President Trump Signs Law Delaying Electronic Visit Verification of Personal Care Attendants

On Monday, President Trump signed a law delaying the start of a Medicaid rule that would require personal care attendants to electronically sign in when they begin their shift assisting a person with a disability.

Electronic visit verification, or EVV, would allow the government and the private technology companies contracted by the government to access location and other identifying information about the personal care attendant and the person with a disability.

Without the delay, the tracking system was set to roll out January 1, 2019, as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The law recently signed by Trump delays the federal mandate to 2020.

Many disability advocacy groups have denounced the tracking system. The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund stated in March that EVV compromises the privacy of people with disabilities and does not maximize personal autonomy and independence.

A tracking system that requires an attendant to check in and out of a disabled person’s residence makes the person with a disability a “prisoner” in their home, Karin Willison, The Mighty’s Disability editor, argued. She added:

Electronic visit verification seems to operate under the assumption that people with disabilities have a very limited existence. There’s no respect for our privacy or awareness that we do the same things as people without disabilities, such as work, shop, travel and have families. EVV steals the autonomy of people with disabilities and our right to live freely. It treats us like children who can’t manage our own lives.

Some states have already implemented a version of EVV. In Ohio, personal care attendants must carry a smartphone device that continuously tracks their location. If the attendant logs in or out of the system more than 1000 feet from the disabled person’s house or other approved location, a government or contracted employee must review the data. If the login isn’t approved, payment for the attendant’s work that day can potentially be denied.

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