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Telemedicine In Chronic Care Management: Improving Patient Outcome

April 9, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Darya Danikovich, tech journalist and a marketing specialist at EffectiveSoft

health IT FINAL 300x200 Telemedicine In Chronic Care Management: Improving Patient Outcome

The care quality reinforced by optimized performance of the medical staff is the main goal among healthcare vendors today. The endeavors to provide maximum patient-centered and equitable care are especially palpable for Medicare patients with chronic conditions. What are the reasons? Medicare reimbursement has been a questionable issue for the last few years as medical staff had to do quite a number of things beyond the bounds of face-to-face visits. Previously, phone calls and core coordination services with other specialists were not paid at all, but now there has been found a solution to get reimbursed. The Chronic Care Management (CCM) Program was designed to help medical providers get revenue for helping patients with chronic illnesses between office visits.

To be eligible to CCM, beneficiaries should have, of course, medical coverage and two chronic conditions, for example, cancer, diabetes or depression. The condition is expected to last at least 12 months or until the patient’s death. The service is rendered under CPT code 99490 which implies 20 minutes of non-face-to-face care management per month.

Today, the number of patients that participate in the program is approaching 40 million. And, providing medical help to such a great amount of people is really a challenging task. That is why healthcare providers take advantage of technical progress. To connect medical specialists with their patients, telemedicine solutions come to the aid. According to HMISS Analytics research, more that 70% of healthcare providers in the United States took advantage of telemedicine software in their practice in 2017, and today this number only continues to grow. Let’s look at how this technology helps in chronic care management.

Telemedicine in CCM

Managing numerous patients with several chronic conditions demands much time and effort. Besides, healthcare providers need to have a comprehensive care plan in place to be able to bill the case. Telemedicine solutions come in handy to improve the doctor-patient communication, records management and reimbursement process as much as possible. With the help of healthcare software solutions, caregivers can practice:

Real-time consultations

The advanced technologyof remote health monitoring utilizes two-way cameras and video monitors, microphones and smart alarms which are all interconnected. Patients and doctors can have 20 minutes’ real-time live consultation or videoconferences with multiple specialists to set diagnoses and conduct health monitoring.

Remote condition monitoring
With the help of various devices, e.g. heart rate and blood pressure monitors, medical staff gets the information about the patient’s health condition remotely. Most commonly, this method is used to monitor heart diseases, asthma and diabetes. Wearable devices record the information at the patient’s side and then transmit it to the doctor. This process is sometimes called ‘self-monitoring’ or ‘remote monitoring’.

Store-and-forward process
This technique is preferable when there may be long delays in transmission or end-to-end connection is not available at all. The doctor gets all the necessary medical data, for example, medical images, biosignals or test results, for offline assessment.  All the information in electronic form is recorded and transmitted at a convenient time for both the parties. The data can be stored until the doctor has an opportunity to see it.

Conclusion
Technical progress drives the Chronic Care Management Program forward, frees waiting rooms and helps doctors and patients interact remotely with the same efficiency. Though healthcare providers and patients were comparatively slow to adopt the program within the first years upon its launch, the situation has positively changed a lot ever since. Researches show that approximately 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have at least two chronic conditions. And the total number of those who benefit from the CCM is likely to skyrocket.

Author Bio

Darya Danikovich is a tech journalist and a marketing specialist at EffectiveSoft, a custom software development company. Darya interviews tech experts to share their expertise across a wide range of topics, including healthcare, education, trading software development.

HEALTH IT

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