Today’s health care landscape is focused largely on patient experience and patient needs. That’s part of what makes EVV so important.
The 21st Century Cures Act mandates Electronic Visit Verification, or EVV, in which all providers of Medicaid personal care services (PCS) and home health services log their visits electronically. For all intents and purposes, this takes effect nationwide Jan. 1, 2021.
Preparing for EVV requires both technology implementation and change management. But as providers work through this process and help their caregivers grow acclimated to their new duties, everyone should keep in mind why they are doing this and why it matters: EVV helps deliver the best possible care experience for patients.
As EVV expert Courtney Martin of technology solutions provider CellTrak shows, a positive patient experience drives benefits for caregivers, too. CellTrak provides home-based care solutions for more than 4,000 home care agencies worldwide, including EVV. This article will show EVV’s value, and three reasons why it improves care delivery.
EVV is a patient-centric approach
What is sometimes lost in the discussion about EVV is the human element at play. The rule centers around technology, but the reason for the mandate is that it ensures patients get all of the services they need and to which they are entitled.
“When visits are electronically verified, it makes sure that the caregiver got to the appointment safely to provide care. It also helps the agency react if the caregiver is delayed managing a situation where a patient may need extra support,” Martin says. “The ability to proactively manage care is easier with these EVV tools.”
Let’s say a caregiver is unavailable for a shift, whether due to an illness, an absence or because he or she is on a visit that is running late with another patient. If a client requires a different caregiver, care tasks are right there in the system, allowing for a continuity of care from one caregiver to another.
In addition, any changes in condition can be documented so that others who help oversee services can have visibility, and deploy additional supports as needed.
“With the built-in communication that EVV facilitates, there is the opportunity to identify and offer a replacement caregiver,” Martin says. “Or the patient may say, ‘I’m happy to wait an extra hour for the caregiver I see every day.’”
EVV is a caregiver-centric approach
In addition to strengthening patient care, EVV is valuable to the caregiver. EVV helps connect caregivers to their agency, facilitate real-time communication and support caregiver safety.
The ability for an agency to keep caregivers safe, engaged, productive and happy is very important, Martin says. Specifically, EVV supports caregivers in two critical ways.
First, there is personal safety. EVV technology can help a caregiver get to a new house via a GPS system, and can log when the caregiver departs and arrives.
“Having a mobile application tool gives the caregivers the ability to be in touch with their agency’s home office,” Martin says.
Second, there is the job engagement and satisfaction piece. EVV decreases a caregiver’s time spent doing administrative work, and hence increases time with the patient. It logs each caregiver’s work, meaning agency leaders know immediately the good work they are doing.
And the continuity of care aspect puts everyone at ease in the event that a caregiver has to miss a visit, such as due to illness, because the EVV platform ensures that the patient will still be in good hands.
EVV creates agency efficiency
What’s brilliant about EVV is the way that its benefits touch all points of the care process — what’s good for the patient is good for the caregiver, and what’s good for the caregiver is good for the agency. The end result is great care outcomes, conducted efficiently.
With EVV, caregivers and agency leaders spend less time with data entry. Claims are paid faster because data shows up automatically. Caregivers then get paid faster, and more accurately. And they can focus on what matters.
“The more time that caregivers can spend caring for patients, the more beneficial to the patient and the caregiver,” Martin says. “Having a tool that is on their phone, easy to use and can capture that information very quickly helps them reduce time filling out paperwork and increase time engaging with the patient. That is the ultimate win.”
To learn more about how CellTrak can help you navigate EVV in 2020 and beyond, visit CellTrak’s EVV state map to understand what is happening in your state — and stay tuned for more on EVV at HHCN from CellTrak.