The Importance of Chronic Care Management

Chronic care management continues to be a hot topic throughout the field of healthcare as more and more providers across the nation are implementing it into their practices. An important tool for patients everywhere, CCM is forever changing the quality of care delivered to patients who are trying to manage their chronic illness.

Chronic care management is defined as non-face-to-face visits provided to Medicare beneficiaries who have multiple (two or more) significant chronic conditions. This is a much larger population than one might initially think. According to CMS, it is estimated that half of the American population manages at least one chronic condition and an estimated one in four people have two or more. This is why it is so important that providers understand the importance and benefits associated with offering chronic care management at their practice.

CCM services include communication with the patient or other treating providers for care coordination, management of prescriptions and resources for patients, and increased access to care for chronically ill patients outside of normal practice hours. Why is chronic care management so important and what are the benefits of offering CCM services in your practice?

Importance of Chronic Care Management

Effective since 2015, CMS created a reimbursement program that allows providers to get paid for offering CCM services. This program has given providers the infrastructure they need to be able to effectively offer chronic care management services to patients in a way that lowers the cost of health care for chronically ill patients. Through care coordination, medication organization, remote monitoring, resource management, and many other services offered through chronic care management, chronically ill patients have quality care that was previously hard to access. Chronic care management helps make health care more accessible for patients as well as offer better care for them.

Benefits of Chronic Care Management

1)    Care Coordination

A problem that chronically ill patients often run into is that lack of organization with their care. These patients often have to see multiple providers regarding several different issues surrounding their personal health. Chronic care management offers a solution for patients by making sure they have a care team in place that is organized and prepared to offer them the best possible care. All of the members on their care team are communicating with one another to make sure the patient’s medications are in order, they are finding the best resources for this patient, and that there are no discrepancies in their care that could harm the patient overall. Care coordination not only benefits the patient by offering them organized care, it benefits the provider. The provider now has a complete picture of the patient’s health, offering them a better quality of care and increasing good outcomes at their practice.

2)    New Stream of Revenue

One of the most alluring benefits of offering chronic care management is the new stream of revenue it brings to a practice. In more ways than one, CCM deepens the pockets of healthcare providers. The reimbursements/payments that providers receive for offering CCM services is the most obvious way. The second being that there is most likely already a population of individuals at your practice who qualify for these services and are either unaware or do not wish to leave your practice to utilize these services from a different provider. The third way the CCM increases revenue as a practice is by bringing in more patients. A provider can guarantee this increase in revenue by outsourcing their chronic care management team that works to perfect these services.

3)    Quality of Life

Chronic care management is one of the best ways to ensure that patients who are battling chronic conditions have a better quality of life. Studies show that CCM services decrease depression, increase social activity, and promote patient engagement for these individuals. Patients feel that they have personal advocates for their health and hope for their condition. They become aware of resources in their community and environment to help them stay plugged into their community and receive extra help. Lastly, they feel encouraged to stay involved in their personal care and come to their providers with questions and concerns. CCM makes sure that patients questions are being answered, medication contradictions are being corrected, and that patients have a community of people who want them to succeed.

Chronic care management is significant to patients who need it and functions as an important role in any practice. If you’re interested in adding CCM services to your practice, check out HealthWatch, a chronic care management division of iSalus Healthcare.