Chronic Care Management (CCM) services have been infiltrating the field of medicine ever since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched their payment program in January of 2015. Medicare began paying providers for offering CCM services to patients who qualify for the program, and while the program is still relatively new, it’s done wonders for patients battling two or more chronic illnesses by improving their quality of care and quality of life.
While this program had a slow start, providers are finally understanding the significant benefits of providing CCM services to their patients. The only hang up that providers are running into is that offering these services can be time-consuming with an upfront investment. In an effort to remove the stress of starting up a new CCM program many providers have begun outsourcing these services. Outsourcing chronic care management services not only allows providers to offer extended care to chronically ill patients but also saves them the time and money of investing in new staff, new technology, and new procedures. However, despite the time and money, there are other little-known features of outsourced CCM that providers also benefit from.
1) Scheduling Assistance
Something that is often a struggle for patients battling chronic illness is keeping up with appointments and scheduling new ones. CCM services help clinicians partner with their patients to make sure they get the help they need to schedule new appointments so that they are checked up on, regularly. Calls are made to each patient to ask them if they need any help at all scheduling their next appointment or to remind them of upcoming ones. This is one benefit of CCM services that should not be taken for granted. Part of what increases the quality of care these patients are receiving is the fact that they are being checked on regularly. They are more likely to discuss issues and concerns with their providers, and catch red flags, improving their outcomes and quality of life.
2) Prescription assistance
Another common issue that arises with chronically ill patients is prescription compliance. It is hard to know if your patients are staying meticulous about their medication. Not only do the clinicians make sure the patients are being compliant through this CCM service, but they help them with refills and even get discounts whenever they can. During their monthly call, patients are asked what medications they are currently taking, if they are on new ones, or if they have stopped taking any. This CCM service helps to clear up any discrepancy the patient may have regarding their medication. It helps to make sure they are taking everything they should be taking in case there was a misunderstanding. It also helps to make sure they are taking the correct dosage for each medication. In some cases, clearing up this information can make a world of difference in a patient’s life.
3) Community Assistance
Another extra benefit of CCM services is the patient becomes educated about different types of assistance offered to them by their community. Many communities have programs that patients simply do not know about. CCM clinicians can research the area and find patients additional help and assistance where available. During their monthly telephone visit, patients can begin to learn about these community services and receive a different kind of care that they would not have received had they not been involved in CCM services. Not only this, but it keeps the patient plugged into their community, giving them something else to focus on other than taking care of themselves and their chronic illness.
Offering CCM services helps patients keep up with their scheduled appointments as well as schedule new ones, monitor their various prescriptions, and receive extra help from their community when possible. If you would like to learn more about CCM Services and how they can benefit your patients, click HERE to learn more about iSalus’ CCM program, HealthWatch.