‘We don’t deserve this’: new app places US caregivers under digital surveillance

By Virginia Eubanks and Alexandra Mateescu: For Entire Post, Click Here…

ngd- Even the Brits think EVV is a bad idea…

Electronic visit verification systems make home care more difficult, trap people with disabilities, and cost more than paper time sheets. So why are they rolling out across the country?

For years, LeDanté Walker set aside what little extra cash he could find so no matter the issue with his health insurance coverage, his caregiver was always taken care of.

Walker, who sustained a spinal cord injury when he was ejected from the back seat of a car in a 1997 accident, relies on a home care worker for many day-to-day functions, from moving from his bed to his wheelchair every morning, to helping him shower, get dressed, go to the bathroom and prepare meals.

But earlier this year, Walker abruptly had to dip deeper into his rainy day fund than ever before, after his caregiver’s paychecks fell $900 short of what she was owed. Walker offered her every spare dime he had saved, preferring to pay out-of-pocket to maintain the freedom and stability his worker provided than see her left in a financial lurch.

“I want to be independent,” he says. “That’s my right.”

The missing wages were caused by flaws in a new digital tool called electronic visit verification (EVV), an app downloaded to a home care worker’s smartphone that tracks their daily work output, physical location and hours.

Tech companies and lawmakers promise that EVV will increase efficiency and accountability in home care and will reduce fraud, waste and abuse in government-funded programs. But the tool has been a catastrophe for many in Arkansas, like Walker, and thousands of others across the nation. Advocacy groups and people with disabilities warned from the start that EVV systems would erode clients’ autonomy, make home care more difficult and threaten the progress of the disability rights and independent living movements.

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