Archive for the ‘Diabetes Management’ Category

Top 2017 Chronic Care Management Modes and 13 More CCM Trends

May 2nd, 2017 by Patricia Donovan

Availability of chronic care management rose 14 percent from 2015 to 2017, according to new metrics from the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

The majority of chronic care management (CCM) outreach is conducted telephonically, say 88 percent of respondents to a 2017 Chronic Care Management survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN), followed by face-to-face visits (65 percent) and home visits (44 percent).

This preference for telephonic CCM has remained unchanged since 2015, when HIN first canvassed healthcare executives on chronic care management practices. More than one hundred healthcare companies completed the 2017 CCM survey.

In addition, the April 2017 CCM survey captured a 14 percent increase in chronic care management programs over the two-year-span: from 55 percent in 2015 to 69 percent in 2017. Three-fourths of 2017 responding CCM programs target either Medicare beneficiaries or individuals with chronic comorbid conditions, with management of care transitions the top CCM component for 86 percent of programs.

In terms of reimbursement, payment levels for CCM services remained steady at 35 percent from 2015 to 2017. However, HIN's second comprehensive CCM survey determined that 32 percent of respondents currently bill Medicare using CMS Chronic Care Management codes introduced in 2015.

Forty percent of these Medicare CCM participants believe CMS’s 2017 program changes will reduce administrative burden associated with CCM, the survey documented.

Other metrics from HIN's 2017 CCM survey include the following:

  • A diagnosis of diabetes remains the leading criterion for CCM admission, said 92 percent;
  • Use of healthcare claims as the top tool for identifying or risk-stratifying individuals for CCM continues at 2015’s 70-percent levels;
  • Seventy percent of respondents target individuals with behavioral health diagnoses for CCM interventions;
  • Patient engagement remains the top challenge of chronic care management, with just under one-third of 2017 respondents reporting this obstacle
  • Responsibilities of RN care managers for CCM rose over two years, with 43 percent of 2017 respondents assigning primary CCM responsibility to these professionals (up from 29 percent in 2015); and
  • Two-thirds of respondents observed a drop in hospitalizations that they attribute to chronic care management.

Download an executive summary of 2017 Chronic Care Management survey results.

MACRAeconomics: Chronic Care Management Is the Future of Medicare Reimbursement

November 3rd, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

The newly finalized 2017 Physician Fee Schedule expands Chronic Care Management codes to complex patients with multiple chronic illnesses.

Managing a Medicare population, particularly when the majority has two or more chronic illnesses, can be daunting. But in the current realm of healthcare reimbursement, the care of these beneficiaries is rife with opportunity.

"Depending on the manner in which you're managing your Medicare Part B demographic, you have an opportunity to generate from 100 to 120 percent of the Medicare fee schedule under MACRA," noted Barry Allison, chief information officer, the Center for Primary Care, during Physician Chronic Care Management Reimbursement: Setting MACRA's MIPS Path for 2017.

During this October 2016 webinar now available for replay, Allison described how early adoption of Medicare's Chronic Care Management (CCM) Reimbursement program enhanced the Center's MACRA-readiness under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) path. By identifying the more than three-quarters of its 24,000 active Medicare beneficiaries that met CMS's CCM requirements, the Center had a ready pool of patients on which to overlay CMS's care coordination best practices and begin earning crucial CCM revenue.

"CMS recognizes that care management is a critical component of primary care. It contributes to better health and care for individuals, as well as reduced spending," said Allison, who estimates his 40-provider organization is the largest chronic care management initiative in the Southeast.

Using the value-based modifier data available within CMS's Quality Use and Resource Report (QRUR), The Center for Primary Care further identified its percentage of high-risk Medicare patients for more focused care management.

Accessing and reviewing QRUR reports, available from the CMS Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) desk, is an essential prerequisite to MACRA participation, advised Allison, who also detailed the type of reports and data available from the QRUR. "Procure that data as soon as possible, because you can learn a lot about what CMS will be looking for in the future, and how the value-based modifier will actually become a part of that MACRA multi-pronged approach."

While his organization's CCM program utilized ENLI software to identify 'hot-spotter' data elements such as unfilled prescriptions or ER visits for specific conditions, physician practices that lack this technology still have many tools at their disposal—even appointment scheduling software—to identify high-risk patients.

"Open up consistent lines of dialogue and engage your providers. Sit down with them and say, 'You know your patients better than anyone else. Tell us who to reach out to.'" With or without CCM software, practices should "document, document, document" the amount of time devoted to CCM, as well as how that time benefited patients.

Long-term planning rather than a reactive view will better position physician practices for success under MACRA's Quality Payment Program, Allison concluded. The Center is already estimating how it will fare under Medicare's newly finalized 2017 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). Next year's PFS significantly updates CCM, offering new codes for complex chronic care management and for extra care management furnished by a physician or practitioner following the initiating visit for patients with multiple chronic conditions.

"For us, CCM is not really focused on the near term revenue as much as it is about the long term action-reaction we can have in the patient's life, and how our physicians are paid over the next three years."

Click here for an interview with Barry Allison on the MACRA Prerequisite of Procuring QRUR Performance Data to Maximize MIPS Success.

Engage a Pharmacist and 12 More Prescriptions for Medication Management

October 20th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Half of medication management programs engage retail or community pharmacists in 2016.

When should a pharmacist be brought in for a medication management consultation?

When the patient requests a consult, experiences general medication adherence issues, or suffers complications from medications, say respondents to the 2016 Medication Management survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

The 101 respondents to the August 2016 survey also indicated that as a general medication management guideline, and with or without a pharmacist's involvement, polypharmacy patients, individuals taking high-risk medications, those registering frequent ER or inpatient stays and those transitioning between care sites should receive priority.

Drilling down to clinical red flags for medication management, a diagnosis of diabetes is a key indicator, say 84 percent, followed by congestive heart failure or hypertension, say 81 percent of respondents.

Despite the inclusion of pharmacists in 90 percent of medication management programs, 42 percent of respondents say pharmacists are not currently reimbursed for medication management-related tasks.

Other medication management metrics documented by the survey include the following:

  • The three most common components of medication management programs are education and health coaching (71 percent), a medication needs assessment (69 percent) and pharmacist counseling (68 percent).
  • A pharmacist-driven clinical assessment is the most reliable standard for measuring medication management, say 63 percent of respondents.
  • E-prescribing and aids such as medication event monitoring system (MEMS) caps, pillboxes and calendars are the most common medication management tools, according to 49 percent of participants.
  • Patient-reported medication data is the information most commonly assessed for medication management, say 78 percent, closely followed by medication refill patterns (75 percent) and claims data (53 percent).
  • Half of responding medication management programs engage a retail or community pharmacist.
  • Fifty-eight percent of respondents not currently engaged in medication management plan to launch a program in the coming year.
  • Forty-four percent of respondents share electronic health records for medication management purposes.
  • Beyond a pharmacist-driven assessment, the Medication Possession Ratio (MPR) is the key measure of medication management for 31 percent of respondents.

Click here to download an executive summary of survey results: Medication Management in 2016: Polypharmacy, Diabetes Patients Priorities for Pharmacist-Led Interventions.

Infographic: The Data Behind Diabetes

July 22nd, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

The number of people living with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980, growing to more than 400 million. And with this rise in disease, sales of diabetes-related products have also climbed. In fact, in 2015, American consumers spent $592 million on such products, according to the World Health Organization.

Managing diabetes requires a proper balance of professional medical management, blood sugar control, and maintaining a healthy diet. So there is great value in understanding the diabetic patient and consumer journey through each step of the management process, all the way from the doctor's office to the grocery aisles. And today, thanks to the power of data insights, healthcare providers and physicians, product manufacturers, and retailers can better tailor their offerings and experiences to aid diabetic patients and consumers in their path to healthy living.

A new infographic by Nielsen reflects key insights around the diabetic consumer.

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care ManagementReal-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients' A1C blood glucose levels.

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.

Can Digital Health Drive Down Diabetes Costs?

April 14th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

The majority of organizations engage in digital health to enhance patient satisfaction with their healthcare experience, according to March 2016 HIN market metrics.

New metrics from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) have determined that 58 percent of digital health initiatives target patients with diabetes, the global cost of which is now $825 billion per year, according to a new report from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Harvard, the World Health Organization and nearly 500 researchers around the globe recently conducted the largest-ever worldwide study of diabetes levels.

Respondents to the February 2016 Digital Health Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network report that, along with the diabetes population, individuals with congestive heart failure and hypertension are also closely monitored by digital health programs.

Weight and vital signs, key indicators that can signal complications with diabetes and other chronic conditions, are the health activities most frequently monitored by digital health, said 63 percent of survey respondents, a trend Melanie Matthews, HIN executive vice president and chief operating officer, would like to see expanded.

"In our device-driven era, many individuals already use at least one electronic tool for health-related reasons. Coaching people to use digital health to monitor vital signs like weight and blood pressure will foster self-management." And with chronic conditions held in check, the industry should see a drop in hospital utilization and associated cost, Ms. Matthews predicted.

Digital health, also called ‘connected health,’ leverages technology to identify, track and manage patients' health problems.

The survey also identified these digital health trends:

  • Individuals at moderate risk for hospitalization are the most engaged in digital health, said one-quarter of respondents.
  • Seventy percent said the principal goal of digital health is to elevate patient satisfaction with the healthcare experience.
  • Individuals at risk of a health crisis or hospital admission are the most heavily invested in digital health, according to one-quarter of respondents.
  • Mobile and tablet apps are the front-running digital health platforms, say 78 percent of these respondents, with online health education the principal digital health activity for 58 percent.
  • Overall, patient engagement proves the biggest digital health hurdle to overcome, say 23 percent of respondents.

For more 2016 digital health metrics, download the Digital Health Survey executive summary.

Health Risk Stratification Model: How Well Do You Manage ‘Falling Risk’ Populations?

November 3rd, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

Health risk stratification is scalable, according to the experience of Ochsner Health System, whose scaling and centralization of risk stratification and care coordination protocols across its nine-hospital system drive ROI and improve clinical outcomes and efficiency.

Here, Mark Green, system AVP of transition management at Ochsner Health System, explains why health plans and providers need better control over 'falling risk' patients.

Regardless of your patient population, no matter how small or large, you’ve got a segment of your population that are healthy patients. You’ve got a certain percentage, about 40 percent, who are at very low risk.

About 20 percent of your population falls into a ‘rising risk’ segment. Those are patients with chronic diseases who are somewhat adherent and compliant. You’ve got some that are newly diagnosed with depression, and a comorbidity. Then you’ve got this very top 3 to 5 percent, which are your poorly controlled multiple comorbidities that need your absolute highest touch, whether it’s through complex case managers or other programs that are the highest touch of those patients.

That is the typical model in the United States where you see this segmentation. In this country, we do a relatively good job of understanding ‘rising risk’ patients. Those are your patients that are diabetic, and suddenly you see their A1C go out of control. You know they’re going off-track for some reason, whether it’s compliance, adherence, needing medication adjustments, or some other social interactions happening outside your care model. These are your ‘rising risk’ patients.

As the country begins to understand this risk stratification, it understands the ‘falling risk’ patients, too. For example, we had a congestive heart failure (CHF) clinic that was pretty successful in managing patients; they had approximately 100 patients in their CHF clinic. They were taking these complex CHF patients and sending them through education and hooking them up with complex case managers. Pretty soon they filled their entire clinic up and didn’t have any more access for new patients. It failed pretty quickly because they weren’t able to churn these patients.

As we began to do a root cause analysis of why this happened, to understand why we didn’t see the sustainability in this program, we realized it was because we never moved patients down that risk stratification model. We kept them in there forever. We received them, we managed them and we got them better. But we never moved them down, so we never had room for another newly diagnosed, out-of-control CHF patient.

That’s a really critical step to understand: managing not only your rising risk but also your falling risk patient population within the sub-categories of your overall risk segmentation. It’s a living organism moving in and out of these different components.

Source: Scalable Models in Health Risk Stratification: Results from Cross-Continuum Care Coordination

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Rethinking-Readmissions-Patient-Centered-Collaborations-in-Care-Transition-Management_p_4646.html

Scalable Models in Health Risk Stratification: Results from Cross-Continuum Care Coordination explores Ochsner's approach, in which standardized scripts, tools and workflows are applied along the care continuum, from post-hospital and ER discharge telephonic follow-up to capture of complex cases for outpatient management.

Medicare Chronic Care Management Reimbursement: Clarifying EHR Use and Electronic Requirements

October 22nd, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

Just one-fifth of U.S. physician practices participate in CMS's Chronic Care Management Program.

Nearly 70 percent of physicians nationwide admit they do not fully understand the Medicare Chronic Care Management (CCM) program, according to an August 2015 study by Smartlink Mobile Systems. The survey of 45,000 American physician practices determined that while 20 percent do participate in CCM, there is a great deal of confusion surrounding the CMS program designed to curb the cost of coordinating care for 34.4 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with two or more chronic diseases—particularly when it comes to meeting CCM's electronic requirements.

The CCM initiative pays participating physician practices a monthly fee for twenty minutes of non-face-to-face patient care.

Earlier this year, Dr. Paul Rudolf, partner, Arnold & Porter LLP, and Nicole Liffrig, counsel, Arnold & Porter LLP, delved into CMS requirements and discussed approaches and challenges to meeting the CCM requirements, including a practice's requirements for electronic health records (EHRs):

The CCM care plan is all the clinical staff needs to have access to in order to count time toward the 20 minutes. In terms of the EHR itself, the practice is only required for certain specified services within the Chronic Care Management. For example, the practice has to create a structured recording of demographics, problems, medications and allergies within the EHR, and then that information must inform the care plan. The care plan will include that type of information but doesn’t have to include everything that is in the EHR.

The practice also must put into the EHR a structured clinical summary record, which is discussed at some length in the final rule. In addition, the EHR must document that there’s written consent for the CCM services and all the other things the practice explained to the patient when the patient gave consent.

In addition, the care plan must be provided to the patient. That could be a hard copy or an electronic copy. The communication to and from home with community-based providers regarding their psychosocial needs and functional deficits also must be in the EHR.

Essentially, the electronic care plan is a distilled version of the EHR containing the pertinent information clinical staff would need to provide CCM services.

However, in spite of this interpretation, one Medicare contractor recently suggested that in order to count time toward the 20 minutes, the clinical staff has to have access to the EHR. We believe that is an incorrect interpretation of the rule. We believe the practitioners only need access to the electronic care plan.

The last thing I would like to mention about the EHR is that use of the EHR to provide care plans and other information to all off-site clinical staff and to other practitioners could theoretically raise privacy concerns. These are not new privacy concerns, but any practice that is going to provide CCM services needs to be cognizant of potential HIPAA issues and make sure they are in compliance. One thing that can be done in this regard is to have the individuals with EHR access sign business associate agreements.

Source: Chronic Care Management Reimbursement Compliance: Physician Requirements for Value-Based Revenue

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Chronic-Care-Management-Reimbursement-Compliance-Physician-Requirements-for-Value-Based-Revenue_p_5027.html

Chronic Care Management Reimbursement Compliance: Physician Requirements for Value-Based Revenue sets the record straight on CCM reimbursement compliance, offering strategies for navigating obstacles and meeting requirements. In this 25-page resource, attorneys Dr. Paul Rudolf, partner, Arnold & Porter LLP, and Nicole Liffrig, counsel, Arnold & Porter LLP, drill down into chronic care management requirements outlined in the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Infographic: Diabetes Drug Costs

August 17th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Primarily because of escalating drug costs, spending on insulin and other diabetes medications is expected to rise 8.3 percent over the next three years, according to a new infographic by the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

The infographic examines the percent increase of diabetes drug costs over the past five years and how this is impacting healthcare consumers, employers, healthcare providers and payors and the federal government.

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care ManagementReal-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients' A1C blood glucose levels.

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.

Mobile Apps Connect Community of Care Around High-Risk, Chronically Ill Patients

April 30th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

Healthcare providers increasingly engage patients in self-management via the use of mobile apps and wearable devices.

Want to save lives? There’s an app for that.

Chances are the physician gazing intently at his or her smartphone isn’t checking out the latest sports stats or movie listings. Instead, a recent report from the MedData Group shows that three out of four physicians are using mobile apps to save time, lower costs, and improve their quality of care.

With more than 10,000 apps available in the healthcare category ranging from readmission risk predictors to chronic care management, physicians and other healthcare providers are turning to mobile apps for new ways to provide value-based care for patients, and help those patients become more engaged in their own care.

One such app, a set of condition-specific Readmission Risk Calculators, helps providers predict the 30-day readmission risk factors for a patient first entering the hospital. Developed by the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), a national outcomes research center, which developed the publicly reported readmission measures for the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), the app is based on medical record data used for those measures.

Launched in 2012, the app predicts a patient’s readmissions risk based on certain specific criteria, including age, diagnosis upon initial admission (heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia), residence (i.e. nursing home), and mental status, among other data.

Improving patient engagement and self-management in patients with heart failure is at the core of a new cloud-based platform that bridges the transition of care from the hospital to home. Launched by iGetBetter and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), it is designed for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Cardiologists at BWH monitor HCM patients and communicate their care plan instructions to them via mobile devices. These clinicians use data from biometric devices connected to the patients’ mobile devices, as well as patients’ self-reported data, to adjust their medications for optimal efficacy, and intervene if necessary to avoid hospital admissions or unnecessary office visits and reduce costs.

Patient and physician engagement is also integral to a new care management app from the Genesis Accountable Physician Network (GAPN), a clinically integrated subsidiary of Genesis Physicians Group. Through the deployment of BluePrint Healthcare IT’s Care Navigator™ platform, the mobile app provides patients and caregivers with real-time access to their care plans and care team members, as well as relevant patient questionnaires and educational materials.

By creating a connected community of care around high-risk, chronically ill patients, practices can provide a higher level of care, thereby improving safety, efficiency, and delivery.

Helping people with such chronic conditions as diabetes or asthma better manage their health is the focus of the CareCam self-management mobile app from Independence Blue Cross (Independence). The southeastern Pennsylvania-based payor offers the app for free to health plan members.

The CareCam generates a daily personalized schedule of healthcare activities designed to fit each individual’s lifestyle, allowing them to more easily adhere to the treatment plan recommended by their doctor. Because having a strong support network between doctor visits can help a patient with diabetes or asthma stay on track and ultimately lead a healthier life, users also may invite friends, family members, or caregivers to follow their progress on the app and provide support and encouragement to help ensure success.

Each day, CareCam reminds members to complete the activities necessary to effectively manage their diabetes or asthma, such as checking their sugar levels, measuring their peak flow (breathing) rate, taking medications and exercising. Users also receive real-time personalized feedback on how well they’re doing and have access to daily, weekly, and monthly summaries of their performance, which can be shared with their doctors during their next visit. The app is a way to provide these patients with a convenient, 24/7 resource for support in managing their care.

Overcoming ‘Clinical Inertia’ and 7 Other Barriers to Remote Patient Monitoring

February 26th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

It's important to identify potential barriers from both patients and providers before implementing a telehealth program, says Susan Lehrer, RN, CDE, associate executive director of the telehealth office for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC), because both groups need to change behaviors. Resistance to change is universal, and if you’re changing any kind of work flow or communication, there will be initial resistance.

  • Slow buy-in and some resistance by clinicians (referrals).
  • Clinicians concerned with appearance of decreased productivity.
  • Resistance to change in clinic work flow.
  • Inability to “integrate” Web site data and electronic medical records (EMRs).
  • Language and literacy.
  • Complexity of chronic disease management.
  • Lack of protocols for use of email in coordination of care.
  • Not all clinicians utilize secure email system.
  • Source: Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management

    http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Remote-Monitoring-of-High-Risk-Patients-Telehealth-Protocols-for-Chronic-Care-Management_p_5008.html

    Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients' A1C blood glucose levels. Susan Lehrer, RN, BSN, CDE, associate executive director of the telehealth office for NYCHHC, shares key aspects of the real-time monitoring program, including how the program blends telehealth, electronic medical records, electronic communication with providers and direct communication with patients by nurse case managers, and much more.