Not surprisingly, the threat of emergency department visits or hospital readmissions often rises during the “blind spots” between patient in-person physician visits. But technology advances such as telehealth offer a cost-effective way to mitigate risk and provide ongoing care during these vulnerable times – especially critical for providers in today’s era of value-based care.
CMS is one of the most prominent advocates of using telehealth to improve outcomes and rein in costs. The fact that two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries had two or more chronic conditions – and one-third had four or more – motivated CMS to create the Chronic Care Management (CCM) program. Under this program, Medicare reimburses providers for offering 20-minute monthly telehealth calls to patients with multiple chronic conditions, as long as they also create a comprehensive care plan and document treatments within the patient’s EMR.
Experts predict CCM and similar programs that integrate technology with patient interaction are likely to gain traction for several reasons, including:
- The next phase of MACRA is built around reimbursing providers not for simply collecting data but for using it meaningfully to improve care
- More frequent contact provides a clearer view of how patients are progressing in their day-to-day lives, enabling more timely intervention when needed
- The opportunity to capture and analyze greater volumes of data will help identify care gaps and support revised treatment guidelines for patients with multiple chronic conditions
Find out more about how telehealth and other technologies that expand patient care beyond the physician’s office can help providers improve outcomes, reduce costs and boost reimbursement.