offers extra protection against fraud liability, reduces a variety of operating and labor costs, and enhances real-time employee productivity management. What’s more, patients in their homes get the care they need.
Texas is the second state in the nation to mandate Electronic Visit Verification for home health agencies, with Illinois being the first. According to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), an EVV is, “…a telephone and computer-based system that electronically verifies that service visits occur and documents the precise time service provision begins and ends.”
What Can an EVV System Do for You?
One of the primary advantages to an EVV is that it lessens the burden HHAs have for service accountability. As a home health agency manager, it can be a formidable task to ensure that each and every provider is doing just as they should:visiting a patient in their home as scheduled, and for the required duration. Often times, when a supervisor learns that a care provider has not been truthful in their visit responsibilities and time keeping, it’s too late.
This finds the manager or supervisor faced with the challenge of not only replacing that particular employee, but also the fear of being charged with Medicaid fraud and abuse while reconciling the situation. Not a good visual, right?
Other EVV Pay-Offs
Let’s dig a bit deeper as far as less-obvious EVV pay-offs. HHAs and their employees will notice time reductions in activities such as filling out paper time sheets as well as administrative records verification (since a good EVV system does just that:verifies visits). Additionally, healthcare providers can easily access (but not change) these electronic records in determining how many more hours they need to spend with a particular patient.
A faster response time to scheduling exceptions is also possible with EVVs, along with the elimination of data entry duplication for scheduling, payroll and billing systems. In fact, current EVV users have already reported their new software paying for itself in saved data entry costs alone.
Moreover, users of new EVV systems can experience improved compliance and see better results of patient claims as well as employee and regulatory claims. It only makes sense.
How does Electronic Visit Verification Work?
EVV is designed to capture point-of-care visits from start to finish with an electronic system that allows care providers to clock in and out.
So how does it work?
The home health agency enters a schedule into the EVV system for each patient along with the patient’s landline or cell phone number. Then, each employee is given two numbers by the HHA: their individual ID and the toll-free phone number for which they will call on the patient’s phone upon visit arrival.
Your worker simply enters their ID number and the EVV system records the date and time, as well as the patient’s phone number from which the provider is calling. They repeat these simple steps at visit end.
Affordable & Approved EVV Software Vendors
Home Healthcare Software Provider KanTime assists in EVV training for care providers and their agencies. KanTime also helps keep HHAs up and running with EVV software provisions and any troubleshooting through their 24/7 Help Desk.
KanTime recognizes the differences among HHAs such as size, number of patients served and other factors. Their user-friendly, compliance-based software offers solutions such as when a patient doesn’t have a phone, or if a patient refuses to let the provider use their phone.
KanTime has partnered with three software companies* that have been approved as EVV vendors by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHC). They are:
It doesn’t make sense to let noncompliance get in the way of providing the caring and professional services your patients are experiencing. Contact KanTime anytime to help get you ready for that June 1 EVV implementation deadline. And keep reading for more updates and information as we progress through the year.
*Sandata Technologies, LLC, has withdrawn its participation from the EVV Initiative but will continue to support current clients until May 31, 2015. Existing Sandata clients may also contact KanTime.