Advocacy in Action- Electronic Visit Verification- Alternative Vendor

Advocacy in Action- Electronic Visit Verification- Alterative Vendor Certification Extension‌
By Alexandra Weingarth Policy and Advocacy Director
As some of you are aware, alternative EVV vendor certification was to be completed by June 30th, 2020- for those of you that were not aware, no worries, the deadline is now extended!
We know that our members have worked diligently to ensure that they meet implementation deadlines and are compliant with the EVV system. However, we believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact (and is still impacting) on providers. OCHCH understands that both providers and vendors are navigating the daily state and federal changes, but ultimately, the sole focus is on patient care. 
It is our understanding that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the June 30th timeline because of restricted travel, social distancing guidelines (cannot adequately train staff), and staffing shortages due to illness or quarantine. We knew that we had to advocate for the best interests of providers, affiliate members/ vendors, and the patients receiving these services.
We appreciate the Department of Medicaid’s ease of restrictions for some of the EVV requirements such as: suspension of the EVV training requirement for new providers, suspending capturing client verification, and the suspension of the Sandata requirement for client signature exception. However, providers are still focused on providing care to those impacted by the pandemic, restarting services for those who can no longer rely on a family caregiver to provider services, and serving other patients with enhanced conditions. 
If providers and alternative vendors missed the June 30th certification deadline, there was a possibility of being forced into the Sandata system. We know that agencies have spent an exorbitant amount of time with their alternative vendors trying to resolve technical and systemic issues, and have spent a lot of money to come into compliance. This timeline was shifted out of providers and vendors control because of COVID-19.
OCHCH worked with three other provider associations to advocate for the delay of the alternative vendor certification process. With the help of our partners at OPRA (The Ohio Provider Resource Association), Leading Age Ohio, and OHCA (Ohio Health Care Association) we were able to receive the delay for certification until September 1st, 2020.
We would like to thank the other provider associations that signed onto the coalition letter to extend the alternative vendor certification deadline. We now ask that you start to work with your alternative vendor and come into compliance before the September 1st deadline. If you have any questions or concerns with EVV please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for help.
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