The number of individual suffering from chronic illness in the United States is continuously growing each year. Patients with multiple chronic conditions have notoriously been under served and their outcomes have remained grim. This population had little understanding of the resources available to them and navigating the healthcare system seemed impossible. That is, until recent years. In 2015 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began paying providers to offer Chronic Care Management (CCM) Services to their patients. In an effort to improve their care, grow their understanding of resources, and increase the number of available opportunities for patients with multiple chronic conditions, CMS launched the Chronic Care Management Program.
When this program started, providers started to take on the challenge of offering CCM services to their patients not only to improve the quality of care and life these patients experienced, but improve revenue and the health of their practice. The number of private practices that have started to offer CCM services has grown rapidly since 2015, and it will continue to grow. The question is, how are providers managing this new set of services in their practice without becoming overwhelmed?
The Benefit of Chronic Care Management for The Patient:
1) Engaging Resources
A huge struggle that patients faced as the managed their own chronic care was the lack of awareness in regard to the resources available to them. They would miss out of helpful information and assistance because they were simply unaware of how to access it. With CCM, patients have access to a healthcare assistant who points them in the right direction and refers them to helpful resources. With a developed understanding and utilization of resources, patients can engage their health, head on, like never before, resulting in better outcomes and management of their care.
2) Scheduling & Prescription Assistance
An important service included in Chronic Care Management is the required telephone call the occurs each month. During this phone call, the healthcare assistant can partner with the patient to make sure that they are staying compliant with medications and are aware of any upcoming appointments. Prescription assistance is extremely necessary for patients with multiple chronic conditions because these patients are less likely to stay compliant with their medications. Scheduling assistance is crucial for these patients so that they never miss an important that is vital to their care and quality of life. With these two services, providers see their patient’s outcomes improve and the number of visits completed increase.
Outsourcing Chronic Care Management
While all these services sound wonderful for the patient, and they are even revenue generating for the provider, providers are sometimes still hesitant to jump on board because of the workload it would bring to their practice. Offering a new stream of services involves staffing, training, compliance, documentation, and a different workflow that providers are not accustomed to. This does not have to be the case.
Chronic Care Management is not going anywhere, and it is proven to improve the lives of patients who are chronically ill. For providers to offer these services without getting in over their head, they should consider outsourcing their Chronic Care Management services to a quality vendor. The benefits of outsourcing Chronic Care Management include:
1) Increased Patient Time
When a provider chooses to outsource, they hand over the majority of the responsibility to a third party Chronic Care Management vendor who then performs the critical tasks. They act as the healthcare assistant who calls your CCM patients each month, referring them to resources in their community, confirming their appointments, and giving them the feeling of connectedness that they need from their provider. Providers who try to handle Chronic Care Management in-house end up sacrificing monumental amounts of time to training, documentation, and all the previously mentioned tasks. By outsourcing, providers can focus on what they do best, treating their patients.
2) Precision & Productivity with CCM
By trying to shove too many important tasks into one day, providers start to see a decline in the quality and effectiveness of their work. Choosing to outsource Chronic Care Management means having an expert handle the everyday tasks involved with CCM, ensuring they are completed accurately and efficiently. This keeps your practice secure and compliant with CCM standards and regulations while also keeping the productivity in your practice up and the workflow consistent.
Chronic Care Management is changing the lives of the chronically ill in private practices all over the United States. By partnering with a trusted CCM vendor, providers can not only help their patients in a new and necessary way, but introduce a new stream of revenue and take their practice to the next level.