Archive for the ‘Chronic Care Management’ Category

Infographic: The Path to Better Health

August 23rd, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Consumers and providers alike say they need a health system that’s local, more digital and focused on achieving better outcomes for chronic conditions, according to a new infographic by CVS Health.

The infographic examines how chronic health conditions are motivating consumers to set health goals.

Three Pillars of Health Coaching: Patient Activation, Motivational Interviewing and Positive Psychology provides the fundamentals of three essential tools that health coaches can use to measure and monitor activation levels, elicit behavior change, move clients along the path to self-management and have a positive impact on health outcomes and utilization.

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Infographic: PACE by the Numbers

July 5th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

PACE® (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is growing both in terms of service area and enrollment, according to a new infographic by the National PACE Association.

The infographic examines PACE enrollment growth, demographics for participants, the top five chronic conditions among participants and program results.

Medicare Chronic Care Management Billing: Evidence-Based Workflows to Maximize CCM RevenueSince the January 2015 rollout by CMS of new chronic care management (CCM) codes, many physician practices have been slow to engage in CCM.

Arcturus Healthcare, however, rapidly grasped the potential of CCM to improve patient outcomes while generating care coordination revenue, estimating it could earn up to $100,000 monthly for qualified patients treated in its four physician practices—or $1 million a year.

Medicare Chronic Care Management Billing: Evidence-Based Workflows to Maximize CCM Revenue traces the incorporation of CCM into Arcturus Healthcare’s existing care management efforts for high-risk patients, as well as the bonus that resulted from CCM code adoption: increased engagement and improved relationships with CCM patients.

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Infographic: Top 5 Chronic Health Conditions Impacting Population Health

June 17th, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

Inpatient stays, though sometimes necessary, can be physically and mentally challenging for patients and are expensive for both those seeking treatment and providing care. This can be especially true for patients with chronic conditions that require consistent management and care coordination, oftentimes between multiple facilities and physicians, according to a new infographic by Definitive Healthcare.

The infographic examines the five most common chronic health conditions in the United States as well as their associated costs and comorbidities.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Population Health ManagementAs the healthcare industry’s pace from volume-based to value-based healthcare payment models accelerates so does the demand for more effective management of population health. With the growth of these payment models, healthcare organizations are taking on more risk in terms of shared savings and shared risk arrangements and are investing heavily in programs to support population health. These programs are expanding in both scope of services and health conditions and disease states managed. With the help of advanced technologies in healthcare, this growth will only continue.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Population Health Management is the fourth comprehensive analysis of population health management by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, capturing key metrics such as populations, health conditions and health risk levels targeted by population health management programs; risk stratification criteria; prevalence of value-based payment models supporting population health management programs; population health management processes, tools, workflows and forms; and program outcomes and ROI from responding healthcare organizations. Click here for more information.

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Guest Post: Cracking the Care Management Code: How Providers Can Get Paid for Remote Services

February 21st, 2019 by Melanie Matthews

With a successful remote care management model in place, healthcare organizations can increase annual revenues by about $500 per patient.

Healthcare organizations and physician practices are stepping up efforts to reduce avoidable healthcare utilization and ensure patients receive care in lower-cost settings when appropriate.

As part of these efforts, many providers are considering remote care services, such as e-visits, remote health monitoring, secure messaging, and regular check-in calls with patients. These remote interactions can increase patient adherence to treatment plans and lead to faster interventions when problems arise.

While payers have been slow to reimburse for remote care services (despite the clinical benefits), providers today can take advantage of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimbursement for Chronic Care Management (CCM) services to improve care management for many of their Medicare patients.

To qualify for CCM reimbursement, practitioners must spend at least 20 minutes of non-face-to-face clinical staff time per month on care coordination for CCM patients. To be included in a CCM program, patients must have two or more chronic conditions expected to last at least one year or until death, and those conditions must place patients at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation, or functional decline.

Payments for CCM services, which can be provided by physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and their clinical staffs, can range from approximately $43 to $141, depending on how complex a patient’s needs are, according to CMS.

When a successful remote care management model is put in place, healthcare organizations can increase annual revenues by about $500 per patient, which translates to $50,000 per year for an organization with 1,000 CCM patients.

Getting Involved

Recent data show that many providers have yet to take advantage of CCM. In fact, as of 2016, the program had touched only 684,000 Medicare patients, according to a 2017 CCM report. That’s less than 2 percent of all Medicare recipients.

One reason is that providers face many barriers when attempting to implement remote care programs. Technology, of course, is one hurdle, but CCM services also take clinical and administrative staff time and resources (such as time spent billing for CCM services and ensuring compliance).

This is why many organizations are turning to outside partners that specialize in remote care management to deliver CCM. These partners can enroll patients into the CCM program (a step that is much harder than most practices anticipate), deliver remote services each month, ensure compliance, and bill for services.

The Wright Center, a safety-net primary care provider in northeastern Pennsylvania, is one provider that sought outside help to achieve its CCM goals. The result of its partnership with a remote services provider included net new revenue within 14 days of partnering with the company, an additional $536 per enrolled patient per year, a 73 percent patient retention rate after two years, lower hospital admission rates, and higher patient satisfaction scores.

Four Key Attributes

Because many providers have found delivering remote services challenging, it’s important to select a partner that has the right model and proven success improving patient engagement and outcomes. Key capabilities to look for in a partner include:

  1. Being staffed with nurses or other clinicians who become a trusted and integral part of the healthcare organization’s team. These clinical staff members should have a strong record of establishing productive relationships with providers in the healthcare organization and with patients remotely.
  2. Working seamlessly with the EHR and population health tools already in place at the healthcare organization. The partnership should not result in an additional burden on IT staff members at the healthcare organization.
  3. Providing a customized program to suit the healthcare organization’s specific needs, goals, and workflows. An organization’s CCM needs will vary depending on the patient population, in-house resources, and technology already in place. The partner should be able to tailor its services accordingly.
  4. Proactively addressing social determinants of health and barriers to care. For example, it should be able to share results that showcase its ability to engage a senior population and address their unique needs.

As value-based reimbursement gains traction, healthcare organizations that don’t start exploring remote healthcare services will fall behind. It’s time to get involved, and CCM is a great way to start.

Drew Kearney

Drew Kearney

About the Author: Drew Kearney has been a healthcare leader since 2010, with expertise in post-ACA market opportunities and experience leading expansion initiatives in multiple markets. In 2015, he co-founded Signallamp Health, a company that offers a unique solution operationalizing population health.

Infographic: Manage Chronic Disease with the EFST Model for Cultural Competence

November 19th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The challenges of serious illness are compounded when there are cross-cultural issues at play, according to a new infographic by Quality Interactions.

The infographic examines the essential questions to ask patients to foster culturally-sensitive healthcare that improves patient adherence and health outcomes.

In the sphere of value-based healthcare, chronic care management (CCM) is a critical component of primary care and population health management. Targeting the Triple Aim goals of better health and care for individuals while reducing spending, CCM is viewed as a stepping-stone to success under Medicare’s Quality Payment Program that launched January 1, 2017.

2017 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care captures tools, practices and lessons learned by the healthcare industry related to the management of chronic disease.

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Infographic: Medicare Enrollees with Multiple Chronic Conditions

September 19th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

A small fraction of
Medicare enrollees with multiple chronic conditions drive a majority of Medicare spending. Moreover, these enrollees also drive an even greater percentage of hospital readmissions within 30 days of initial discharge—a metric targeted by policymakers as a symptom of wasteful spending, according to a new infographic by the California Health Care Foundation.

The infographic examines the share of Medicare activity by enrollees with multiple chronic conditions as well as the most common chronic conditions among Medicare enrollees.

In the sphere of value-based healthcare, chronic care management (CCM) is a critical component of primary care and population health management. Targeting the Triple Aim goals of better health and care for individuals while reducing spending, CCM is viewed as a stepping-stone to success under Medicare’s Quality Payment Program that launched January 1, 2017.

2017 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care captures tools, practices and lessons learned by the healthcare industry related to the management of chronic disease.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you’d like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Guest Post: The Provider’s Responsibility for Building Patient Relationships

July 31st, 2018 by Dr. Delanor Doyle

A foundational element of healthcare is the relationship between a patient and their PCP.

One of the foundational elements of healthcare is, or at least should be, the relationship between a patient and their primary care physician (PCP). And yet, it seems many Americans are not fully utilizing their PCP and instead are turning to emergency rooms or urgent care clinics for non-urgent conditions and illnesses. In fact, only 9 percent of emergency department visits result in a hospital admission. This means it is likely that many of these cases could have been avoided by seeking the care of a PCP.

Emergency department visits not only result in hefty costs to the patient and their employer, but also create wastes of time and resources in the healthcare system. The impact in terms of costs, for the patients can have many down-stream consequences. In fact, a recent report by the U.S. Federal Reserve found that four out of 10 adults in the United States could not cover an unexpected $400 expense. In some cases, this amount can easily be reached for a single emergency room visit between out-of-pocket costs for the visit, medications and laboratory services —especially when dealing with out-of-network issues. Providers should work to keep patients out of emergency rooms and urgent care facilities and to emphasize the importance and purpose of the PCP in the patient’s healthcare journey.

Until the 1940s, about 40 percent of all physician visits were house calls and while today patients don’t have this same expectation, providers should treat patients with that same level of personalized, individual care that builds a strong relationship. Providers can consider implementing the following best practices with their patients:

Every Discharge Deserves a Follow-Up

In many cases the PCP is not the provider who admitted or cared for the patient while in the hospital. However, it is imperative that the PCP insist on receiving information about the patient’s admission, so that he or she can be a part of the discharge plan. The patient should be seen back in the practice within three to five days after discharge —even if they were seen just prior to going into the hospital. In fact, this should be scheduled for the patient prior to hospital discharge. Timely follow-up appointments have been associated with a decreased risk of readmission. A converse association also exists. A study published in Clinical Interventions of Aging found only half of patients discharged following heart failure had a follow-up appointment scheduled and the readmission rate was significantly higher in those that had no follow-up scheduled.

Follow-up appointments allow for the provider to engage or re-engage the patient and ensures the patient is aware of any care transition recommendations. Concerns regarding disease process, expectations and convalescence should be addressed at this time. Working to schedule all patients for timely follow-up post discharge eliminates the risk of the patient forgetting to schedule the appointments themselves. Many patients report a higher sense of satisfaction with the communication between themselves and their provider and with their overall care.

Encourage Virtual Care Options

For after-hours needs, do your patients know there are virtual care options they can use in lieu of going to the emergency room or urgent care clinics for non-urgent concerns? Many patients are simply unaware of these services or aren’t sure how to use them so they don’t consider it as an option. According to the National Business Group on Health, only 8 percent of employees utilize telemedicine services, yet the cost of healthcare benefits is expected to increase an average of 5 percent due in part to pharmaceutical costs but also to site of service issues as well. Spend a few minutes during the visit to educate patients on the services available as well as when to use them.

Promote Health Plan Resources

Unfortunately, many patients are also not familiar with the services or programs offered by their health plans. These materials are good resources for preventative care measures and offer proactive suggestions for patients. For example, their insurance provider might offer diabetes educational materials and resources. Most health plans have programs for diabetes and other chronic conditions. If members are encouraged to access the materials available online, telephonically and in print they might be more likely to seek out that information and if contacted by the health plan they will be much more likely to engage. It is important that patients begin to get a sense that the health plan and the providers are collaborating for the patient’s benefit.

We are still in a fee-for-service world but moving toward fee-for-value. This is being driven by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and all the major health plans. To be successful in this new world, improved patient outcomes should be a major focus for providers. Strategies that engage the patient and simplify the healthcare experience when and where it is needed most are going to be produce the winners in this new era. The literature is replete with strategies that can produce population health success, but few are shown to be consistently correlated to economic success combined with improved patient satisfaction and outcomes. The exceptions have been those that employ heavy care coordination in a face-to-face venue and that address the social determinants of disease.

Fully leveraging these strategies is going to require the development of trust between the patient and provider so that patients know we are not just treating a disease but caring for the whole person. When that level of trust is reached it becomes easier to influence utilization of the PCP practice and other more appropriate levels of care instead of the ED. Similarly, it becomes easier to impact the readmission rate in one’s own panel of patients.

About the Author:

Dr. Delanor Doyle

Dr. Delanor Doyle

Dr. Delanor Doyle is the chief medical officer of Texas Health Aetna. Leveraging the strengths of two leading organizations, Texas Health Aetna is blurring the lines of traditional health care plans and health systems to create a truly integrated solution that’s simple to navigate and puts the member’s experience first. The local health plan is committed to providing affordable, high-quality health care services and delivering customized care to members throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. For more information about Texas Health Aetna, visit www.texashealthaetna.com.

Infographic: Chronic Care Management Results

March 26th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The Chronic Care Management program through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has produced significant positive changes during its first two years, according to a recent report by CMS researchers, Evaluation of the Diffusion and Impact of Chronic Care Management (CCM) Services: Final Report.

A new infographic by CareSync highlights the results of the CMS report, including benefits to healthcare providers, payers, and patients.

In the sphere of value-based healthcare, chronic care management (CCM) is a critical component of primary care and population health management. Targeting the Triple Aim goals of better health and care for individuals while reducing spending, CCM is viewed as a stepping-stone to success under Medicare’s Quality Payment Program that launched January 1, 2017.

2017 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care captures tools, practices and lessons learned by the healthcare industry related to the management of chronic disease.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you’d like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Essentia Health Virtual Telemedicine Services Support Rural Hospitals and Clinics

March 13th, 2018 by Patricia Donovan

Essentia Health conducts 5,000 virtual visits annually.

There may be some challenges associated with Essentia Health’s comprehensive telemedicine program, but provider engagement isn’t one of them.

“In the seven years I have been with Essentia Health, I have not gone to any provider to ask them to do telehealth,” notes Maureen Ideker, RN, BSN, MBA, the organization’s senior advisor for telehealth. Instead, physicians seek out Ms. Ideker, asking to be connected to any of Essentia Health’s six hospital-based and more than 20 clinic-based telehealth services.

Such robust telemedicine adoption among Essentia Health’s more than 800 physicians may be one reason why the organization averages 5,000 virtual visits annually, and why it has another 10 to 20 new telehealth offerings in development, according to Ms. Ideker’s presentation during Telemedicine Across the Care Continuum: Boosting Health Clinic Revenue and Closing Care Gaps.

The largely rural footprint of Essentia Health, which touches the three states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, is ideally suited to telehealth implementation. During this March 2018 webinar, which is now available for rebroadcast, Ms. Ideker outlined her organization’s telehealth program models, history of program development, and equipment and staffing requirements. She also shared key program outcomes, such as the impact of remote patient monitoring on hospital readmissions and clinic ROI from telehealth.

For example, the 30-day readmission rate for Essentia Health patients with heart failure remotely monitored at home is 2 percent, versus its non-monitored heart failure patients (9 percent) and the national 30-day readmissions average of 24 percent.

Essentia Health’s hospital-based telemedicine began with an emergency room platform, which includes pediatric ER and pharmacy and toxicology and a soon-to-be-added behavioral health component. Today, hospitalist and stroke care are the largest of Essentia Health’s hospital-based telemedicine programs, explained Ms. Ideker. These virtual services support Essentia Health’s rural hospitals in five key ways, including the avoidance of unnecessary patient transfers.

On the outpatient side, the 20-something tele-clinic based services developed by Essentia Health over the last seven years run the gamut from allergy and infant audiology to urology and vascular conditions, she explained. Her organization’s telemedicine approach to opioid tapering is catching on across Minnesota, she added.

And while it is appreciative of its providers’ enthusiasm, Essentia Health approaches telehealth development with precision, consulting data analytics such as metrics on annual health screenings to create target groups for new services. The launching of a new telemedicine service can take up to twelve weeks, using a 75-item checklist and an implementation retreat and walk-through, Ms. Ideker explained.

In closing, Ms. Ideker shared several innovation stories from its portfolio of telehealth offerings, including Code Weather, employed during hazardous weather for patient safety reasons and to reduce cancellations of appointments, and a gastroenterology initiative designed to reduce no-show rates.

Listen to Maureen Ideker explain how Essentia Health pairs remote patients with hospital- and clinic-based telehealth services.

Population Health Tactics to Boost an ACO’s Medicare Annual Wellness Visit Rates

February 9th, 2018 by Patricia Donovan

One of the most important revenue opportunities for primary care physicians, and for population health nurses under their direct supervision, is the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), advises Tim Gronninger, senior vice president of development and strategy, Caravan Health. The AWV offers an opportunity to check a number of Medicare quality boxes, including preventive check-ins, vaccinations and health screenings, to help make sure that a beneficiary’s medical needs are being met.

Here, Gronninger suggests ways that physician practices can improve all-important AWV rates.

Much of increasing annual wellness visit rates is about how to manage expectations of the practice and of the patient. You’ll be chasing your tail a lot if you are looking at your data and saying, “Well, these 1,000 patients haven’t had an annual wellness visit. I’m going to make a thousand phone calls, and then I’m going to make a thousand follow-up phone calls to try to schedule them all.”

It is very important for a practice to create a process where you have the time, the space and the plan, so that when a patient comes in the door for an Evaluation and Management (E&M) visit, the patient is handed off seamlessly to a nurse coordinator to complete an annual wellness visit at the same time. Obviously, different patients will require different handling. But we have found a very high acceptance rate from that approach among patients of clients that we work with.

It’s something that many patients take for granted, that their clinician knows this about them already. However, many times, the physician in practice doesn’t know whether the patient is up to date on their mammograms or other types of screenings.

Editor’s Note: Caravan Health’s ACOs saved more than $26 million in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and achieved higher than average quality scores and quality reporting scores in 2016.

Source: Profiting from Population Health Revenue in an ACO: Framework for Medicare Shared Savings and MIPS Success

ACO population health

Profiting from Population Health Revenue in an ACO: Framework for Medicare Shared Savings and MIPS Success examines Caravan Health’s population health-focused approach for ACOs and its potential for positioning ACOs for success under MSSP and MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).