Whether or not to provide chronic care services is an internal debate and conflict among many medical providers all over the United States. But why is that?
In January of 2015, Medicare began paying providers for monthly, non-face-to-face chronic care management (CCM) services delivered by a qualified healthcare professional for eligible patients. This new opportunity to receive Medicare reimbursement opened up a new stream of revenue for doctors to take advantage of, but one with many regulations.
With offering CCM services comes a list of responsibilities and regulations that providers have to review and decide upon. Integrating a new stream of services into a practice is intimidating and risky for many providers, yet it does not have to be.
Providers have the ability to eliminate the risk associated with CCM and experience a low-stress and positive addition to their practice by outsourcing chronic care management. Deciding to adopt CCM services by outsourcing is a key way to make sure practices reap the benefits, and avoids the struggles, of a new service.
Why In-House CCM is the Wrong Choice
Just like with any new service or function at a practice, integrating CCM in-house is a tall task. Mentioned before, there is a long list of responsibilities that come with adopting a new service. Between training staff, documentation, compliance, record keeping, and making sure you are providing quality personal care, there is a lot to worry about throughout an already busy day.
Integrating a new system and workflow takes a large amount of time and energy that providers do not have to give. Many providers know already that once you implement a new service, all your attention is focused on the launch of that service, pulling focus from other crucial areas of the practice. Most medical practices simply do not have the resources to handle CCM successfully as they are already either short-staffed or stretched too thin across various services. Choosing to outsource chronic care management allows providers the benefit of adding CCM to their practice with way less stress, as they do not have to worry about staffing, training, creating program materials, and so on.
There are many benefits associated with offering chronic care management services such as increased revenue, higher quality of care, and increased patient satisfaction. There is no question that offering these services will be great for both your patients and your practice. The issues that arise when trying to offer CCM in-house are resolved when choosing to outsource instead. Outsourcing also has a variety of benefits such as:
1) More Affordable
There is a common misunderstanding that providers that outsource chronic care management end up paying more and earning less than providers who handle it in-house. Yet, this is not true. With the increased workload that CCM brings, providers who do not outsource chronic care management end up spending more on things like increased staff, training, and software. They also do not make as much through the payment programs due to increased errors in documentation and billing. Providers who outsource chronic care management remove the risk of common errors and save money on everything listed above. They pay one cost that ensures their CCM is being handled by professionals trained to do one job and nothing more.
2) Saving Time
Providers who outsource chronic care management save a considerable amount of time that other providers lose with in-house CCM. They lose time in educating themselves and their staff, documentation, time with patients, and time they spend on all of the other components that go into running a successful practice. Providers who outsource chronic care management still spend time on adding this new service to their practice, but nowhere near as much then if they were to handle CCM in-house.
3) Accuracy and Efficiency
One of the biggest risk that providers take when taking on a new set of services is making sure they stay as accurate and efficient as possible throughout the transition. It is incredibly important to maintain a functional workflow to make sure a practice stays capable of success. If a practice starts to slip and make mistakes, they will waste resources on correcting mistakes and lose money overall. Providers that outsource chronic care management put that risk in the hands of a third party whose only priority is making sure CCM at your practice is handled accurately and efficiently.
While choosing to outsource chronic care management will help save your practice time and money while maintaining peak accuracy and efficiency, finding the right group or company to outsource this program is equally important. If you are interested in chronic care management services, or want to discuss further, contact us. Our team can walk you through our how Healthwatch, our CCM division, works and how it can benefit your patients and your practice.