While treating a patient’s current ailment is one approach to healthcare, there is now a significant push to create preventative programs and value-based care alongside it. The number of patients needing additional support and care is ever-increasing in the US. There is a mammoth task of navigating through the huge number of programs and practices available for clinicians and health organizations to decide which are actually worth the time and investment.
One of the major programs to implement is chronic care management (CCM), which was first introduced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in 2015. The program takes the preventative and value-based approach to help the aging population with chronic conditions.
If you’re a clinician, GP, or work for a healthcare organization, we’re sharing a few benefits of implementing a CCM program for your patients.
Patients have easier access to care
A CCM program ensures patients have access to care, even when they don’t deem it necessary. While we all grow up only visiting the doctors when we’re sick or injured, a chronic care management program focuses more on preventative care. The care team will take time each month to dedicated 20 minutes to each patient. This time will include phone conversations, electronic check-ins, or working with patients to create self-management care plans. All of this works to keep the patient happy and healthy and prevent their chronic condition from worsening.
As well as this dedicated time with a clinician, CCM program users have access to care and support 24/7 through a nurse hotline – meaning it’s much easier for the most vulnerable patients to access help whenever it’s needed. This additional support has been proven to reduce the number of emergency room visits or hospitalizations – meaning much less pressure on emergency services.
Reduced healthcare costs for patients
Those eligible for chronic care management have been found to have reduced annual healthcare costs. Although most patients will be required to pay a small monthly coinsurance fee (alongside their Medicare), patients tend to stay healthier for longer with much fewer hospital visits. Non-urgent issues can be dealt with over the phone on the 24/7 nurse line, meaning patients no longer have to pay to visit the emergency room.
What’s more, during the 20 minutes dedicated to each patient, care teams can spend the time looking for less-expensive medication options – overall reducing the amount spent on prescriptions.
Care plans allow patients to manage their own conditions
Part of the management program involves teaching patients’ self-management, or equipping them with the tools they need to care for their own conditions in between wellness visits or other healthcare appointments.
The team addresses each chronic condition so that the patient and clinician can work together to create goals and an appropriate care plan. The care plan encompasses everything from medical history, healthcare providers, medications, and self-care tools. It is accessible by both providers and patients whenever is needed.
There are a huge number of benefits to incorporating a chronic care management program into your service. Dedicating specific time to help patients and prevent ailments from worsening gives the practice more time to focus on other patients while also improving the quality of care given across the board.