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Listening Sessions Underway on Electronic Visit Verification

The Department of Health (DOH) held its first Regional Listening Session on Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) last week in Albany. DOH is providing stakeholder engagement opportunities to inform their implementation of the EVV requirement for Personal Care Services (PCS) and Home Health Care Services (HHCS) as required by the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by Congress in December 2016. All state Medicaid programs must implement an EVV system for these services to avoid a reduction in federal Medicaid funding. EVV must be in place for all Medicaid-funded PCS by Jan. 1, 2020 and for all Medicaid-funded HHCS by Jan. 1, 2023. DOH will ask the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for an extension of the due date but must demonstrate a “good-faith” effort to implement EVV in the meantime.

The Albany Listening Session provided insight on several preferences and obstacles to implementation of the requirement. Many providers already utilize EVV for their aides and prefer to utilize their existing systems. Several have built upon their current platforms to allow for billing of services, Plan of Care changes, and quality measures. Most attendees expressed support for provider and consumer choice of systems to ensure business flexibility and consumer accessibility and usability. Consumers receiving services within the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) were vocal as they expressed their need for accommodation and flexibility. DOH provided an overview of the possible approaches for implementation, including:

  • Provider Choice – Providers select EVV vendor of choice
  • State-Selected Vendor – State contracts with a single vendor that all providers are required to use
  • State-Selected In-House System – State creates, runs, and manages its own EVV system
  • Managed Care Plan (MCP) Choice – MCPs select their EVV vendor of choice
  • Open Vendor/Hybrid – State contracts with a single vendor or builds a system but also allows providers to use their own vendor

There was also significant opposition to the State requiring any system that permits GPS tracking, biometric, or geo-fencing (which uses GPS to indicate entry and exit over specified physical thresholds.) Other concerns were raised regarding the need for funding to implement the requirement, protection of health information, backup and protection from system breaches, and data retention guidelines. LeadingAge NY will keep members abreast of the direction the Department is taking on these issues.

DOH recently updated its schedule of EVV Regional Listening Sessions to add a Listening Session that will be held via webinar on June 24, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The webinar will follow the same format as the Regional Listening Sessions and will provide another venue for interested parties to participate in a Listening Session and provide comments. To register for the webinar, click here.

Listening Sessions are scheduled throughout June for New York City, Long Island, Albany, Rochester, and Lake Placid. If you are interested in attending a session in your area, you can register here.

DOH has launched a webpage dedicated to sharing information on New York State’s implementation of EVV. This webpage includes program information, stakeholder information, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and the Listening Session calendar. Please fill out DOH’s EVV Readiness Survey sent to providers delivering PCS and HHCS. This will help inform DOH during the planning process. To view a copy of the survey, click here.

To sign up for DOH’s ListServ updates on EVV, click here. Please make sure to include the following in your email request: SUBSCRIBE EVV-L YourFirstName YourLastName. Interested stakeholders may also submit written comments regarding the design and implementation of EVV to EVVHelp@health.ny.gov. LeadingAge NY will also provide input to DOH on this issue. Please feel free to provide feedback to me by email or phone so that we can develop comments that reflect the perspective of the membership.

Contact: Meg Carr Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871