In 2018, there were nearly 12,000 Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHA) in the United States serving more than 5,000,000 patients. And while the vast majority of these agencies are dedicated to providing patients with high-quality home care, some have less noble intentions: in 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services identified 500 HHAs that demonstrated characteristics of fraud.
To minimize opportunities for such fraud, Congress passed an Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) mandate as part of the 2016 21st Century Cures Act. The mandate requires Medicaid-funded HHAs to implement an electronic system for verifying details like the start and end times of service visits and the names of patients who receive care.
While some may view the EVV mandate as a burden, it actually represents a tremendous opportunity for home health agencies — if their EVV solutions are implemented and supported correctly. Here are just a few of the many ways a robust EVV solution can push home healthcare to new heights:
1. Boost Efficiency and Productivity
EVV solutions provide HHAs with a straightforward way to record service-related details with precision and accuracy. Clinicians simply clock in (and out) via a patient’s home landline, their own mobile phone, or a handheld device offered by an EVV provider. These digital systems eliminate the need for the piles of physical timesheets many agencies relied on in the past. No more paperwork means faster — and more accurate — billing, enabling agencies to reduce various administrative and paper-related costs while simultaneously improving their revenue cycles through faster payment processing.
Many EVV solutions also integrate with an agency’s scheduling system, and can alert clinicians the moment a scheduling change occurs. This functionality further streamlines operations and empowers agencies to make adjustments on the fly. It’s a quick and easy way to alleviate the stress associated with managing dozens of clinicians’ jam-packed calendars.
2. Increase Communication and Clinician Informedness
EVV solutions improve communication among patients, clinicians, and staff supervisors, helping keep everyone on the same page at all times. Updates from agency headquarters are sent to clinicians via their mobile devices or tablets to ensure fast and secure transmissions of messages. While some of these messages may be less-than-critical, addressing scheduling shifts or other administrative items, others may be quite urgent, providing clinicians with essential patient information in real time.
EVV solutions also provide web-based portals that clinicians can access from anywhere, at any time. Information on a patient’s service plan, care history, and more all lives in this digital hub, meaning clinicians don’t have to wait until they are back in the office to review a patient’s comprehensive file.
3. Improve Patient Care
Last, but certainly not least, EVV solutions can play an important role in improving the quality of patient care HHAs deliver. EVV solutions allow clinicians to put their attention where it should be: on patients. Not only do these systems free clinicians from burdensome paperwork, but they also give HHA administrators a bird's-eye view of the services their clinicians provide. By pulling up their EVV solution’s dashboard, administrators can see how long a clinician worked with a particular patient and what type of care was provided, helping them ensure patients receive adequate service at all times.
But that’s not all. Patients themselves can use an HHA’s EVV solution to confirm or dispute the hours and services logged by their clinicians. This puts patients in the driver’s seat and minimizes opportunities for fraudulent activity.
Taking EVV to the Next Level
At the end of the day, EVV solutions don’t just keep home health agencies compliant; they also equip them with the tools they need to remain highly efficient and effective. But while the benefits of EVV solutions are vast and varied, what good are these systems if the software isn’t operating at the highest level?
Epiphany Management Group offers EVV providers 24/7, HIPAA-compliant support that ensures the providers’ solutions are always functioning properly. EVV providers who partner with Epiphany needn’t be concerned about whether their clients are onboarded correctly or using their solutions appropriately — Epiphany takes care of that. Our team works around the clock to ensure our partners’ EVV solutions seamlessly integrate with their clients’ key systems.
What’s more, Epiphany remains on-call long after an EVV solution is rolled out, ready and waiting to address any questions, concerns, or technical issues that may arise. If you’re an EVV provider looking for an experienced, attentive IT support partner, contact us today to learn more!