If you’re unfamiliar with EVV, it entails using an electronic system to track the hours worked by personal care attendants and other home service providers for the elderly and disabled. This might be a custom device, a smartphone app, or a web-based input form that can be accessed from a computer. When employees log hours, their employers must verify them using EVV. The 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 included electronic visit verification as part of a package to finance information technology companies, medical device makers, and pharmaceutical companies. Many advancements in healthcare, particularly in mental health, were supported by this bill.
It did, however, include a clause requiring all states to implement electronic visit verification for Medicaid by 2019. In my home state of Massachusetts, this process will begin to take effect in 2022. GPS tracking combined with electronic visit verification is a violation of people with disabilities’ and caretakers’ rights and freedoms. Most states’ EVV systems were built without any obvious consideration for the fact that persons with disabilities travel, work, and spend time with their family. By turning our houses into unofficial institutions, they are infringing on our civil rights.
The Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. LC, which I wrote about in a previous post, established that people with disabilities have a fundamental right to reside in their own homes and communities and make decisions about their life. By restricting our freedom of movement, I feel like EVV violates the rights provided by Olmstead.
We won’t be able to stop this law unless we are prepared to fight it. However, refusing EVV puts people with disabilities in danger of losing the personal care attendant services that we need to live. As a result, some people may be scared to refuse EVV instead of utilizing an EVV app while lobbying to repeal the law. I don’t want anyone to be stuck at home or unable to travel due to EVV. EVV treats us as if we were criminals on an ankle monitor, rather than law-abiding people with the freedom to go wherever we want. We become prisoners in our own houses as a result of it. It is a serious threat to my ability to continue living in my community . Geo-fencing would restrict me from being able to go out of state to visit museums and other attractions. It is rooted in the belief that disabled people don’t deserve to and do live full lives.
Eubanks, Virginia, and Alexandra Mateescu. “’We Don’t Deserve This’: New App Places Us CAREGIVERS under Digital Surveillance.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 28 July 2021, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/28/digital-surveillance-caregivers-artificial-intelligence.
Holland, Taylor Mallory. “Evv Compliance Rules, State by State.” Samsung Business Insights, Samsung Business Insights, 19 July 2021, insights.samsung.com/2021/07/19/what-are-the-evv-compliance-rules-in-your-state-4/.
Scalia, Kendra. “Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Is Here.” Disability Visibility Project, Disability Visibility Project, 15 Apr. 2019, disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2019/03/24/electronic-visit-verification-evv-is-here/.