Absolute Status Update 4/7/21

Dear Valued Families and Providers, 

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic started and changed our lives forever. The last 12 months have been full of challenges, struggles of every kind, and heartache for many. We have learned to do things in new and unique ways and hopefully grown as individuals and families. We are extremely grateful for each of you during this time and appreciate your support and understanding as we have adjusted to constant changes.

As of Monday, April 19th, DDReports.com will be replaced with SpokeChoice.com.  SpokeChoice.com is a similar operating system to DDReports.com and is run by the same web developer. 

These changes must be made due to Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) regulations being enforced by AHCCCS. We understand some of you have had concerns with EVV in the past.  Please be assured we are prepared to fully support you through this transition. You are our number one priority and we will ensure that all of your needs are met. We have plans in place for those of you without smartphones or access to other forms of technology, and SpokeChoice is fully customizable so we can tailor it to meet individual needs.

If you would like to learn more about EVV (Electronic Visit Verification), please visit: https://www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Initiatives/EVV/

Although change and learning a new system is always a challenge, we are positive that the new program (SpokeChoice) will offer many advantages and will make all of our lives easier.

 Here are some exciting features SpokeChoice offers us: 

  • When a provider arrives at their scheduled shift, they will clock in (EVV Requirement).
  • When a provider finishes their scheduled shift, they will clock out (EVV Requirement).
  • No more written/typed habilitation report forms! Habilitation data will be recorded when you clock out of a habilitation shift.
  • Guardians will no longer need to hassle with signing a physical timesheet! Instead, worked hours will be approved via their own account on SpokeChoice.
  • Guardians will have access to a live balance of all authorizations. 
  • SpokeChoice is a web browser integrated, there is no app that needs updating or maintenance.
  • SpokeChoice is more user-friendly than DDReports.
  • SpokeChoice is fully integrated in Spanish.

Support Absolute HCBS will be offering to aid in this transition: 

  • FAQ page on our website solely dedicated to SpokeChoice and EVV support (currently under construction)
    • A direct chat line to SpokeChoice/EVV support will be located here.
  • A dedicated email for direct SpokeChoice Support (techsupport@absolutehcbs.com)
  • 1:1 training will be offered in-person following strict COVID protocols, via phone, and via Zoom. You will have the option to choose whatever you are comfortable with. 
  • Live “Open House” Zoom sessions scheduled several times a week
  • Written training walk-throughs and training videos 

Initial Training Videos

Please be sure to take a moment to watch the attached training videos. They go over the basic utilization of the new program and will greatly aid in your success in the upcoming transition. 

Key Notes for Guardians 

  • All guardians will need to create an account on SpokeChoice in order to approve provider hours (unless you already have a guardian account on DDReports.com.). An email link will be sent to you on April 19th in order to create your password and access your account. If you have a guardian account on DDReports.com, you can access SpokeChoice with the same login credentials. 
  • AHCCCS will no longer allow parent providers to approve their own shifts. This means that every parent provider must assign a “designee” signer that lives in the same home as them in order to approve their work hours. If you are a parent provider and there is no one else living in the home with you that can sign off on your work hours, please respond to this email and let us know so we can assist you. 

An important survey to help in our success

In order to ensure we are providing you with what you need, we are also asking that you complete this short survey for us. Completing this will allow us to provide you with immediate support and guidance. 

You will be entered into a raffle! 

We recognize that this transition is going to take time and patience. Because of this, we are excited to announce that we will be entering all of our providers and guardians into a raffle to win a 10.2 inch 32GB Apple iPad! Four winners will be selected and notified on April 26th.

Please be on the lookout for more information and communication from us. Feel free to respond to this email (techsupport@absolutehcbs.com) with any questions you may have. 

We appreciate you working with us and believing in us. You inspire us every day and push us to be better. Thank you for all you do! 

Sincerely, 

Your Absolute HCBS Family 

Frequently asked Questions

AHCCCS E.V.V. FAQ
FAQ for Live-In Caregivers
FAQ for EVV in AZ (General)

What if I don’t have the technology (cell phone, computer, tablet, internet, etc.) to utilize SpokeChoice and EVV (Electronic Visit Verification)?

The following exceptions are the only allowances given by AHCCCS in order to support those who may not be able to utilize traditional EVV utilizing a smart device. The following information has been taken directly from the AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Containment System) website (located at: https://www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Initiatives/EVV/)

The provider shall explain the EVV device options available to the member.  EVV device options will vary depending on the EVV system the provider utilizes.

Per AMPM Policy 540, paper timesheets may be allowable under the following circumstances:

a.       Individuals for whom both the DCW and the member live in geographic areas with limited intermittent or no landline, cell, and internet service,

b.      Individuals for whom the use of electronic devices would cause adverse physical or behavioral health side effects/symptoms,

c.       Individuals electing not to use other visit verification modalities on the basis of moral or religious grounds, and

d.      Individuals with a live-in caregiver or caregiver accessible on-site 24 hours and for whom the use of other visit verification modalities would be burdensome.

e.       Individuals who need to have their address and location information protected for a documented safety concern (i.e. witness protection or domestic violence victim).  

This attestation shall be reviewed at least annually to ensure the member’s circumstance and EVV device decision has not changed.  The member can make a change to begin using a different EVV device at any time without waiting for the annual review.  

The member/designee and provider agency are required to sign a standardized AHCCCS attestation statement to document the allowance for the use of paper timesheets.

These are currently the only exceptions being given by AHCCCS.

Can I still use a paper timesheet?

Some individuals may be able to, but within certain guidelines set by AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Containment System). The following information has been taken directly from the AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Containment System) website (located at: https://www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Initiatives/EVV/):

  • If a provider meets the exemption qualifications, they can utilize a “token” device that is fixed within the client home and displays a random number when a button is pushed. This number is then written on a paper timesheet. The timesheet must be signed by the guardian of the member and then submitted for payroll and verification. 
    • Please take note that parent providers cannot sign for themselves. A designee must sign their timesheets. 
  • The provider utilizes the SpokeChoice program as is but the guardian does not have access to technology so they cannot electronically sign via the SpokeChoice program. In this situation, the provider can print a timesheet from the SpokeChoice program, the guardian can sign and then the timesheet is submitted for payroll and verification.

What is EVV (Electronic Visit Verification)?

EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) is the process of verifying in some fashion that the caregiver physically arrived at their scheduled shift for a client. For a more detailed explanation, please see the following information that has been taken directly from the AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Containment System) website (located at https://www.azahcccs.gov/AHCCCS/Initiatives/EVV/):

Pursuant to Section 1903 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396b), also known as the 21st Century Cures Act, in order to prevent a reduction in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), AHCCCS is mandated to implement Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for non-skilled in-home services (attendant care, personal care, homemaker, habilitation, respite) by January 1, 2020* and for in-home skilled nursing services (home health) by January 1, 2023.

*AHCCCS has received a one year approval to implement by January 1st, 2021.

The EVV system, must at a minimum, electronically verify the:

  1. Type of service performed
  2. Individual receiving the service
  3. Date of the service
  4. Location of service delivery
  5. Individual providing the service
  6. Time the service begins and ends
Is my provider geotagged for their entire shift?

No! The EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) mandate only requires a snapshot of the provider’s geolocation at the time of clock-in and clock-out. No other GPS information will be taken by the SpokeChoice program.

What devices can be utilized for SpokeChoice and EVV (Electronic Visit Verification)?

Any device that can be connected to the Internet.

What is AutoVisit?

AutoVisit is the name of the EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) solution being utilized within SpokeChoice.

As a guardian, when do I approve my provider’s shifts via SpokeChoice?

Preferably shifts are reviewed and approved daily. We understand that this is not always possible. At a minimum, all shifts clocked by a provider must be approved by the 16th and 1st of every month to ensure the provider is paid on time. If the guardian fails to approve the providers shifts, the provider will not be paid on the originally scheduled date.

As a provider, can I work with my client in different locations (i.e. the community)?

Yes, you can. The first time you clock in at a new location, your supervisor will confirm with the guardian that the location is an approved and appropriate location. After that, it will be saved within the SpokeChoice database and will appear as an approved location for all future shifts.

If I clock in/out incorrectly, can I fix it myself?

Yes! The initial training videos for utilize SpokeChoice cover how to do this.

What happened to DDReports?

DDReports.com as a program was not able to meet the AHCCCS EVV guidelines. Hence, SpokeChoice was created and is in full AHCCCS compliance.

Why is my GPS location being recorded when I clock in/out?

This is a requirement of EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) being upheld by AHCCCS.

What if I forget to clock in/out?

You can fix this and clock hours. The initial training videos for utilizing SpokeChoice cover how to do this. If 2 days pass from your worked hours, SpokeChoice will not allow you to enter the hours and the hours will have to manually be entered by your supervisor. This can only happen on occasion. If it is a continuous issue, the provider will receive counseling as this is an essential job duty.

What if the guardian doesn’t approve my clocked hours, will I still be paid?

No, we do not have the authority to pay you. Ensure the guardian has approved your hours

How do I submit my travel time?

This process is not changing. Please reach out to your supervisor for information on travel time.

What if I am clocking in somewhere I have no cell service/internet connection?

You will be unable to clock in. Be sure to take note of what time your shift has started or ended so you can go back into the system once you have service/internet connection to enter in your shift.

I am a parent provider, can I approve my own shifts?

Unfortunately, no. AHCCCS will not allow parent providers to approve their own working hours. A designee must be assigned that lives in the same household to approve hours.

SpokeChoice Resources

We will be adding SpokeChoice resources and guides soon for our providers and members.

In the meantime, please feel free to share your questions and concerns with our Technical Support by emailing TechSupport@AbsoluteHCBS.com or utilizing our chat function.