What are 3 insider electronic visit verification (EVV) tips every home care agency needs to know?

April 15, 2019

Home care providers that operate in the U.S. and do not yet employ Electronic Visit Verification will need to start; by the terms of the 21st  century act must establish policies requiring the use of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for all Medicaid-funded home care. Agencies must therefore, begin carefully weighing their options, in order to choose and implement an EVV solution before the deadline.

Here are three insider tips that all providers should keep in mind as they undergo this process.

1. Available EVV Vendors Vary by State

The first step in choosing an EVV solution is to know what the choices are in the first place. Ideally, agencies would be able to choose the best EVV vendor from amongst all available. However, whether or not this is possible varies from state to state.

Different states have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, different models. Some, such as the "provider choice" model and the "open choice" model (sometimes called the "hybrid" model) give agencies considerable freedom in selecting an EVV vendor. Other models, such as the "state choice" model, are more restrictive: under this model, states contract with a single EVV vendor and require all home care providers to use that vendor's EVV system.

While this is not the place to debate the relative merits of different models, it is clear that, from an agency's point of view, the provider choice and hybrid models are the most appealing. In any case, agencies need to understand the model or models employed in the state or states in which they operate, and plan accordingly.

2. Understand the Technology

Agencies that do have a choice of EVV vendor must then determine which of these vendors' systems is right for them. A crucial part of this process is understanding some of the common approaches to Electronic Visit Verification, and how they impact the ability to provide care.

Broadly speaking, there are two main approaches. Both allow caregivers to check in and out of home visits such that times and locations are electronically recorded; this is, after all, the fundamental point of Electronic Visit Verification. Where the two approaches differ is in the means by which this is accomplished.

The first approach utilizes fully electronic methods, such as mobile apps, tablets, or reading devices. Upon arriving at the point of care, caregivers simply check in via their phone or another device, and check out upon leaving. The second approach is the telephony method, where caregivers dial a number from the client's phone in order to check in and out.

3. Two Methods Are Better That One

It may seem as though providers must choose between these two approaches since many EVV vendors design their system around one or the other. However, home care agencies should be aware that they do not necessarily need to choose; they can have both. Technology experts have always recommended flexibility in offering solutions. Relying on a single approach may not cut it.

When it comes to EVV, younger caregivers, more likely to be tech-savvy and reliant on smart devices in their everyday life, will appreciate the convenience of electronic methods. On the other hand, older caregivers may be more comfortable with the straightforward and intuitive telephony method. Why not opt for a solution that offers both?

CareTap home care software is one such solution, providing home care agencies with both a mobile app and a telephony method so that caregivers can use the approach that best fits them.

Interested agencies can request a demo of CareTap, in order to see the value of this hybrid approach to Electronic Visit Verification firsthand.