As we've shared in the past, ANCOR has been tracking developments and expressing its members' concerns about the new electronic visit verification (EVV) requirements established under the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016. According to the legislation, states must begin compliance with the EVV requirements by January 2019 to avoid reductions in their federal Medicaid match.
Earlier this week, ANCOR's government relations experts met with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—the federal office required by the legislation to release guidance to states on implementation—to articulate ANCOR's understanding of the challenges associated with EVV and to educate CMS staff on the negative impact the requirements could have.
Since the passage of the EVV requirements in December 2016, ANCOR has maintained that although congressional intent is to focus on home health visits, CMS is broadly interpreting the standards to apply to around-the-clock residential services and support for daily activities that direct support professionals provide to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). ANCOR reinforced this concern—along with others documented in our recent EVV memo—in its meeting with CMS staff on Tuesday. The meeting yielded three important accomplishments:
- ANCOR urged CMS to consider the significant consequences of an overly broad application of EVV requirements, citing congressional intent and providing examples of why EVV would be inappropriately applied to I/DD services.
- ANCOR learned that CMS seems to feel obligated to enforce a broader definition of the EVV requirements based on the agency's interpretation of statutory language, revealing the need for our continued commitment to advocacy on this issue.
- ANCOR discerned that CMS' EVV guidance is likely to come in the form of two documents to be released in the coming weeks aimed at striking a balance between concerns over coverage and cost.
This week's meeting with CMS marks another milestone in ANCOR's ongoing leadership on EVV. Last summer, our EVV Working Group crafted and delivered two rounds of input to CMS indicating the significant challenges associated with applying EVV requirements to many I/DD programs. And, earlier this year, ANCOR worked closely with its lobbyists on Capitol Hill to capture the congressional intent of the original legislation, which catalyzed at least one conversation about EVV with Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
We must act to stop or minimize the harm of an overly broad EVV requirement, and ANCOR is actively working with its Government Relations Advisory Committee and its lobbyists to continue raising your voice on this issue. As new developments emerge, we'll keep you apprised of the latest, including opportunities to take action.
For all you do to advocate for people with I/DD and the service providers whose work plays an integral role in your community, thank you.
Esmé Grant Grewal
Vice President, Government Relations