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Connections - 12.19.19

Does EVV Mean the End of Person-Centered Services? Therap is Committed to Making Sure it Doesn’t!

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The rapid and often overwhelming movement towards EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) is dominating the conversation in many parts of our system. Are we in danger of creating a service environment where the needs of the service system are pushing out the needs of the individual and the purpose of the service?

EVV is a federally mandated rule that stems from the 21st Century Cures Act which outlines that the beginning and the end of the service delivery must be captured electronically, in an attempt to verify that the service is being provided as authorized. This information is then maintained on a file or sent to a system that verifies, as part of the reimbursement process, whether service providers are delivering the services correctly.

This is not an argument against EVV. In fact, here at Therap, we think this is a valuable initiative with great potential to make sure that people are receiving the services they are authorized to receive.

A real concern, however, is that some of the progress our industry has made around person-centered services and in particular, services that are designed to support real life experiences and outcomes, were a result of a more natural, sometimes messy, and not always a perfectly scheduled approach.

Therap understands that these two things, EVV and Person-Centered Services, are NOT mutually exclusive, rather, these can co-exist nicely together; this concept is reflected in the design of the Therap system. We also understand that an effective balance between the demands of EVV and maintenance of a person-centered approach will not take place by accident, however, it must be at the front of the conversation and must be planned for. It is not enough to just have a body show up at the right time. We also need to ensure that those service hours are spent in meaningful ways that contribute to moving an individual’s life forward towards specific goals. There is a risk that quality of services gets defined in terms of a well documented electronic file packet while the actual quality of service and its outcomes become a secondary priority.

At Therap, we are integrating these two concepts and believe that compliance with EVV is not only about documenting the first and last seconds of the service but also about what happens during the service.