Chronic care management (CCM) is proving itself in terms of enhancing the lives of the chronically ill. Over 133 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with two-thirds of older Americans have more than one. CCM has bridged the gap in care for these individuals by delivering to them services that make their care less overwhelming and more manageable. There are many different services that a provider can offer their patients that qualify for CCM services through Medicare. Narrowing down these services to figure out exactly what it is that makes your patient’s life easier is important when figuring out whether to outsource your CCM services. There are services under chronic care management that will not only increase patient satisfaction but increase good outcomes and increase patient engagement.
1) Care Coordination
An overwhelming aspect for patient’s battling chronic illness is the thought of having to juggle all the different pieces that go into coordinating one’s care. To conquer this beast they are battling, they must make sure they are communicating with their doctor, pharmacy, specialists, testing centers, hospitals, and any other services they need for their care. That is enough to make any patient shut down. Therefore, care coordination is so essential for patients who qualify to CCM services because it helps take care of this for the patient. In 2015, Medicare started paying providers for CCM services given to Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions, motivating providers to take the next step in helping these patients. While care coordination is more of the umbrella that covers CCM services, it is essential for providers to understand how important it is to the patients looking for help with their care management.
2) Scheduling Assistance
With many different appointments and providers to keep track of, it is standard that patients who qualify for CCM services have trouble retaining their schedules. One of the CCM services that helps patients stay on top of their timeline is scheduling assistance. Patients receive reminders through email, text, or phone call about upcoming appointments as well as reminders and help for scheduling future appointments. Scheduling appointments that follow their care plan help the patients to stay on top of any issues that need to be addressed and any red flags that come up.
3) Phone Check-ins
Providers understand that the majority of care takes place when the patient leaves the office or when the visit ends. This is why one of the most important CCM services is the phone check-in that happens between in-office visits. During this phone call, the representative can make sure the patient is taking all of their medication according to their care plan and that there are no discrepancies. The patient can as questions that they might not have thought to ask their provider. If a patient is experiencing symptoms that they are not addressing, those can be brought up and addressed at this time. This phone call has the potential to save lives by ensuring that patients are following the plan that their provider carefully formed for them.
4) Prescriptions Assistance
Having a chronic condition can be expensive and overwhelming for patients especially when they have more than one condition, requiring them to keep track of a long list of prescriptions. The CCM service that helps patients manage the sometimes-overwhelming tasks associated with chronic care is prescription assistance. Taking multiple prescriptions can be hard to keep track of sometimes. Through the different CCM services, patients have check-points to make sure they are only taking the medications they need to be taking. Care coordination makes sure that there are no discrepancies between providers and a patient is not over-medicating. The monthly phone check-in makes sure the patient knows what they need to be taking. Prescription assistance also means offering patients discounts and coupons when possible or telling patients where to more affordable buy prescriptions.
All of these CCM services work collaboratively to ensure the patient is receiving the best care possible in their journey to manage their chronic condition(s). Contact our team to learn more about CCM services and how they relate to your practice.