A Different View of EVV
Taking advantage of a recent rainy day, I was looking at Connect a Voice usage to date. I’m proud to report, our customers are using Connect a Voice to serve almost 500 Consumers, with more than 2,000 DSPs using the system on a daily basis. It seems like yesterday when I was adding our first customer and our first Consumer. We have come a long way in the less than two years that we have been working to improve care to individuals with developmental disabilities.
These days we are focused on helping Ohio DD providers respond to the 21 st Century Care Act – better known as Electronic Visit Verification or ‘EVV’. About once a week we implement a new provider on Connect a Voice and help them prepare for Phase II of EVV.
It’s funny, when I was kicking around the idea that would ultimately become Connect a Voice, I didn’t even know about EVV. What I did know about was it was important for Consumers to be mobile and have the ability to go where ever and do whatever they desired. I also knew it was important for a Consumer’s love one and the Provider serving them to know where they were.
As a guardian, I’ve been on the receiving end of a call from a Provider who had to explain to me that my loved one had been in a dangerous place. A place they should never have been taken. Luckily the incident ended without harm. But it was frustrating to hear that no one – until after the fact – knew that this had occurred. And worse – that it had probably happened before.
That’s when I knew I wanted a system that not only could record service compliance information, but also could assist with keeping up with where services were being performed. Several years ago, I didn’t know anything about EVV, but I did know that helping Consumers enjoy a full and rich life without being abused was important.
The ability to record where a Consumer is receiving services was built into our original technical design. We made Connect a Voice a ‘native app’ because the geolocation capture is part of smartphone technology. It’s more precise than a ‘web app’ which must use a service to identify its location. We also didn’t want DSPs having to memorize or key in codes to make the system work. Most of the key data elements collected by EVV systems (Name, location, Medicaid number, staff number) are known and don’t need to be re-keyed to start a shift.
We built Connect a Voice so that a DSP simply has to push a button and all the administrative details are handled for them. Thus allowing the DSP to focus on the Consumer – not a government regulation. Finally, we are sensitive to a Consumer’s privacy. With the system processing the behind the scenes information, a DSP can discreetly log into a shift with little or no impact to the Consumer.
When I talk with DSPs they express concern they are being tracked. I tactfully explain when they are providing DD services the Provider has the right to know where those services are performed. However, I also remind them of who they are providing services for. The DSPs I’ve worked with understand why this is important, and see the tracking of service delivery while they work as a fair requirement.
Since we began implementing Connect a Voice almost two years ago, we have learned a lot about implementing digital technology. The first thing we learned is that no matter how simple we made Connect a Voice – using a digital technology is a change in a routine. It takes time to change a routine.
In fact, we tell providers on average it will take 30 days to build the habit of using a digital solution. What this means is you can’t wait until the State’s August 2019 deadline and expect to fully implement the new system in a day. Our recommendation is to start early to make sure there will be no interruption in your billing/reimbursement process.
Well enough reflecting – back to work implementing and improving Connect a Voice. It’s going to be a busy summer. For more information about Connect a Voice and how we are helping providers be EVV ready contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.