Posts Tagged ‘Telephonic Case Management’

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.

12 Core Competencies for the Hybrid Embedded RN Care Manager

December 30th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Core competencies for a registered nurse (RN) are different than those for an RN care manager, says Mary M. Morin, RN, NEA-BC, RN-BC, vice president, nurse executive with Sentara Medical Group. When Sentara officially converted to a hybrid embedded case management model, RN care managers’ job descriptions had to be rewritten; to be successful in this new model, they didn’t necessarily have to have care management experience; instead, having a strong clinical background and experience doing patient assessments were more important.

To get RN care management away from the embedded telephonic model, we had to rewrite the job descriptions, and if you’re going to rewrite job descriptions, have a new position. This is different work.

We found out people will hear it, but until they go through it, until they feel it, they’re all for it until it actually happens. If I were to do this again, I would make everybody reapply for their job because this requires a certain type of individual. These people need to be able to engage patients for a long-term relationship. They have to know how to work with hospital-based caregivers, home health, life care and not just within our own healthcare system.

We established core competencies. Core competencies for an RN care manager are different than those for an RN. We have an ambulatory-based RN. We were looking for people that didn’t necessarily have previous care management experience, but who had experience doing patient assessments. They also had to have a strong clinical background.

Following are 10 more core competencies for the hybrid embedded RN care manager:

  • Job descriptions: BSN requirement
  • Maintain patient lists by populations
  • Accept assignments
  • Meet expectations
  • Send patient letter from primary care physician (PCP)
  • Engage patients
  • Send contact letter, brochure
  • Standardize work flow
  • Use SMG, Optima (Health Plan), and clinically integrated network (CIN) electronic medical record (EMR)
  • Hold meetings with home health and inpatient care coordinators
  • Complete education/training
  • Achieve specialty certification

value-based reimbursement
Mary M. Morin, RN, NEA-BC, RN-BC, is a nurse executive with Sentara Medical Group, where she is responsible and accountable for non-physician clinical practice within the Sentara Medical Group (160 clinics/practices) to ensure integration and alignment with Sentara Healthcare, regulatory compliance, standardization of nursing practice/care, and patient safety.

Source: Hybrid Embedded Case Management: New Model for Cross-Continuum Care Coordination

Sentara Home Visits for High-Risk ‘VIPs’ Drive Hybrid Case Management Outcomes

November 13th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

When the Sentara Medical Group evolved to a hybrid embedded case management model in 2012, case managers spent time in the practice, but also managed care through other touch points, including home visits, explains Mary M. Morin, RN, NEA-BC, RN-BC, vice president, nurse executive with Sentara Medical Group. How to identify high-risk patients for case management, and home visits in particular? Here, Ms. Morin addresses that question posed by The Healthcare Intelligence Network during a recent webinar.

Question: How does Sentara identify high-risk patients for case management in general and for home visits in particular? Do all patients in the case management program receive home visits?

Response: (Mary M. Morin) This program started as a pilot in 2012. It was targeted at patients that we called very important patients — high-cost, high-utilizers, the top of the pyramid. There are about 2,300 patients within 11 of our primary care sites. We kept it small, with five RN care managers. That population included all payors, most importantly our health plan patients. Because of our health plan, we were able to really study whether RN care management had an impact on the total cost of care — not unlike other organizations, if you can find a cost savings and justify the expense of having RN care managers, it makes the case much more solid moving forward with formalizing the program.

We sorted those patients by high-risk, high-cost or high-cost, high-utilizers because of chronic diseases. We looked at patient with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, renal failure and diabetes. We excluded patients that had any traumatic event like a car accident or something that led to high-cost, or they had cancer or they were a transplant patient.

The purpose was to engage that population. It is voluntary. We studied that population for three years. It allowed us to measure our outcomes over time because we weren’t sure if there was seasonality to the patients with chronic disease: did they just not use services because of seasonal issues or because it’s a cycle issue within the chronic disease phase? After three years of data, we determined there is definitely a difference in the outcomes of this patient population and their utilization.

Home visits was one of the big differences in the model. The main reason to do home visits is not to do patient care, but to do an assessment of the patient’s environment. A lot of times, patients don’t share with us their actual living situation. They tell you that they’re walking, and then you find out they walk within a five-foot radius. The real emphasis for home visits was to get in and meet the patient in their environment.

We found that RN care managers in the home facilitated advance care planning. That is best done in the patient’s home with a family member present, not in the doctor’s office or waiting until the patient is admitted to the hospital. We found that patients appreciated the visits. The RN care managers who went in really cleaned up the medications. Patients will hold on to medications.

value-based reimbursement
Mary M. Morin, RN, NEA-BC, RN-BC, is a nurse executive with Sentara Medical Group, where she is responsible and accountable for non-physician clinical practice within the Sentara Medical Group (160 clinics/practices) to ensure integration and alignment with Sentara Healthcare, regulatory compliance, standardization of nursing practice/care, and patient safety.

Source: Hybrid Embedded Case Management: New Model for Cross-Continuum Care Coordination

Caldwell UNC Healthcare Embedded Case Managers Count Outreach, Not Cases

October 2nd, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

embedded case management

Visibility is the embedded case manager's greatest asset.

A frequently sought metric in case management is the optimal case load. However, embedded case managers at Caldwell UNC Healthcare don’t count cases, they count outreach, explains Melanie Fox, director of Caldwell Physician Network’s Embedded Case Management program.

For Ms. Fox’s team of case managers embedded in seven primary care practices and two work sites, outreach is mostly telephonic, but may also include visits to patients’ homes if they see the need.

“We will do anything to make sure patients get to where they need to be. A lot of our home visits occur because of confusion with medications,” she explained during Embedded Case Management in Primary Care and Work Sites: Referral, Stratification and Protocols, a September 2014 webinar now available on-demand.

Typically, the embedded case management team averages about a thousand outreaches per month, Ms. Fox estimates. Telephonically, they reach almost all patients within 48 hours of discharge, and most ED discharges, running down a multi-item checklist, from medication and home health needs to scheduled follow-up appointments and advanced illness management (AIM), formerly referred to as palliative care, which was frequently misunderstood as strictly hospice, she noted.

Caldwell is working to establish that reporting linkage with skilled nursing facilities as well.

Medication is a large part of that telephonic conversation, Ms. Fox adds, as is a focus on new Transition Care Management Codes, where practices can be reimbursed for non-face-to-face care provided when patients transition from an acute care setting back into the community.

The visibility of embedded case managers in a practice is a great asset to both providers and patients, she says. “We seem to be more accepted by providers, staff and patients because they see us as part of the team.”

At the two work sites, the case manager works alongside a nurse practitioner, where the goals are preventive care and chronic disease management.

With extensive RN experience in home health and schooled in the Geisinger Healthcare System model of embedded case management known as ProvenHealth Navigator℠, Ms. Fox joined Caldwell three years ago to develop and launch the program. Referrals to embedded case managers come from hospital discharge and ED reports, as well as provider and even self-referrals.

Although relatively new, Caldwell’s embedded case management approach has helped to halve 30-day hospital readmissions in its Medicare population— from 19.16 percent in second quarter 2012 to 9.09 percent in fourth quarter 2013, she said. Buoyed by this success, Ms. Fox’s team is targeting ED visits as its next metric.

During the program, Ms. Fox also shared six qualities of an effective embedded case manager, advantages of embedding case managers in care sites, and tactics for engaging physicians and staff in the embedded model.

Click here for an interview with Melanie Fox.

Evolution of a Hybrid Embedded Case Management Program

August 8th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

When a typical embedded and telephonic case management program didn’t yield desired results, namely, coordination of quality care for their high-cost, high utilizers with complex, chronic diseases, Sentara Healthcare System took steps to correct it.

Step one: Reevaluate the current program.

“When we really studied what they (RN Care managers) were doing, only about 25 percent of their time was spent doing care management. What happened was that they wound up becoming basically glorified office nurses. They were working on other projects from either the physicians or the practice manager,” says Mary M. Morin, RN, NEA-BC, RN-BC, nurse executive with Sentara Medical Group (SMG), which is part of Sentara Healthcare System, during A Hybrid Embedded Case Management Model: Sentara Medical Group’s Approach, a recent 45-minute webinar sponsored by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

Step two: Redefine the RN nurse care coordinators’ job descriptions.

“We were focused on reducing the total cost of care…and improving patient satisfaction. We also measured quality of life. We were looking to see if engagement with an RN care manager improved the patient’s perception of their quality of life,” Morin says. To achieve this, SMG looked for RN care coordinators who could “engage patients for the long haul, know how to work with hospital-based caregivers, home health, and life care not just within their own healthcare system.”

Core competencies were also established. “RN care managers are different than RNs. We were looking for people that didn’t necessarily have previous care management experience, but who had experience doing patient assessments. They had to have a strong clinical background,” Morin says.

Step three: Rebrand the model as a hybrid program.

The ideal was to establish and maintain patient-centered relationships, Morin continues. The RN care coordinators needed to conduct comprehensive initial assessments with the patient as well as ongoing assessments, so they could identify ongoing needs of the patients and possibly their caregiver, develop care plans and then provide coaching education. They also needed to provide support to both the patient and their caregivers and family members.

Step four: Reap positive rewards.

Through 2013, SMG was able to do the following:

  • Reduce ED visits by 17 percent;
  • Reduce all cause inpatient admissions by 48 percent;
  • Reduce all cause readmissions by 21 percent;
  • Improve seven-day follow-up rates by nearly double. Patients followed by a care manager had a 98 percent seven-day follow-up rate within the medical group; the average rate was 49.5;
  • Reduce total cost of care by 17 percent.

Psychological and functional health of patients was also improved, Morin says. Assessments pre-and post-engagement with care managers showed a 48 percent improvement in the first stages of depression, and a 6 percent improvement of physical health. And patient satisfaction also increased.

It all comes down to increased attention from the care manager, Morin says. One example is intense transition follow-ups, so that within 48 hours of discharge, the patient is seen or called, and given a clinical assessment. And prior to discharge? “We implemented a first call strategy. When the patient thinks of the emergency department (ED), we want them calling their care manager first.”

Listen to an interview with Mary Morin here.

HINfographic: Making the Connection with Telephonic Case Management – 4 Key Areas

May 12th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

Telephonic outreach helps to bridge the care divide, supporting and engaging vulnerable and high-risk populations. The optimal length of time to follow members to help manage and maintain life changes is one year, according to this new infographic from the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

This HINfographic offers tips to improve telephonic connections with vulnerable individuals, from Jay Hale, director of quality improvement and clinical operations at Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance. It includes advice on how to connect with patients, identify warning signs, provide easy-to-use surveys, and develop qualities to become a successful telephonic case manager.

The infographic is available for purchase as a downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Click here for details.

Want more data on telephonic case management? Answer our “10 Questions” survey by May 31 to receive an executive summary of the results.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations. This 30-page resource describes a suite of tools to facilitate identification, interaction, surveys, follow-up action, resource matching, and member engagement and outreach for a behavioral health population that is also a template for case management and care coordination of any organization’s hard-to-reach or vulnerable members.

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Transferring Telephonic Skills to Face-to-Face, Embedded Case Management

May 1st, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Because many case managers come from telephonic backgrounds, embedding them in physician practices—an essentially new role—requires the right mix of qualifications and characteristics to handle face-to-face interactions, says Annette Watson, senior vice president of community transformation for Taconic Professional Resources. Case managers that are change agents, who are enthusiastic and welcome collaboration and have registered nurse experience, are part of the mix of qualifications and qualities that have proved successful for this role.

Question: What qualities and qualifications does Taconic seek in its embedded case managers?

Response (Annette Watson): We’re looking for our case managers to be registered nurses in the State of New York with unrestricted licenses to practice. Part of that background is that nurses have a wide ranging education that makes them generally able to care for chronically and complexly ill patients. In the physician’s practice setting, that qualification is really what we look at as a baseline for entry into this field. We then, at Taconic, look for them to have a certification as a case manager prior to their coming to us. That would either be a certified case manager (CCM) designation, or a registered nurse (RN) with a case manager (CM) designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or an RN CM.

Both of those represent an experientially based qualification. That means that we don’t have to teach them from the baseline what case management is. But what we’re doing is refining skills for this new setting.

We also look for experience relative to case management work in a setting that has them working in a collaborative environment with physicians and patients prior to getting there that would create a transferable skill set.

Many times case managers have been deployed in settings where they’re telephonically based or don’t have direct contact with either physicians in practice or with patients in a telephonic model. We find that that’s a transition from one setting to the other that doesn’t always work without a lot of ability to overcome obstacles and create an environment where face to face interactions go well. So those are just some of the things that we’re looking for in background.

Lastly, in terms of qualities, we’re really looking at what we call ‘the right stuff.’ A personality type where people are enthusiastic about the work, are positive about the type of new groundbreaking work that they’re going to be doing in these new settings, often which is they’re often new to a practice and new to a role, so they’re very much an ambassador of what case management is. Those kinds of personality traits that make them change agents and collaborative and enthusiastic in the setting are all part of that mix of the qualifications and qualities that we look for.

Excerpted from Advancing Primary Care with Embedded Case Management: Lessons from the Taconic IPA Pilot

9 Remote Monitoring Technologies Enhance Telephonic Care Management

April 2nd, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

From home sensors that monitor daily motion and sleep abnormalities, to video visits using teleconferencing, Humana is doing its best to ensure that the frail elderly can remain at home as long as possible.

When integrated with a telephonic care management program, these remote monitoring technologies have helped Humana to avert medical emergencies and preventable hospitalizations among individuals with serious medical and functional challenges, says Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana’s care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge. The pilots are part of a continuum of care aimed at improving health outcomes, increasing satisfaction and reducing overall healthcare costs with a more holistic approach.

Most Americans are living longer, and suffering fewer deaths from acute illness, Miller said in a recent Healthcare Intelligence Network webinar, Integrating Mobile Health Remote Patient Monitoring with Telephonic Care Management for Improved Care Coordination Results. But they are also developing more chronic illnesses and functional limitations, which are often the costliest to manage.

Despite their growing frailty, however, nine out of 10 Americans prefer to age at home, she continues. To help them live independently and age gracefully at home, Humana, which has over 30 years experience in the Medicare program, and over two and a half million Medicare advantage members, launched the Humana Chronic Care Program (HCCP). Targeting the members most in need, or the sickest 20 percent, which drive 75 percent of the company’s costs, the company implemented a series of nine healthcare remote monitoring pilots for individuals with congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes as well those with medication adherence problems. The pilots also target those with functional challenges that make activities of daily living (ADL) challenging.

“There is a clear need to look beyond disease and address functional limitations,” Miller says.

One of the pilots includes strategically placed home-based sensors that monitor ADL levels of those with functional impairment. Algorithms detect abnormalities in the patients’ activities, i.e. erratic sleeping behaviors or toileting patterns that can signal infections, which then generate alerts for recommended interventions.

Video visits include two way audio-video communications so that care managers can interact with their sickest members as an adjunct to home visits. Members are given tablets to use for face-to-face contact with their care manager, or to go over any educational materials their care managers or physician provides them.

Ranging from passive to active monitoring, all of the technologies are senior-friendly, and designed to help members manage their conditions, reduce hospitalizations and improve the patient/member experience, Miller says.

A mobile Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), for those that live alone or have limited caregiver support, has been the most popular, Miller says. Members are mailed a cellular device that can be activated manually by a button, or automatically via an accelerometer. Once turned on, the PERS device connects the member to clinically trained emergency support. Many patients have asked if they could extend their use of this particular device once the pilot was over, Miller says. She explains why:

Besides being a health issue, I think the device also speaks to the level of safety concerns that a lot of seniors who have multiple chronic conditions, and who live alone, have. They don’t want to necessarily reach out to their neighbors all the time. This provides them some peace of mind, which is the ultimate goal of the program.

Listen to an interview with Gail Miller of Humana Cares/SeniorBridge here.

What are your organization’s efforts in remote patient monitoring? Participate in our e-survey, 10 Questions on Remote Patient Monitoring, by April 22, 2014 and you will receive a free summary of survey results once it is compiled.

6 Strategies Help Stem Hospital Readmissions, Streamline Processes and Care Transitions

February 27th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Development of post-acute partnerships with home health, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and hospice is emerging as a key strategy to stem hospital readmissions, according to new market data from the fourth annual Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) Reducing Hospital Readmissions Survey.

More than half of survey respondents participate in post-acute partnerships, with home health collaborations the most common (79 percent). These partnerships serve to streamline processes and care transitions, educate and align staff, and implement changes of value to patients, respondents say.

Looking at more conventional approaches, medication reconciliation and telephonic monitoring of patients post-discharge emerged as frontrunner strategies to curb readmissions. Moreover, the 2013 survey revealed significant upticks in the use of each tactic over 2012 levels: medication reconciliation is now conducted by 73 percent of respondents, versus 54 percent in 2012, while the use of telephonic monitoring jumped from 48 to 71 percent over the same 12-month period.

In other new data, almost half of respondents — 47 percent — aim programs at individuals already assessed at high risk for readmission as well as traditional Medicare (53 percent), Medicaid (28 percent) and high utilizer (23 percent).

Other key findings include the following:

  • Two-thirds of respondents to HIN’s December 2013 Readmissions e-survey have a program to reduce readmissions.
  • In a new metric from the 2013 survey, more than half — 52 percent — aim readmission reduction efforts at individuals with diabetes.
  • Case management is the most successful approach to curbing rehospitalizations, say 27 percent. The case manager retains chief responsibility for reducing readmissions, say 34 percent of respondents.
  • Heart failure remains the top condition targeted by programs, although a fifth already track readmissions for hip and knee replacements, a metric the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will examine more closely in 2015.

Excerpted from 2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Hospital Readmissions.

3 CM Qualities That Engage Populations in Telephonic Case Management

February 12th, 2014 by Jessica Fornarotto

Beyond scripts and data, there are three qualities that a case manager should possess to successfully engage populations in telephonic case management, says Jay Hale, director of quality improvement and clinical operations at Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA).

We have found that if case managers are more comfortable with a certain illness or population, they tend to engage members better. We are still trying to figure out the nuances within each population. People who have done more child/adolescent work engage parents better than substance abuse recovery individuals do. People that do a significant amount of substance abuse recovery do a better job with that population than with the adult mental health population. There is an X factor or a subdivision with this.

Second, case managers need to be extroverted people who do not mind making the outgoing phone calls. While we need scripts and data to drive our program, the people who make it most successful are the clinicians who are most comfortable engaging those individuals. However, they are the least comfortable with paperwork, which is why we make our paperwork as simple as possible. We want to be sure that they can point and click, and go straight through it. It is one flowing process for them.

Finally, management also supports engagement. It is important to talk to the staff about success stories and what happened that made them successful. They should use it as a learning opportunity for everyone, but also as a celebration opportunity. As long as we can keep case managers enthused about the program they are doing, that enthusiasm comes through in their voice when they are talking to individuals on the phone and it helps them go the extra mile. It helps them with the process of relating to members at the other end.

“At CBHA, we developed our telephonic case management program to find a way to support and improve the care of some of our most vulnerable members. We want to be good stewards of the monies that are given to us by our client companies to pay for their behavioral health claims,” said Jay Hale.

Excerpted from: Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations