A patient and clinician sit together while reviewing a care plan on a tablet

How Do You Make a Chronic Care Management Program Successful?

It’s no secret how important chronic care management (CCM) is to healthcare in the United States. Almost one-third of American adults are suffering from two or more chronic conditions, and the cost of treating patients with chronic conditions is over $4 trillion annually. But CCM has several challenges to address, including:

  • Complex treatment plans that must be tailored to each patient
  • A growing need paired with a dwindling medical workforce
  • Time spent billing, processing, and updating chronic care plans

A good chronic care management program has to address these issues head-on, and efficiently. But with the right technology (and some human connection), that is more than possible. Learn how to develop a sound chronic care management checklist, and how CCM companies like TimeDoc Health make the care management process better for everyone. To start, it’s important to understand the primary goals of CCM—and what it takes to achieve them.

What Are the Key Goals of Chronic Disease Management?

Chronic care management (CCM) is primarily focused on improving the patient’s quality of life, as they deal with two (or sometimes more) chronic illnesses. Generally, most chronic conditions are incurable, so CCM providers focus on helping patients mitigate their symptoms. 

Well-crafted CCM plans can vastly reduce symptoms, cut down on hospital visits, and give patients more autonomy. This not only benefits patients, but the healthcare providers and the healthcare system as a whole. CCM is primarily driven by positive patient outcomes—that is, successfully completing treatment plans and minimizing needs for primary (or emergency) care.

The primary goals of chronic care management are as follows:

  • Regularly monitor the patient’s symptoms and overall well-being
  • Minimize distressing symptoms and prevent secondary conditions
  • Create (and follow up on) plans for medication and care management
  • Provide the patient with educational resources on their treatment plan
  • Support the patient emotionally whenever they struggle with their conditions

All of these goals take a lot of effort—from both the patient and provider. Staffing, billing, and managing each unique care plan is difficult, especially with a thinning workforce and fewer resources to go around. But without sufficient care, patients are left feeling discouraged, often needing to make more frequent trips to their primary care provider, or even abandoning their care plans altogether. These challenges are not going away; if anything, they’re getting harder to deal with. So, how can we improve care management? It starts with having the right software and the care coordinators to run it well.

What Does Chronic Care Management Include?

Care management involves many components—both external and internal—that help organizations execute their treatments more efficiently. Here are just a few of the key elements to proper chronic care management, and how companies like TimeDoc Health create solutions for healthcare providers:

  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)—Prescribing a treatment plan is one thing, but ensuring a patient can follow through with it is another challenge entirely. Thanks to advances in medical technology, care providers are able to far more easily check in with patients as they implement treatment plans. With RPM, care coordinators can remotely track vital signs, weight, blood pressure and other patient data, cutting down on the need for in-person visits—and making healthcare far more accessible to those who need it most. CCM companies like TimeDoc Health utilize a myriad of RPM tools, including cellular-enabled devices, automatic data collection, and customizable alerts. With these tools, treatment plans become easier to follow, increasing patient enablement.
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) Integration—Chronic care management doesn’t have to disrupt a clinical workflow. Good CCM software should easily integrate with existing processes. TimeDoc Health’s platform serves as an extension of the EHR, providing two-way integration that is both HIPAA and HITECH compliant. This allows easy documentation of patient encounters, as well as a quick way to generate program insights.
  • Behavioral Health Monitoring—This wing of CCM bridges the gap between primary care and behavioral health. If patients suffering from issues like anxiety or depression cannot get the treatment they need, their struggles with mental health will eventually impact their physical health. TimeDoc Health’s Behavioral Health Integration solution helps track patient progress, identifies barriers to care, and makes early intervention easier—long before patient issues escalate and require more serious care.

Managing all three of these is a challenge, and they are just a few parts of the CCM puzzle. Thankfully, this is a challenge solutions like TimeDoc Health are designed to handle. With the help of a CCM company, healthcare providers can rest easy knowing their patients are receiving valuable care, while also cutting down on costs and improving billing efficiency.

TimeDoc Health: Patient Success Made Simple

In chronic care management, when the patient wins, everyone wins. That’s why TimeDoc Health is focused on providing the tools and staff needed to achieve better patient outcomes. With our innovative software and empathetic care coordinators, your chronic care patients will have the best quality of life healthcare can give them. If you want to know more about how TimeDoc Health can improve your care management programs, reach out to us and request a demo today.