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UPDATE: What you need to know right now about Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

A federal law has mandated that all states implement Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for Medicaid-funded personal care services programs like IHSS starting January 1, 2019—or else lose significant funding.

Providers and clients have been very worried about what EVV will be like: Will it endanger our privacy? Will it create lots of extra work in our already busy days?

UDW caregivers have been active in opposing a burdensome EVV system, and have been sharing our fears and concerns about EVV to the California Department of Social Services (DSS).

And it appears our hard work is paying off. The state announced that they are listening to IHSS providers and clients and are going ahead with a plan to implement EVV that is not nearly as intrusive as we feared and will not endanger our privacy. While not yet approved by the federal government, the planned California EVV system will be relatively simple and require very little change for providers already using electronic timesheets.

In a stakeholder meeting on April 19, Debbie Thompson of DSS laid out their intended EVV approach:

  • No new technology will be required. EVV will be done through expanding the existing electronic timesheet system.
  • There will be a telephone option for providers and clients who do not have internet access, as they plan on eliminating paper timesheets completely.
  • There will be no GPS or other invasive technology.
  • Reporting will be simply “Start time”, “End time”, general location where services were provided like “Home” or “Community”, and no specific description of IHSS services beyond “Personal care”.
  • Having EVV completely rolled out by January 1, 2019 is unrealistic for California, so DSS is working to delay the full implementation of the program.

Perhaps most importantly, providers will not be required to log in and out at the beginning and end of every shift. The biggest challenge will be the elimination of paper timesheets, and UDW staff will of course be available to all members who need help with this transition when the time comes.

 This plan is not final and still needs to be approved by the federal government. Our union will continue to monitor the development and implementation of EVV, and hold the state accountable to its promise to protect our privacy.

Thanks to everyone who helped get our EVV concerns to state officials. We are stronger together!

Stay tuned for more updates on EVV.