Texas Council on Consumer Direction: EVV Update

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Electronic Visit Verification – Jordan Nichols made the presentation. He stated that their request to delay implementation has been approved. A new timeline will be provided. All stakeholders should remain engaged.

HHSC’s request to delay the Jan. 1, 2020 electronic visit verification start date for the programs, services, and service delivery options affected by 21st Century Cures Act is approved.HHSC already requires EVV for about 90 percent of personal care services. This delay allows more time to address EVV implementation challenges for the remaining personal care programs and services. See the full list of delayed programs, services, and service delivery options in the table below.

Providers currently required to use EVV must continue to use EVV under state law and HHSC policy. See the Programs and Services Currently Required to Use Electronic Visit Verification on page 3.

For the programs approved for the delay:

  • HHSC will provide a new EVV start date and more implementation details
  • Providers for these programs should still prepare and train for EVV


Mr. Nichols addressed questions from the previous meeting.

Q1: What is the backup plan if the January 1 implementation does not go well?
R1: This is no longer an issue, given CMS’ approval of our request to delay.
Q2: Can you clarify the messaging around claims matching for EVV and CDS services?
R2: The EVV billing matrix that we maintain on the HHS website has been updated, and this should provide some clarity. (The audio started malfunctioning, which affected the writer’s ability to record his answer.)
Q3: For the new EVV vendors, how many states are they participating in?
R3: One vendor is currently only operating in Texas; one of the other vendors is only operating in one other state; and one is operating in seven other states.

EVV Budget Update: Rider 31 of the General Appropriations Act provides some legislative appropriations to help offset the cost of EVV devices for CDS employers.

31. Electronic Visit Verification. Out of funds appropriated above in Strategy B.1.1, Medicaid Contracts and Administration, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) shall, in an effort to reduce the fiscal impact of rate increases for Consumer Directed Services (CDS) and ensure the best value for CDS clients, pursue opportunities to receive more favorable pricing, including through bulk purchasing, to assist CDS clients in purchasing necessary equipment to comply with electronic visit verification requirements.

We anticipate that distribution of the funds for CDS employers will be available in Fall of 2020.

August 2019 CMS Guidance. CMS has issued additional guidance regarding EVV and certain situations. We are currently reviewing that, and working with HHSC leadership to determine if any changes will be made to HHS Policy.

Accessibility of EVV Systems. Vendors are expected to meet the HHS accessibility standards, which are published online.

FMSAs. We are forming a proprietary systems workgroup, per the requirements of SB 1991. The bill requires HHSC to implement an open EVV model, allowing providers and FMSAs to use an EVV system that they have purchased or developed, rather than using the state system. We’re starting the workgroup in October of this year, and it will run through early 2020 (six meetings). Contact EVV at HHSC to be on the workgroup.

Q: Does CMS have guidelines for accessibility? HHSC stated that they are using the HHSC guidelines, which are in compliance with the ADA.

Q: When will the three vendors be accessible? HHSC stated that the goal is to have them be accessible as soon as they come on board.

Q: Who are the three vendors? HHSC stated that the vendors have not been announced at this time. However, they are already under contract. We hope to give updates on the vendors the next time this Council meets.

Q: When do the CDS employers and FMSAs have to be onboarded? HHSC stated that with the new extension by CMS, the dates are still being discussed and they will keep this group informed of any changes and the new timeline.

Q: Once the vendors are declared, will their background information (history and reach of service administration) be made available? HHSC stated that had not been part of the plan but they will consider that idea.

Q: Hypothetical: my FMSA has a system, but I don’t like it. I have my own system. Can I use my system, or do I have to either use theirs or change to another FMSA? HHSC stated that at this time, the FMSA will be choosing the EVV system that’s used, because they have to manage that for all the CDS employers working with them. Therefore, currently, if the CDS employer wanted to use a different system, they would have to select a different FMSA.


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