Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.

Netsmart announced on Tuesday the acquisition of Tellus, a Florida-based provider of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), mobile care delivery and claims processing technology designed especially for the home health, long-term care, state and human services markets. The acquisition of Tellus demonstrates Netsmart's commitment to an evolving healthcare system, connecting providers, states and payers as well as meeting federal regulatory changes in the post-acute and human services communities.

We spoke with Kevin Scalia, Netsmart's EVP of Corporate Development. He explained that Tellus has EVV contracts with at least 40 state Medicaid programs, some to provide end-user EVV software, and others where they have been chosen as the state's contract aggregator, gathering EVV data from all providers no matter which EVV systems they use. They also work closely with most Managed Care Organizations.

As a Netsmart company, Deerfield Beach, Florida-based Tellus will continue to be managed by its leadership team of Bradley Devine, Chris Pernicano, and Joe Schnur, but their responsibilities will expand. "They are going to build Tellus into a platform that can be used by all providers, regardless of which EMR software they use," Scalia told us. "We are building a tight integration with our own home care and behavioral health systems but we will also facilitate EVV submissions from users of other EMRs."

Where this will be most helpful to the industry, Scalia explained, is when home care providers operate branches in more than one state, and those states have contracted with different EVV vendors and different aggregators. "We will be able to have them submit to us, using the Tellus platform, and we will take care of distributing the data to the appropriate aggregator in each state," he said. "These multi-site operations will not have to keep track of the assortment of rules in each state they serve."

Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine elaborated on this point, "We are thrilled to expand the CareFabric platform with the additional capabilities from the Tellus suite of electronic visit verification solutions. For larger organizations in post-acute and human services providing services across multiple states, our clients will be able to make one connection to our EVV network and deliver the required visit and claims data regardless of the payer or state. The addition of Tellus builds upon our EHR agnostic suite of solutions and services."

Under the 21st Century Cures Act, states are required to use EVV for personal care services by January 1, 2021, and for certified home health care services by January 1, 2023. Many states are making EVV a requirement for human services providers who offer intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and in some cases applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services. Netsmart will have solutions available to meet these requirements.

"We are excited to join the largest community-based technology provider to combine forces and expand the usage of our EVV™ across both the post-acute and human services communities," said Tellus CEO Brad Levine. "Netsmart values the people and technology we are bringing to the team, and we look forward to improving patient care together."

About Tellus
Tellus is a home health care technology provider focused on EVV solutions. The Tellus system has been selected by several states as their EVV aggregation solution and is used by many managed care organizations (MCOs) and thousands of providers. The Tellus EVV solution is a powerful, HIPAA-compliant solution that goes beyond simple CMS compliance. Additionally, Tellus EVV has a variety of features including appointment scheduling, caregiver check in and check out, documentation capabilities, visit alerts, verification delivery time and tasks, billing and claims processing, robust reporting, electronic signature collection and other point of care functions.

About Netsmart
Netsmart designs, builds and delivers electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges (HIEs), population health management, analytics and telehealth solutions and services to care team members in behavioral health, home health, senior living and social services. The company is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

Netsmart is pleased to support the EveryDayMatters® Foundation, which was established for behavioral health, care at home, senior living and social services organizations to learn from each other and share their causes and stories.

©2020 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report. One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only.