Home » Blog Articles » Developmental Disabilities » I-DD Provider Agencies, Alternative EVV Vendor and Privacy Concerns

Recent federal and state mandates are now requiring I-DD provider agencies to use an electronic visit verification (EVV) system. However, many organizations are not aware of their options when adopting an EVV system for their agency.

The use of an EVV system when providing support services to individuals with developmental disabilities is required by the 2016 Cures Act. The overall intended purpose of the new regulations was to encourage new medical technologies, procedures and innovations. The mandate to use a Medicaid approved EVV system has been implemented in nearly every state across the country.

Yet, some provider agencies are unaware that they have a choice when selecting EVV systems for their organization.

What Is An Alternative EVV Vendor?

ABCS, or Advanced Billing & Consulting Services, is a certified alternative EVV vendor for provider services in both the state of Ohio and California. Every alternative EVV vendor need to receive approval from the individual’s state’s Department of Medicaid. EVV is now required for provider agencies that deliver support services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

The states of Ohio and California have both partnered with the company Sandata, which manages their EVV systems. Small independent providers are encouraged to use the EVV mobile device that Sandata assigns to individuals and their caregivers.

However, provider agencies that deliver personal care services (PCS) to multiple individuals have the option to use different EVV systems. They are allowed to select the EVV solution that best fits the needs of their agency.

Due to this fact, many of the alternative EVV vendors have developed software solutions that meet the specific needs of provider agencies. But, any EVV system selected must be a state approved alternative EVV vendor. Again, this approval is from the state’s Department of Medicaid.

Every approved alternative EVV vendors needs to meet all business rules and technical requirements before they can offer their EVV system to provider agencies. For example, in the state of Ohio, staff members of ABCS RCM were required to perform an in-person live demonstration of their EVV system to the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM).

Only after successfully displaying the functionality of their EVV solution, as well as proof that it meets state and federal software requirements, can a company earn alternative EVV vendor status.

Invasion of Privacy vs. Optimizing Resources:

Whether it is a California agency that provides supported living services (SLS) or an Ohio agency that delivers homemaker personal care services (HPC), the need is very similar. These support services are a crucial part of the overall community. Provider agencies deliver valuable assistance to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This support helps people maintain a safe and independent life in their home, while still participating in their surrounding community. Broadly known as personal care services; agencies that provide these services allow individuals with developmental disabilities to make meaningful choices in their life.

The implementation of electronic visit verification (EVV) is seen by some people as a potential invasion of privacy. Yet, a while designed EVV system will eliminate many of these concerns. For example, individual’s social security numbers are never used or displayed to workers. In addition, sensitive user data and communications are encrypted and secure.

However, there are greater concerns surrounding privacy and data security. For example, the downloading and use of social media applications can create security problems. Many of these applications appear free to use, but users actually “pay” in another way. Social media companies require users to share access to their personal data in order to use these applications. The collected user data is organized, analyzed and monetized. This is the revenue model for most, if not all, social media companies.

Advanced Billing & Consulting Services, as a HIPAA compliant company, does not engage in this activity or sell user data to third parties.

Ideally, EVV systems should not be seen as gotcha technologies. The purpose of the EVV requirement is to ensure the proper delivery of services to individuals who have a right to receive these services. In other words, these tools are utilized in order to ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the support that they are entitled to by law.

New EVV systems, like eWebSchedule, utilize already developed, pre-existing GPS technology that is regularly used in phones, cars and smartwatches. Reimbursements, and finances overall, are usually tight for agencies; yet an integrated EVV, scheduling and timecard system will help agencies better optimize and track these resources.

The eWebSchedule EVV System:

Advanced Billing & Consulting Services’ EVV solution is cloud-based and utilizes the convenience and power of mobile phones. Some of the benefits include:

  • eWebSchedule is available for both Apple and Android platforms.
  • The EVV system records information both in and out-of-data coverage areas.
  • The interface easily allows supervisors to respond to (and investigate) employee shifts that create exceptions.
  • The EVV solution easily integrates with ABCS RCM’s account management & billing services.
  • The system integrates with the timecard approval process in order to save valuable time.

The eWebSchedule EVV system is a light-weight solution that works with a variety of other software systems. The solution includes EVV capabilities, time collection tools, staff scheduling, gap analysis, compliance monitoring and more. As a company, ABCS RCM understands that these are the tools that agencies need in order to successfully optimize their back office’s administrative tasks.

For any problems that may arise, the staff at ABCS RCM is available to help. Otherwise, if a provider agency chooses not to use an alternative EVV vendor, they must use the state provided EVV system.

About ABCS RCM:

At Advanced Billing & Consulting Services (ABCS), we provide revenue cycle management services for a number of healthcare specialties. In addition, we offer workforce management tools for I-DD agencies, online advertising services as well as insurance credentialing.

For additional questions about this topic or medical billing in general, please call 614.890.9822 or email us.

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