Posts Tagged ‘chronic illness’

Guest Post: Patient Engagement Technology Tool for Preventing Hospital Readmissions in Chronic Patients

January 23rd, 2018 by Allison Hart, Vice President of Marketing, TeleVox Solutions at West

While almost all chronic care patients say they need help managing their disease, less than one-third receive regular check-ins from healthcare providers.

During the past decade, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have increased the pressure on hospitals to prevent readmissions. In response to that pressure, many hospitals made changes that have led to declines in readmission rates. However, even with more measures in place to prevent readmissions than ever before, the risk of being readmitted to the hospital is still high for patients with chronic illnesses.

Studies have shown that the risk of adverse health effects increases with each hospitalization. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to keep chronic patients from readmitting once they have been hospitalized. Because of this, it is important that healthcare teams prioritize chronic disease management, and work to engage and support chronic patients. One tool that can help with this is the patient engagement technology many healthcare teams already have in place.

Survey responses indicate that chronic patients welcome efforts from their healthcare team that are aimed at managing disease and preventing hospital admissions and readmissions. A West survey found that 91 percent of chronic patients say they need help managing their disease, and at least 70 percent would like more resources or clarity on how to manage their condition. Additionally, 75 percent of chronic patients want their healthcare provider to touch base with them regularly so they can be alerted of potential issues.

Although patients with chronic conditions have expressed that they desire more assistance from their healthcare providers, they are not necessarily receiving it. For example, more than half (54 percent) of patients feel a weekly or twice-weekly check-in from their provider would be valuable, yet only 30 percent of patients report receiving regular check-ins. This shows that, in some cases, providers could be doing much more to offer ongoing chronic disease management support.

Providers seem to be underestimating patients’ interest in chronic care and their desire to receive support. Patients have suggested that they not only want assistance with managing chronic conditions, they would also be willing to pay for that extra support. Many providers are unaware that their patients feel this way. When asked if their patients would agree to pay 10 dollars per month for additional chronic care support, just over half (53 percent) of providers answered “yes.” However, two-thirds of patients say they would be willing to pay a nominal amount for chronic care support. The eye-opening response from patients confirms that chronic disease management is in demand—more so than providers realize. It also suggests that some providers may need to do more to offer ongoing chronic disease management support.

Chronic Care Management Enrollment

One way healthcare teams can better serve chronic patients and potentially prevent readmissions is by enrolling patients in chronic disease management programs. Chronic care programs, like Medicare’s Chronic Care Management program, require a lot of communication on the part of the healthcare team. Automating some of the communication and outreach makes it easier for providers to offer ongoing chronic care support. Healthcare teams can use their patient engagement technology to:

  • Send patients messages to invite them to enroll in a chronic care program. Using information from electronic health records, healthcare teams can identify patients that are eligible for chronic care management programs. (Patients must have two or more chronic conditions to enroll in Medicare’s Chronic Care Management program.) Then, they can use their patient engagement technology to send patients automated messages with information about the benefits of participating in a chronic care program, and instructions or links for patients to enroll or get further information.
  • Schedule disease-specific preventive screenings and tests. The Chronic Care Management program mandates that patients receive recommended preventive services. Care managers can schedule and send patients automated text messages, emails or voice messages to notify them when they are due for preventive screenings and tests. Patients with diabetes, for example, would automatically receive messages when they are due for an A1C test, foot exam or eye exam.
  • Send medication reminders and messages. Providers are required to manage and reconcile medications for patients enrolled in the Chronic Care Management program. Providers can assign medication reminders and send automated messages to ensure patients know how and when to take their medication, and that they don’t forget to take it.

Communication that engages chronic patients and aids them in disease management can result in better health outcomes and fewer readmissions. Engagement communications can be easily automated, meaning outreach does not require excessive time or resources. Hospitals and healthcare providers have incentives to reduce readmissions, and in many cases, they have the technology in place to make chronic disease management efficient and effective.

About the Author: Allison Hart is a regularly published advocate for utilizing technology-enabled communications to engage and activate patients beyond the clinical setting. She leads thought leadership efforts for West’s TeleVox Solutions, promoting the idea that engaging with patients between healthcare appointments in meaningful ways will encourage and inspire them to follow and embrace treatment plans – and that activating these positive behaviors ultimately leads to better outcomes for both healthcare organizations and patients. Hart currently serves as Vice President of Marketing for TeleVox Solutions at West, where the healthcare mission is to help organizations harness communications to expand the boundaries of where, when, and how healthcare is delivered.

HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

Health Coaching Success Metrics and 8 More Behavior Change Benchmarks

July 7th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Satisfied clients and participants on track for goal attainment are two hallmarks of a can't-lose coaching initiative.

Satisfied clients and participants on track for goal attainment are two hallmarks of a can’t-lose coaching initiative.

What are the hallmarks of a winning health coaching strategy? The answer depends on what’s being measured: the effectiveness of the individual coach, the participant’s progress, or overall program success.

That’s the feedback from 111 healthcare organizations responding to the 2016 Health Coaching Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

If you’re looking to measure the health coach’s success, then client satisfaction is the best indicator, say 27 percent of these respondents.

On the other hand, for a gauge of an individual’s progress, look to the participant’s goal attainment, report 78 percent.

This same metric—goal achievement—is also the best indicator of program success as a whole, agree 64 percent.

The May 2016 survey documented a number of other health coaching benchmarks, including the following:

  • Motivational interviewing is a coach’s top tactic to effect behavior change, say 83 percent.
  • All-important ‘face time’ with coaches is plentiful: 47 percent embed or co-locate health coaches at points of care, with most onsite coaching occurring in primary care offices (50 percent) or at employer work sites (50 percent).
  • Nine percent even embed health coaches in hospital emergency rooms.
  • While a majority focuses on coaching high-risk individuals with multiple chronic illnesses, 51 percent now extend eligibility for health coaching to individuals stratified as ‘rising risk.’
  • Nearly half of respondents—48 percent—offer health coaching to patients and health plan members with behavioral health diagnoses.
  • Reflecting the surge in telehealth, 12 percent of respondents offer video health coaching sessions to clients.

Download an executive summary of the 2016 Health Coaching survey.

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.

5 Trends in Chronic Care Management by Physician Practices

March 17th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

One hundred percent of physician practices rely on face-to-face and telephonic visits to administer chronic care management (CCM) services, according to respondents to the Healthcare Intelligence Network’s 10 Questions On Chronic Care Management survey administered in January 2015.

A total of 119 healthcare organizations described tactics employed, 17 percent of which were identified as physician practices. A sampling of this sector’s results follows.

  • Less than half of physician practices (46 percent) admitted to having a chronic care management program in place. But they overwhelmingly agree (100 percent) that CMS’s CCM initiative will drive similar reimbursement initiatives by private payors.
  • This sector’s criteria for admission to existing chronic care management programs is on par with other sectors except for asthma; just 17 percent of physician practices use this as an admitting factor versus 49 percent of all respondents.
  • Not surprisingly, this sector assigns major responsibility for CCM to the primary care physician, versus 29 of all respondents. This sector also relies on healthcare case managers (40 percent versus 29 of all respondents) and advanced practice nurses (APNs) (20 percent versus 8 percent overall) to assist with CCM.
  • This sector relies most heavily on face-to-face visits for CCM services (100 percent versus 71 percent for all respondents) and telephonically (100 percent versus 87 percent of all respondents).
  • Among the biggest challenges for this sector is reimbursement (33 percent versus 20 percent overall) and documentation (17 percent versus 2 percent overall). Unlike other sectors, patient engagement is not a major challenge (17 percent versus 33 percent overall).

Source: 2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care Management

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/2015-Healthcare-Benchmarks-Chronic-Care-Management_p_5003.html

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care Management captures tools, practices and lessons learned by the healthcare industry related to the management of chronic disease. This 40-page report, based on responses from 119 healthcare companies to HIN’s industry survey on chronic care management, assembles a wealth of metrics on eligibility requirements, reimbursement trends, promising protocols, challenges and ROI.

Infographic: The Surprisingly Common World of Congenital Heart Defect

November 6th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

One out of every 100 children is born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). Furthermore, CHDs are the leading cause of birth-defect related deaths, and there are over 1 million American adults living with a CHD, according to a new infographic by top-nursing-programs.com.

This infographic details CHD statistics, risk factors and causes of CHD, likelihood based on family history and common types of CHD.

The Surprisingly Common World of Congenital Heart Defect

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Case Management for Advanced Illness: Best Practices in End-of-Life Care.

Infographic: America’s Heart Disease Epidemic

July 25th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Furthermore, more Americans die of heart disease than all cancers combined.

Thirty-five percent of heart disease mortalities are due to physical inactivity, according to a new infographic from Northwest Regional Heart Center. This infographic also includes costs associated with and causes of heart disease, high-risk conditions that lead to heart disease, and more.

America's Heart Disease Epidemic

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Chronic Care Professional Manual 5.0.

Infographic: Dissecting Patient-Centered Care

July 24th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Patient-centered care is evolving, and healthcare providers are redirecting their focus to meet the unique needs of every patient.

Beginning this year, 30 percent of hospital Medicare reimbursements will be determined based on patient experience, according to a new infographic from the University of Arizona College of Nursing. This infographic also details healthcare reform’s effect on nursing professions, the need for advanced nursing education, chronic illness in the United States, switching from disease-centered to patient-centered care, and more.

Dissecting Patient-Centered Care

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Improving Patient Care: The Implementation of Change in Health Care, 2nd Edition.