Have you started a Chronic Care Management (CCM) program at your medical practice, but failed to see much return on the investments you have made? Are you considering a new program, but you’re worried that it will be too time consuming and expensive?
If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, here’s the good news: You can take intentional, strategic steps to make your program profitable and to promote higher rates of participation.
The first of these steps is to educate and enroll eligible patients in the program. To have the greatest impact on the largest number of patients, you need an enrollment plan that includes these steps:
- Identify eligible patients using your EMR
- Educate them about the benefits of chronic care
- Outreach campaigns
- Branded literature
- Educational posters
- Actively enroll patients
- Review the program during office visits
- Contact every eligible patient and invite them to participate
- Discuss benefits and let them know what to expect
Unfortunately, many practices don’t include all of these steps, and some don’t have any kind of formal enrollment program at all.
That creates a huge roadblock to the success of your program. Here’s why.
What Happens When You Don’t Have a Formal Enrollment Program?
A formal enrollment program gives you a target to aim for both in terms of patient participation and practice outcomes. If some of the pieces are missing, you won’t have the tools you need to hit the target. And that will create hurdles for your patients and for the success of your CCM program from a business perspective.
Lack of a formal enrollment program can hurt your CCM program in several ways:
- Patients don’t know about the program – One goal of your enrollment program is to promote awareness among patients. Using branded brochures and an office poster, you can keep eligible patients informed.
- Patients don’t see the value of the program – Your enrollment program should also educate patients about how Chronic Care Management benefits them. For example, CCM improves long-term health outcomes and may reduce the likelihood of hospitalization. It can also reduce the number of in-office appointments they need to make. As you proactively communicate how and why CCM helps your patients, they will be more likely to participate.
- Patients don’t understand the program – Finally, patients need to know what the program involves, including how frequently they can expect to hear from a care coordinator and how they will be billed. They will be unlikely to enroll if they do not have a good grasp on the details.
- Enrollment may be hit or miss. Enrollment programs codify the procedures for presenting your CCM program to patients and inviting them to enroll. If you don’t have these procedures in place, it will be difficult to document whether or not a patient has been made aware of the opportunity and you may end up relying on word of mouth to educate patients.
- You can’t implement your CCM program at scale. A formal enrollment program allows you to grow your program so that it reaches every eligible patient. Without following a standard enrollment procedure, you will encounter lack of awareness and low participation.
- The program won’t be profitable. To create a profitable CCM program, you need high rates of participation. The more patients you have enrolled, the greater opportunity you have for reimbursement under CPT code 99490. This seems like a no-brainer, but the truth is that failing to educate and recruit patients for your program has a direct impact on profitability.
The ultimate goal of CCM is to support your patients, encourage care plan compliance and improve health outcomes. By implementing a strategic education and enrollment process for your CCM program, you can encourage more of your patients to participate so they can enjoy better overall health. And that’s profitable for your practice, too.
If you’re struggling to enroll patients in your CCM program, consider partnering with HealthXL. Our Accelerated Enrollment Program guarantees strong enrollment numbers through a patient calling campaign and practice-branded marketing. Best of all, we take care of all the details from enrollment, monthly calls, and billing documentation, letting you focus on your patients. Get in touch with us to see how your CCM program can take off.