FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 6th, 2018
CONTACT: Bryan O’Malley 518-813-9537
CONSUMER ADVOCATES WORKGROUP REPORT ON ELECTRONIC VISIT VERIFICATION RELEASED
Report Comes in Advance of Department of Health Guidelines
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State (CDPAANYS) has published a report detailing the recommendations of those who use Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) on the implementation of a controversial new Federal requirement called Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). The report, entitled Electronic Visit Verification and Self-Direction: A Consumer Perspective is the result of a series of discussions by CDPAANYS’ Consumer Advocates Workgroup, which is comprised of CDPAANYS’ consumer members. The report relays consumers’ desires and concerns related to the administration of EVV in New York State in advance of finalized Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, and will be submitted as the official recommendation of the workgroup.
EVV is an employee record keeping system that electronically tracks when a Personal Assistant (PA) arrives and leaves a consumer’s home using a telephone or computer program. A Federal law called the 21st Century CURES Act requires that all personal care service and home health care service providers utilize EVV by January 1st, 2019. All states must comply with this mandate or suffer a penalty of one percent of their Federal matching funds for personal care and home health care services. Because EVV is already widely in use in New York for agency-based personal care, the state has opted for the provider choice model. This model allows agencies to purchase systems from vendors they select as long as it meets the requirements outlined in the act.
The report’s key findings were that:
Fiscal intermediaries (FIs), the agencies that administer consumer directed personal assistance (CDPA), should institute consumer committees to provide feedback on prospective EVV systems being considered by the FI.
Whenever possible, consumers should be provided a choice of EVV system to utilize by their FI.
FIs should prioritize the use of telephone-based EVV (telephony) or web-based EVV.
Consumers were opposed to the use of GPS tracking systems and biometric systems, worried about the potential invasion of privacy for both them and their staff.
Accessibility of the system for all disabilities is a critical system component.
Bryan O’Malley, CDPAANYS’ Executive Director, said of the report, “Electronic visit verification has consumers concerned about their privacy and the ongoing viability of CDPA, particularly their right to manage their own staff. This report is a critical document for FIs, EVV vendors, and state agencies to consider as we move forward with the implementation of this new Federal requirement. CDPA is about consumer control, and it is important that consumers’ voices be heard as we move forward.”
Kendra Scalia, the chair of the Consumer Advocates Workgroup, said, “Though there remains many questions concerning the roll out of EVV in New York, the opportunity for consumers to have a seat at the table and make meaningful contributions to regulations and best practices is paramount. On behalf of the consumer advocacy workgroup, I’m proud to submit this report to the Department of Health as guidance for the administration of EVV in New York.”
Mollie Murphy, President of Applied Self Direction, a national training, membership and technical expertise organization focused on self-direction, said, “The report from the Consumer Advocates Workgroup provides essential insights on the implementation of EVV from the perspective of the individual receiving services. It includes a thoughtful analysis of challenges and concerns, and offers pros and cons for the most frequently used verification options. Any definition of “minimally burdensome” needs to acknowledge the issues discussed in this report. We highly recommend it for states, managed care organizations and providers as they move forward with their stakeholder engagement process.”
Official EVV directives from DOH are forthcoming. CDPAANYS will maintain an open dialogue with the department and our partners, and continue to offer counsel as protocols are created.