With over 70% of Medicare beneficiaries—roughly 35 million people–eligible for Chronic Care Management (CCM), it would make sense that primary care physicians (PCPs) are doing their best to sign patients up for the program.
However, a new survey from Quest Diagnostics suggests this is not the case. The survey, which focused on Medicare patients with chronic conditions and their doctors, had a shocking takeaway: of the 801 PCPs surveyed, 51% were unaware of CCM and its reimbursements for remote care delivered.
Additional key findings from the Quest Diagnostics Survey include:
- Only 9% of physicians were very satisfied that their Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions are getting the medical attention they need;
- 85% report being too pressed for time to address complex clinical conditions;
- 66% said they don’t have time to address patients’ social and behavioral issues, such as loneliness or financial worries.
As the above numbers show, nearly all physicians surveyed (95%) described wanting to care for the “whole patient,” but ran into obstacles related to time constraints and care complexity–all areas which CCM services. Even among physicians aware of CCM, only 23% are implementing the program, citing additional worries such as coding complexity and burdensome paperwork as major barriers.
“Physicians are open to adopting CCM, but it has to be easier to implement and a trusted extension to one’s practice.”
This is why new CCM-specific services are quickly growing in adoption, with qualified “CCC-RNs,” or Chronic Care Coordinators, not only making telehealth calls but also working directly with the practice to form care plans and serve as a 24/7 resource. By providing a human touch to CCM, we can ensure patients’ complex care needs are being met, which in turn will help account for an estimated 71% of all healthcare costs.
Over time, awareness for CCM and its benefits will grow, but the message for PCPs and their practices should remain clear: you don’t have to do it on your own. There are solutions that can help simplify the process so you can focus on what matters most–the health of your patients.
New Options in Chronic Care Management
Medicare’s new reimbursement for chronic care management under CPT code 99490 is a crucial change, as CCM has proven to ease the burden for patients and providers, while containing overall costs to the healthcare system. To bill for CCM, however, practices must meet specific requirements to stay within regulatory definitions and maximize compensation.
Read more about resources for CCM here: Connected Care: The Chronic Care Management Resource