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Quick Q&A: Why CCM services are effective, and may be easier to implement than you think

Practices are increasingly pivoting to chronic care management (CCM) services to improve their patients’ care and tap into an available revenue opportunity. In 2017, providers gained more than $103 million in CCM-related payments, a figure that’s up significantly since the service debuted several years ago.
In the following Q&A, Aaron Elias, MHSA, MBA, speaks to the importance of tackling patients’ chronic conditions and says that embarking on a CCM program may not be the challenge some practices think it is. Along with Martie Ross, consultant with PYA, Elias is leading a webinar on CCM services on Sept. 27.
What is the overriding benefit of chronic care management (CCM) services? Just how effective can this type of patient care be?
CCM has lots of great benefits for both patients and providers. It improves patient-provider communication, enables patients to receive timely care, and ideally improves health outcomes for patients with multiple chronic conditions. CCM is an entry point for many providers to rethink the way they deliver care to patients.
Do you get the sense that practices overestimate the difficulty of launching a CCM program?
Some providers do tend to believe that offering CCM is too complex for their practice (whether because of regulatory requirements, changes to practice workflow, staffing needs, or others). Often, though, it can be much simpler for practices to start small with CCM, learn what works for them, and build on their own experiences.
Any tips on assessing whether a practice should keep a CCM program in house or coordinate with a third-party vendor?
This decision often depends on several factors: existing internal experience with care management, availability of practice resources (IT, staffing, etc.), vendor availability and alignment with practice goals, among many other factors. Each situation is different, so we suggest that providers carefully evaluate to determine which model best meets the practice’s goals.
To learn more about the webinar and discover additional CCM tips, check out the Chronic Care Management (CCM) Guide to Success: Strengthen Care, Increase Revenue page here.
Blog Tags: CMS, E/M services
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