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Descriptor, sample scenario complete the picture for CHI

The proposed community health integration (CHI) service has created a lot of interest (PBN 9/25/23, subscription required). If your practice wants more details about the proposed service, read the full descriptor for the primary code. The descriptor contains a full outline of the code’s requirements and should be a coder’s first stop when they have questions about reporting the code.
CMS also provided a sample scenario to better illustrate the work involved in providing the service. First, check out the full, proposed descriptor:
Community health integration services performed by certified or trained auxiliary personnel, including a community health worker, under the direction of a physician or other practitioner; 60 minutes per calendar month, in the following activities to address social determinants of health (SDOH) need(s) that are significantly limiting ability to diagnose or treat problem(s) addressed in an initiating E/M visit:
1. Person-centered assessment, performed to better understand the individualized context of the intersection between the SDOH need(s) and the problem(s) addressed in the initiating E/M visit.
  • Conducting a person-centered assessment to understand patient’s life story, strengths, needs, goals, preferences and desired outcomes, including understanding cultural and linguistic factors.
  • Facilitating patient-driven goal-setting and establishing an action plan.
  • Providing tailored support to the patient as needed to accomplish the practitioner’s treatment plan.
2. Practitioner, Home-, and Community-Based Care Coordination
  • Coordinating receipt of needed services from healthcare practitioners, providers, and facilities; and from home- and community-based service providers, social service providers, and caregiver (if applicable).
  • Communication with practitioners, home- and community-based service providers, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (or other health care facilities) regarding the patient’s psychosocial strengths and needs, functional deficits, goals, preferences, and desired outcomes, including cultural and linguistic factors.
  • Coordination of care transitions between and among health care practitioners and settings, including transitions involving referral to other clinicians; follow-up after an emergency department visit; or follow-up after discharges from hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or other health care facilities.
  • Facilitating access to community-based social services (e.g., housing, utilities, transportation, food assistance) to address the SDOH need(s).
3. Health education – Helping the patient contextualize health education provided by the patient’s treatment team with the patient’s individual needs, goals, and preferences, in the context of the SDOH need(s), and educating the patient on how to best participate in medical decision-making.
4. Building patient self-advocacy skills, so that the patient can interact with members of the health care team and related community-based services addressing the SDOH need(s), in ways that are more likely to promote personalized and effective diagnosis or treatment.
5. Health care access/health system navigation
  • Helping the patient access healthcare, including identifying appropriate practitioners or providers for clinical care and helping secure appointments with them.
6. Facilitating behavioral change as necessary for meeting diagnosis and treatment goals, including promoting patient motivation to participate in care and reach person-centered diagnosis or treatment goals.
7. Facilitating and providing social and emotional support to help the patient cope with the problem(s) addressed in the initiating visit, the SDOH need(s), and adjust daily routines to better meet diagnosis and treatment goals.
8. Leveraging lived experience when applicable to provide support, mentorship, or inspiration to meet treatment goals.
Sample scenario provides a CHI walk-through
CMS used the following example to illustrate the work involved in a CHI service.
Tailored support could be provided through CHI services to a patient experiencing homelessness with signs of potential cognitive impairment and a history of frequent ED admissions for uncontrolled diabetes.
The patient’s primary care practitioner (PCP) learns during a clinic visit after discharge from the ED, that the patient has been able to reliably fill their prescriptions for diabetes medication, but frequently loses the medication (or access to it) while transitioning between homeless shelters and a local friend’s home. In the medical record, the PCP documents SDOH need(s) of housing insecurity and transportation insecurity contributing to medication noncompliance, resulting in inadequate insulin control and a recent ED visit for hypoglycemia.
The PCP’s treatment plan is daily diabetes medication, with the goal of maintaining hemoglobin A1c within appropriate levels.
To accomplish the treatment plan, the PCP orders CHI services to develop an individualized plan for daily medication adherence/access while applying for local housing assistance, and also orders a follow up visit for cognitive impairment assessment and care planning to further evaluate the potential contribution of cognitive impairment.
The PCP’s auxiliary personnel provide tailored support, comprised of facilitating communication between the patient, local shelters, and the friend, to help the patient identify a single location to reliably store their medication while applying for local housing assistance.
The auxiliary personnel also help the patient identify a reliable means of transportation daily to that location for their medication, and show the patient how to create a daily automated phone reminder to take the diabetes medication.
The auxiliary personnel document these activities (including amount of time spent) in the medical record at the PCP’s office, along with periodic updates regarding the status of the patient’s housing assistance application.
Blog Tags: CMS, proposed rules
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