The healthcare industry is currently on the cusp of a technology evolution. New advances in patient care, such as remote health monitoring with wearable and implantable devices and interoperable electronic medical records to improve patient health coordination, are elevating the level of medical care in the U.S. Operationally, automated electronic processes for efficient regulatory compliance and real-time access to data through cloud computing and mobile devices are helping healthcare organizations work efficiently. Healthcare organizations have already been adopting these technologies to remain competitive.
The home health industry is currently undergoing a technology evolution. It’s driven by new regulations, lower reimbursement rates, more care options and tough competition in the home healthcare market. Electronic Visit Verification, or EVV, can significantly improve a home health agency’s operations. The real-time monitoring and reporting features of EVV along with a mobile app that can be used by agency clinicians on their mobile devices is technology every home health agency should be adopting now. EVV adds efficiency, provides quicker payments, allows for better coordination of care, easier scheduling, verification that care was received at the point of care and more.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been pushing state-mandated EVV for home health in recent years in an effort to curb fraud. In some states, EVV is already mandatory. Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas have all required the use of EVV. Several more states are considering mandating EVV, as the government works to reduce the tens of billions of dollars lost annually to medical fraud. The smartest move a home health agency can make now is to adopt EVV ahead of the curve.
Here’s how using EVV benefits home health agencies:
- Billing – EVV allows agency’s to eliminate costly, time-consuming paperwork. Billing is faster and more accurate with EVV. Data errors are reduced when clinicians are entering information in real-time, versus taking notes and recording visits later.
- Patient outcomes – clinicians are spending less time on paperwork and more time on patient care. This means better business for home health agencies: favorable reviews, word of mouth marketing (the best kind) and happier clinicians.
- Faster payments – the speed at which payments are processed and paid is accelerated with EVV. Speedier payments improve an agency’s revenue cycle and allows for faster business growth.
- Better scheduling – missed visit alerts and appointment changes can be sent directly to a clinician’s Smartphone or tablet to reduce scheduling errors. The GPS feature can also reduce mileage costs.
- Help with audits – HIPAA compliant, data-secure, encrypted EVV technology helps agencies with compliance. When audits occur, proof-of-care data is readily available and accessible. Moreover, it helps with reducing unintentional errors and intentional fraud in the documentation process. Agencies can help clinicians prove that the visit took place in the patient’s home by equipping them with mobile EVV capability. Additionally, patient signatures are collected on such mobile devices as additional proof that the care was provided at the point of care. The EVV feature is only available if a clinician checks-in at the immediate vicinity of the patient’s residence.
- More accurate payroll and verification of visit times – the EVV app time-stamps the clinician’s check-in and check-out times. This captures accurate data for employee payroll processing and verifies if the clinician arrived at the scheduled time.
When home health agencies give clinicians the freedom to use their preferred mobile device to remotely check in, take notes and log data, the outcome is clear: working smarter. Working with a familiar mobile device, like a Smartphone or tablet, relives the pressure of cumbersome paperwork or out-dated computer technology.
Home health agencies that don’t adopt currently available technology, such as EVV, will find it difficult to remain competitive and grow their businesses. Adoption of advanced technology will be key to agencies’ survival in the very near future.