Congress has passed and President Trump has signed a law delaying by one year the requirement that providers of home health care services clock in electronically with Medicaid prior to performing services.

Disability rights advocates and a bipartisan group of senators had been calling for the state-by-state rollout of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) programs to be delayed. Congress enacted the requirement in 2016, as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, as a way to prevent caregivers from billing Medicaid for fraudulent home visits. The law obligated each state to develop its own EVV system by 2019.  The new law delays that until 2020.

Advocates worried that under the earlier timetable, individuals who received Medicaid services would not have a voice in how the EVV programs are implemented.  One major concern is the GPS tracking of caregivers or other systems to monitor their movements once they have clocked in.  Although such tracking systems are not required, some states have already launched programs that include GPS technology.

Advocates will now try to get legislation passed to narrow the EVV’s scope.

“We are going to need to work with Congress on a bill to address the most egregious concerns,” Alison Barkoff, director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation, told Disability Scoop.

The new law also requires the federal government to hold at least one public meeting to get feedback on EVV from patients, caregivers and state health officials.