There’s a new national association on the block that’s dedicated entirely to electronic visit verification (EVV) and bridging the communication gap between states, managed care organization and in-home care providers.
Officially launched at the end of June, the National EVV Association (NEVVA) will serve as an industry voice and resource for news, regulatory information, expertise and advocacy efforts related to EVV, Mark Dillon, the association’s executive director, told Home Health Care News. NEVVA will also work to bring stakeholders together to share best and worst practices surrounding EVV implementation. This much-needed collaboration hasn’t really been happening, Dillon said.
EVV uses different technology solutions to verify the type, date, location and duration of home care services provided to patients. Nationwide implementation of EVV for Medicaid-reimbursed home care providers was mandated by provisions in the $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act.
Under the act, signed into law under the Obama administration in 2016, agencies must begin adopting EVV systems before Jan. 1 of next year. That may change, however, as there’s currently legislation being considered in the U.S. House and Senate to push that timeline back to 2020.
NEVVA was launched as a direct result of the 2018 EVV Summit, a three-day event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, attended by dozens of home health agencies, state Medicaid providers and other entities.
“Our basic tenet is to support and advocate on behalf of our members for the standardization and delivery of [EVV] services to government, commercial and private payers in the United States,” Dillon–also the founder and CEO of the software-as-a-service company Pulsewrx, Inc.—said. “We’re trying to continue some of the momentum we experienced at the EVV Summit.”
The association has high expectations, but it’s still in early, formative stages. Finished with refining its mission statement and figuring out its overarching goals, it has now begun to push forward with its membership drive.
Tellus, LLC, an EVV provider based in Florida, is among the founding members. Tellus provides EVV and claims processing technology designed specifically for the home health and long-term care markets. It also contracts directly with multiple states.
Tellus’ clients include several managed care companies, including Anthem, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, Brad Levine, the company’s CEO, told HHCN.
For Levine, who runs a business heavily focuses on EVV, it grew disappointing to attend professional conferences and see EVV being somewhat pushed to the side or glossed over, he said.
“There would be lots of discussion [about other topics], and then there would be maybe one panel about EVV,” Levin said. “We’d go to a provider conference and that would also be the case. … There wasn’t any time where the providers, managed care companies, states and payers would all get together and discuss big-picture implications.”
While implementation of EVV is federally mandated, it’s largely up to individual states and their Medicaid programs for how solutions are rolled out. Nearly three dozen states have already finished or taken significant steps toward putting verification systems in place, according to the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care.
The majority of states have taken steps to implement “open models” for EVV, meaning home care providers are given the option to choose from a variety of certified EVV systems and vendors. “Closed models” require providers to use one specific solution.
NEVVA supports an open model, Dillon said.
“Some states are still on the sidelines or in a discovery phase,” he said. “But we can all agree on one thing: [EVV] is mandated, legislated and is going to occur.”
New York-based Sandata Technologies, a provider of workforce and operational management solutions and services built for home care delivery, is also a founding member of NEVVA, according to Dillon. Sandata was previously awarded a $66.5 million contract to provide EVV services in Ohio.
The 21st Century Cures Act suggested the implementation of EVV for home care services to reduce fraud, waste and abuse. To do so, EVV platforms typically leverage various aspect of GPS, biometric and communication capabilities.
Although personal care agencies are required to begin implementation of EVV by next year, home health providers have until 2023.
NEVVA, a not-for-profit organization, is based in Florida.
“[NEVVA] is trying to create a set of standards that everyone can use, along with cohesive dialogue,” Levine said. “There was clearly a void in the market.”
Written by Robert Holly