Why States and Health Plans Shouldn't Delay Electronic Visit Verification

HS gavel
Last week, H.R.6042  – the bipartisan bill to delay electronic visit verification (EVV)  penalties until January  2020 – cleared the Senate, having already passed the House in late June. Now, the president has less than a week to sign the bill into law. 
Specifically, the bill would postpone reductions in Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) funding by twelve months, giving states another year to adopt and implement EVV for personal care and home health services. Originally, penalties for services delivered without EVV were set to begin on January 1, 2019.  
We are disappointed by Congress' decision, but we encourage health plans and states to honor patients by continuing EVV implementation – even if the deadline for compliance is extended. After all, fraud, waste, and abuse are pressing, systemic problems that cannot be postponed.

The pushback against EVV stems primarily from the belief that the industry isn’t ready, more input is needed, and existing systems are expensive and inefficient. However, it is important to note that concerns regarding cost and speed of implementation can't be generalized to all EVV systems. More than any other factor, the ease of implementation and ultimate success of an EVV system depends on the vendor, their experience, and their technology.  

Recently, a fellow EVV vendor oversaw a rather difficult implementation in Ohio. Uproar over glitches, inadequate training, and alleged violations of privacy in Ohio has led lawmakers to believe patients, caregivers, and state health officials nationwide aren't ready for EVV. These widely publicized failures have all but overshadowed the success of EVV in states like Tennessee. 

It is in the best interest of healthcare providers and patients alike to use EVV to eliminate improper payments and improve the quality and safety of home health care. At its core, the mission of EVV is to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community.  

Selecting the right vendor would eliminate many of the complications stakeholders are citing as reasons to delay EVV. Whether this legislation passes or not, the obligation to continue the selection and implementation process remains. The benefits of EVV extend to payers, providers, patients, and their families.  

Interested in learning more about HealthStar's innovative EVV solution and why we're different from other vendors? Let's talk. We'd love to share our experience with successful statewide implementation.  

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