What is Chronic Care Management?

As baby boomers grow older, the United States is naturally becoming home to more and more folks over 65. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40.3 million U.S. citizens were at least 65 years old in 2010. By July 1, 2019, that number had ballooned to 54 million. Helping this growing population live enjoyable lives requires a comprehensive approach to healthcare called chronic care management (CCM), and your telehealth solution will keep you in touch with those patients. 

While the longevity and resilience of this older generation are impressive, growing older in years comes with challenges. For example, a recent report from The Value Initiative highlights that 80 percent of adults 65 and over have one chronic condition, and 77 percent of them have two. Further, it’s expected that 75 percent of these individuals will require long-term care while 40 percent will end up in a skilled nursing facility.

What Is Chronic Care Management?

Chronic care management allows you to provide healthcare services to patients experiencing long-lasting ailments — like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure.

At a very high level, CCM services are designed to help patients enjoy the best quality of life by offering medical intervention on a more frequent basis. 

While your patients who have chronic illnesses might have a hard time resolving them all together, they can improve their quality of health by interacting with you more often, sticking to your prescribed regimen, and following treatment plans – in the office and virtually.

What Are the Challenges of CCM?

While effective CCM can play a pivotal role in improving healthcare outcomes, it is not without its challenges.

For example, one recent report found that while nearly 1.7 million patients were eligible for chronic care management services, less than 11,000 individuals made a CCM claim — accounting for just 0.65 percent of the eligible population.

Many providers who are stretched thin may have a hard time facilitating a CCM program due to a lack of staff resources. It can be difficult, for example, to find people to manage a chronic care management program, coordinate teams, deal with scheduling and patient interactions, and process Medicare payments.

To overcome these challenges at their practices, more and more providers embrace technology and turn to telehealth solutions to optimize CCM programs.

The Benefits of Telehealth for Chronic Care Management

Providers are increasingly choosing telehealth for chronic care management because it enables them to improve patient outcomes while unlocking additional revenue streams — Medicare compensates physicians for chronic care management services. 

When you offer telehealth appointments, you can improve the patient experience because you will interact with your patients where they live and work and vacation. One recent report found that 94 to 99 percent of patients were “very satisfied” with their telehealth visits. Using technology is not the challenge once anticipated for this demographic. They know how to use their devices. 

In general, quarterly healthcare visits are not frequent enough for healthcare practitioners to truly understand what a patient with a chronic condition is experiencing. Adopting telehealth makes it much easier for patients to check in with their providers more often, which helps improve their quality of life.

Why You Need a Telehealth Provider to Optimize Your CCM Program

At this point, you probably think that telehealth for chronic care management is a no-brainer. But you might be wondering exactly how you can successfully implement a whole new program. After all, your staff is busy enough, and you might not have enough time to dedicate to training everyone and administering a new telehealth program.

Good news: By outsourcing CCM services to a qualified partner, your practice can tap into all of the benefits of telehealth for chronic care management without any of the heavy lifting. 

With the right partner in place, you can confidently move to other tasks knowing that a team of professionals is ready to help you identify patients who qualify for CCM, educate those individuals about the benefits of CCM and get their consent, and administer the program, including patient check-ins, CCM notes to review, billing, and more.

It’s the easiest way to deliver the best experiences possible to your patients without putting any stress on your staff and bolstering your bottom line.

Ready to continue learning about chronic care management? Read more about the benefits of software and services for managing and outsourcing chronic care management.