As a caretaker, especially if you’re new to the home care industry, there’s a good chance that you have a lot of questions about the different kinds of software that are used throughout your day-to-day responsibilities. Some pieces of software are a lot more common than others are.
In the home care industry especially, it’s not uncommon for pieces of software to be used to help make everything go a lot more smoothly. In fact, if you have a home care job at this very moment there’s a good chance that you’re at least familiar with EVV software.
There’s also a good chance that if you’re a client of a company that provides home care services you’ve at least interacted with an EVV system for home care, It’s a very common piece of software that home care companies use and clients also have access to it.
But what exactly is EVV? How does it help home care companies, providers, and clients? These are all questions that are worth answering, so in today’s article, we’re going to do our best to do just that. We’ve collected all of the information that we’ve been able to find so that we can share it with you here today.
What is EVV?
If we were to begin at the beginning, we’d have to start off by looking at some history. There have been a lot of technological advancements that needed to happen to pave the way for specific pieces of software like EVV.
That being said, we don’t really have the time to cover the entire history of technology and that would be a very hard place to start. Would we start with the first computer, or maybe would we have to go even further back than that? That’s a difficult one.
Regardless of when we would have to start an explanation of the entire history of technology, it would take a great deal of time to fully explain it and we probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to answer the question that we asked with the title of this article.
So, we’re going to start off by looking at what exactly EVV is so we can at least have a foundational understanding of the specific piece of software that we’re going to be exploring in today’s article. This will be important for figuring out if it does track you.
Here are a few important bullet points about EVV:
- EVV is short for Electronic Visit Verification.
- EVV is mandated by the 21st Century Cares Act to be used by all home care providers.
- There are a lot of different software companies that provide EVV systems to home care companies.
- Information is available both to the caretaker and to the client at different levels.
This kind of software, in short, allows the caretaker to log when they were at a certain client’s house, how long they were there, and what services were provided by the caretaker to the client.
Caretakers, of course, are able to take a look at all of their entries. The same can be said for the companies that they work for and the governmental body or bodies that are responsible for auditing this information, which is typically the Department of Social Services, or DSS for short. This really depends on the state.
Clients can usually check their side of the EVV system through a secure website or application on their phone or tablet. Clients are only able to see information that pertains to them, otherwise, it would be considered a giant HIPPA violation for this information to be available.
EVV is a Tracking System?
Now that we all understand what EVV is exactly and who can access what information, it’s time to take a look at how it actually works for the caretakers that have to use the software during their daily responsibilities if they want to be compliant.
Now, each piece of software works a little differently. There are a lot of ways to be compliant and different states have different laws on the books on this matter. The most important thing is that a piece of software is able to do the bare minimum that is required by federal law.
With that in mind, you can still get a good idea of what a general day using an EVV system looks like for a caretaker. Let’s take a look at that:
- The caretaker arrives at their client’s house.
- The caretaker logs their arrival in the app on their phone.
- The vast majority of EVV software has a matching app for phones.
- The caretaker logs the care that they provide to the client.
- The caretaker logs when they leave.
- The caretaker goes to the next clients house and repeats steps 1 through 5 for every client.
- The caretaker goes home.
Now, we looked at what the process looks like but we haven’t really delved into the real question. Does EVV actively track a caretaker’s location throughout their work day? This would be a pretty important piece of information for a lot of people to know.
Well, generally speaking, the answer is no. Most pieces of EVV software just use GPS to track the caretaker’s location at the time of clock-in and clock-out to verify that the caretaker is actually where they say that they are so that the company can be in compliance with federal laws.
This is pretty important because it would defeat the purpose of the software if someone could just say that they were clocking in from anywhere in the world and just lie about being with their client. A big part of the reason why this software was put in place legally was to hold caretakers accountable.
That being said, some EVV software providers do collect more than just clock-in and clock-out GPS data. Most of the companies that do this are upfront about the amount of information that they’re collecting, but not always. It depends on the software company.
We also didn’t take the time to look at the laws in all 50 states, which means that some states could potentially have things set up in such a way that the software has to track the caretaker for their entire shift. We wouldn’t want to say that it definitely doesn’t do that and be wrong because of your state laws.
If you need more information, you could ask your employer and also look at your state’s laws that way you can be completely sure that the information you have is correct for the state that you work out of and the system that your company uses.
The Reason Why EVV is Mandated
There are a lot of laws on the books. So many laws that some people, particularly legal professionals, spend their lives studying these laws to ensure that they can accurately stand in court to help people with the legal system. These people are typically lawyers, judges, magistrates, paralegals, the list goes on.
You might not fully understand why the federal government would have mandated the used of electronic visit verification software, and that’s ok. As we mentioned, there are a lot of laws in place that ensure that our society can continue running smoothly.
A lot of people speculate as to why EVV software is required to be used by home care providers. These theories can range from reasonable to fantastical, depending on the person who’s talking about it. That being said, there is a real official reason for this law.
At the end of the day, it has a lot to do with protecting the clients of home care providers and ensuring that nobody is being defrauded by a home care company, but it also helps to protect home care companies from false accusations made by clients.
Let’s say that a home care provider simply never shows up to take care of a client, but the caretaker claims that they showed up every single day. Without the use of EVV software, this would be incredibly hard to verify because it’s the client’s word against the caretaker’s.
On the other hand, let’s say that the caretaker is showing up every single day, going above and beyond what is expected of them, and even working overtime but the client claims that they just never show up. Both of these scenarios can and most likely have happened numerous times.
Implementing the mandated use of electronic visit veritifaction software makes it so that these claims have more than just people’s words to prove things. EVV software provides a log that can be accessed to prove definitively if the caretaker is properly doing their job or not. That makes EVV software incredibly useful.
Making Sure Your Understand the Tools You Use
Every profession has tools that they use, whether those tools are used to help make the job easier or to make sure that everyone is being held accountable. Knowing that you understand the tools of the trade can make your professional life significantly easier.