Anthony Trollope, a 19th century novelist, interpreted the work of physicians this way: “Perhaps there is no career in which a man has to work harder for what he earns or do work without earning anything.” What he said was before the advent of modern day healthcare system, but the import of his statement holds true even today. For instance, consider the case of modern day primary care physicians. They are the primary caregivers for 117 million Americans, suffering from all kinds of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. And how about their earnings? Approximately $200,000 per year, which is the lowest in the class. What’s more, they don’t get paid for providing critical non-face-to-face professional advice over the phone or other medium.
The good news is that the situation has changed for the greater good of the industry. The government has woken up to the need to recognize the hard work of primary care givers, and has introduced a brand of new chronic care management (CCM) fee. As per the latest piece of legislation, primary care physicians will get reimbursed for providing non-face-to-face care for Medicare patients, starting from January 1st 2015.
But experts question the immediate benefits of this move. Yes, eligible providers will get compensated with approximately $42 per qualified patient per month for these services. But there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Do they have the professional staff bandwidth to provide follow-up care management and care coordination, which can be very time intensive? And can they implement a CCM program under the allotted budget?
Much of these kinks can be overcome with little ingenuity. All you need to do is outsource the chronic care management to a third party service provider. These service providers will act as an extension of your practice, engage with patients on your behalf and help you churn higher returns on your investment for the service.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
Hiring an outsourced service provider will help you to combine analytics, clinical services and technology, with almost no impact on your workforce. It will also help you to enhance your patient enrollment in the program, increase patient compliance, adhere to CCM documentation requirements, and many more, while minimizing the load on your clinical staff. The net result is that your medical practice will be in a position to deliver superior quality chronic care without incurring any overhead expenditure associated with building the service from scratch.