“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”

– Dean Kamen

In the past few years, maybe you have heard conversations about the “21st Century Cures Act” being discussed around you. Maybe you googled it to find out more. Perhaps your coworkers or family members have chatted about how it will effect us as it is enacted. We’d like to take a moment to walk through the Act, what it means, and how our home care agency is being proactive in meeting its requirements, as well as embracing the changes and innovations that come with the way our industry is moving.

History:

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into existence on December 13th, 2016, and it seeks to change quite a bit in the healthcare realm.

The Act included the authorization of 6.3 billion dollars in funding. Much of the act includes provisions to reduce drug abuse, mental illness treatment and prevention, and cancer research and prevention.

The main purpose of the Act was to assist in encouraging accelerated accountability and innovation for healthcare-related services. It affects many facets of healthcare, but mainly in this article we will address how it specifically requires a new system for home care agencies.

Some controversy has been present with the passing of the Act – in the form of concerns that the FDA is requiring less information to gain approval new drugs and devices, but home care agencies are not as affected by this concern.

What Now?

But what does that mean for you, as a Client or Caregiver in the healthcare world?

Well, for home care agencies, this act really presented itself in one main way: EVV.

What is EVV? EVV stands for Electronic Visit Verification, and it’s the direction the home care agency market is headed in. Really, EVV means what it says:

It is a way to verify any services or “visits” provided by home care agencies electronically.

In the past, these visits have been verified by traditional documentation, a phone call, but without any sort of location services. The added detail of “electronic” verification now serves as an efficiency and accountability benchmark for agencies everywhere. Its hope is to minimize discrepancies, fraud, and delays in service.

By January 1st, 2020, any care agency that provides personal care services must have an EVV system in place to be compliant with federal regulations. And by January 1st, 2023, home health services must implement the system.

What does an EVV system do?

At its core, an EVV system will provide accountability to home health agencies in the following 6 ways (answering 4 main questions):

1)  Who?

  •  The individual receiving the service
  •  The individual providing the service  

2)  What?

  • The type of service performed

3)  When?

  • The date of the service 
  • The time the service begins and ends

4)  Where?

  • The location of service delivery

Agencies are not required to use a certain type of EVV system as the transitions occur, but At Home is excited to announce that we will be utilizing Unison Workforce’s EVV System as our provider of this service. 

(Unisonworkforce.com)

The aforementioned 6 qualifications to a compliant EVV system are just the beginning. Unison has created a state-of-the-art system that includes these qualifications, and much more to enable business efficiency and user-friendly mobile workforce management.

At Home Quality Care has already started implementing Unison’s EVV system, and we’re excited to provide more accountability and assure our Caregivers and Clients that our operations are running smoothly and excellently. 

This new program will allow us to schedule Caregiver’s shifts, enable them to easily check in and out of locations of care, complete checklists pertaining to their Client, alert our staff to any discrepancies, and even run reports for payroll and billing purposes. Not only will we answer those 4 required questions, but we also have adapted to a system that allows us to monitor Caregiver locations, checklists, scheduling, and billing.

In the meantime, we have also introduced the use of Tablets and a Caregiver Advocate on staff, to help us excel in a few crucial areas as we adapt to these exciting changes:

  • Communication:
    • The Caregiver Advocate will open up lines of communication between staff, Caregivers, and Clients. Any questions regarding the usage of systems and technology can be quickly overcome with the Caregiver Advocate’s help.
  • Innovation:
    • Here at At Home, we want to be ahead of the times. If a new technology can assist us with better serving our Clients and enhancing our workforce efficiencies, we capitalize upon this advantage and begin learning and implementing the technology.
  • Compliance:
    • Staying ahead of compliance regulations has always been a goal of ours, and we understand that certain industry standards are in place for a reason, and we can stay ahead of these regulations by remaining state and federal compliant.

What does this mean for you?

For our Clients, this will mean that as Caregivers come and go to your home, they will be completing a checklist of tasks, and checking in and out with their phones. It means we can assure quality care will be present, on-time, in your home at each visit. You will have more opportunity to engage your 5 Senses through technology and interaction with our Caregivers as we assimilate our new technology.

For our Caregivers, this might seem like a shift in your responsibilities. No need to be overwhelmed with this new federal requirement – we thoroughly train and equip our Caregivers to understand how to use the systems correctly. We don’t think of this regulation as an additional and cumbersome requirement, we think of it as an easy way to consolidate employee tasks and alerts and manage our workforce in real-time. You even have a point-person to help you every step of the way!

So for you, the Client or Caregiver, not much will change. You might notice that things are more efficient as we now have one hub for our processes. We aren’t seeing this added qualification as a hoop to jump through, but as an opportunity to show-off the way our team seamlessly works together to provide better care in all aspects. Along with the times, At Home Quality Care is adapting to communicate with technology and increasing efficiency!

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424829/

https://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/21st-Century-Cures-Act

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •