When Medicare began paying providers who offer Chronic Care Management Services in 2015, providers started searching for how they could get on board. The issue is, providers were not always prepared for the responsibility and workload that would come with choosing to offer CCM. Not only do healthcare professional need these payments, but they also need these services for their patient's health and wellbeing. There is a solution for providers who are hesitant to move forward. Finding the right Chronic Care Management vendor can offer a practice the exact tools they need to successfully deliver CCM. A quality Chronic Care Management vendor will act as an extension of your practice, carrying the burden of the program. This is not the case for all Chronic Care Management vendors. Here are 3 reasons all CCM vendors are not the same.
What should a Chronic Care Management Vendor Look Like?
1) An Extension of the Practice
Due to the fact that offering CCM is extensive and time-consuming, a quality Chronic Care Management vendor should act as an extra arm to your practice. Some vendors claim to handle the bulk of the workload, but leave providers with too much on their plate, sacrificing the quality of the work. The responsibility of carrying out the program should fall directly on the Chronic Care Management vendor and not the provider. The goal of outsourcing is to introduce these services, improve patient health outcomes, and reduce costs. This all needs to be done in a way that ensures the safety of your practice by remaining compliant with CCM standards. A quality vendor will help a practice accomplish this while giving the provider complete peace of mind.
2) Patient Education:
While it would be great if providers could just sign all of their patients up automatically for life-improving CCM services, educated consent is required. Providers know how much work goes into making sure patients understand what they are being offered. Even the noblest of efforts is not always enough to get your patients to understand and desire these services. A quality Chronic Care Management vendor should offer patient education services that not only encourage patients to utilize CCM, but offer patients peace of mind as well. Patients who genuinely understand CCM and what it means to receive services have peace of mind and greater accountability through the process. Believe it or not, not every Chronic Care Management vendor offer patient education. This means the provider would still have to manage the added cost it takes to properly inform their patients. Finding a vendor who offers this as a part of the package saves time, money and resources.
3) Care Coordination
Care coordination is one of the most important aspects of offering CCM services. A Chronic Care Management vendor should have clear procedures set in place for anything that may come up with your patients. Whether they miss a call, complete their visits, ask questions, or need resources, your Chronic Care Management vendor should never put your practice at risk by failing to keep track of and report each step of the process. Should a patient miss their telephone check-up, the vendor should know the next steps to take in order to take care of the patient and secure the practice. When researching Chronic Care Management vendors, make sure they have an answer for any scenario that may prompt itself.
While a quality Chronic Care Management vendor can save a provider money when it comes to the implementation of services, training, patient education, and more, providers have to be careful that their vendor is not charging them too much. The vendor takes a portion of the reimbursement each time it is received. Depending on what a Chronic Care Management vendor is doing for a provider, this percentage changes. Be sure that your vendor is not taking advantage of you by taking too much of your reimbursement. If your practice is still carrying a decent amount of the work, the cost of a CCM vendor should reflect that.
These four factors help a provider to see whether or not a Chronic Care Management vendor is right for their practice. Find a vendor who is willing to work as an extension of your practice, not a separate entity. Make sure they are offering to handle patient education and flawless care coordination that does not put your practice at risk. Lastly, make sure the CCM vendor you decide to go with is not charging you too much for what they offer.
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