If you’re like many primary care physicians, you know that your patients with chronic conditions need all the support and education they can get to stay healthy at home. You may have even considered taking advantage of Medicare’s Chronic Care Management program (CCM).
The problem, if you’re like many medical practices, is that you don’t have the resources to make the program worthwhile. You may not have the technology in place to launch an enrollment program, track the data or submit the reports. Or maybe your current staff members simply don’t have time to manage the program.
That’s where outsourcing your program to a CCM partner can help. When you outsource, you receive the benefits of a profitable CCM program without the burden of responsibility for managing daily requirements and filing documentation.
Choosing Your CCM Partner
To get those benefits, however, you need a partner you can trust to manage the program effectively while also ensuring quality interactions with your patients.
Here’s what to look for as you compare providers:
- A Focus on Proactive Patient Care – Patient care should be the number one priority of any CCM program. When handled well, CCM can improve patient outcomes by encouraging patients to follow their care plans, answering questions, and checking in regularly. Look for a provider who prioritizes compassionate care and who acts as an extension of your care team. It’s also important to verify that providers meet minimum requirements for qualified care providers.
- Enrollment Assistance – Low enrollment is a common reason that healthcare providers don’t implement CCM programs. If patients don’t understand the value of the program or they are not aware of it, you will struggle with enrollment. Your CCM partner should have a proven strategy for educating patients about the program and encouraging them to participate. This strategy may include educational materials, posters, and phone calls to show patients how CCM helps them.
- Strong Communication Protocols – Your CCM provider’s communication protocols should align with your current processes and systems so that your patients receive the highest quality care. If your practice already places an emphasis on proactive communication, you provider should work within those guidelines to regularly connect with patients about their care. Additional areas to consider include:
- Patient engagement technology – Patient engagement technology can do much more than send appointment reminders. It can also provide patients with tips on managing their illness, send follow-up messages after an appointment, and facilitate patient questions. As you research, ask CCM providers how they use technology to support patients and stay connected.
- Disease-specific information – Patients need specific information if they are going to make effective lifestyle changes to manage an illness. Phone calls and messages should move beyond general information to specifically target each patient’s current situation.
- Scheduling messages – Communication systems can remind patients when it’s time to make an appointment, schedule phone calls based on patient feedback, and facilitate ongoing support. Talk to your CCM provider about how these activities can be integrated into their patient care protocols.
- Ease of Implementation The provider should have a standard, concise strategy for implementing the CCM reimbursement program at your practice. This strategy should include:
- Setting up the program and any associated technology
- Identifying eligible patients
- Educating patients and encouraging them to enroll
- Launching the program
- Delivering quality service
- Managing documentation and billing
How to Take the Next Step
If you are ready to partner with a CCM provider for your practice, the next step is to learn about the specific standards and procedures of each provider you want to consider.
At HealthXL, we place the highest priority on supporting quality patient care, deepening relationships with patients, facilitating communication, and building a profitable, sustainable program for your practice.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can partner with your team to provide proactive care and end-to-end support for your CCM program.