Tag Archives: medicare

Earn from Medicare’s Chronic Care Management Program! CCM made simple!

Chronic Care Management Services are delivered to Medicare beneficiaries with two or more chronic conditions with a goal of improving health and quality of care for high-need patients. As population ages, FQHCs, RHCs, ACOs, Hospitals, individual practitioners, etc. face the daunting challenge of improving quality of care for chronically ill patients while containing costs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says about 93% of total Medicare spending is on beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions. Research has shown that highly fragmented care for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions are more likely to present in emergency rooms, and be admitted than others.

In spite of the need for proactive care for Chronic Care Management Patients, a lot of the providers are still underutilizing this benefit. There are several reasons why providers like FQHCs, RHCs, ACOs, Hospitals, individual practitioners, etc. have chosen to leave it on the table.

Complicated Process:

There are several rules physicians and practices have to follow in order to qualify for CCM reimbursement. CMS has set rules right from enrolling Medicare patients up to the necessary documents that have to be furnished for CCM reimbursement. Other mandatory requirements include providers offering CCM service, should have access to patient’s health records, provide 24/7 access to care, provide care plans, and patients be able to reach providers to meet urgent care needs.

Time Consuming and involves additional costs:

Many providers feel offering CCM service is a time-consuming effort, and requires additional staffing. They find it difficult to document each of these and also provide quality care for their patients. Providers feel there is an increased administrative burden to managing and tracking CCM services, and it also involves additional cost.

Patients Consent:

Providers must identify Medicare eligible patients, explain CCM services and get consent to enroll the patient and start the service. Providers must explain the required information in detail where the patient can either accept or decline the service. 

Wait and See Approach:

Providers  want to first see if the approach is effective before deciding to opt for it. Many providers and physicians wait to see if other providers who opted to provide the service have success with reimbursement before committing to participation in the program.

HealthViewX makes Chronic Care Management process easier with the below features and makes reimbursement simple:

Automated Documentation for CMS Auditing

HealthViewX automates and streamlines the end-to-end CCM process. Integrates with softphones to accurately record the time spent on each call. It easily helps generate reports as per CMS requirements. 

Comprehensive Care Plan

Structured care plans are essential to help organize coordination of actions for proper patient progression and self-management. The solution helps create condition-specific, personalized and comprehensive care plans for each patient including tasks and goals for both the patient and care coordinator track for better care coordination. Simplifies and streamlines workflow to guide tele-nurses in creating care plans. 

HIPAA Compliant

HealthViewX CCM follows HIPAA compliance requirements and guidelines. The solution lets you define the access, have user-specific access conditions, and provides secure access to patient records.

Analytics and Dashboard

Gives detailed actionable insights for better care coordination. Data can be visually represented and users can gather detailed information by clicking the desired data. The dashboard also displays the follow-up reminders that can be set-up by the user against each patient.

Take this simple step to improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients with multiple chronic care conditions.

Schedule a demo and talk to HealthViewX Solution experts today to discuss the CCM solution. Or simply outsource your CCM services. HealthViewX also provides end-to-end CCM services through our network of seasoned RNs and CMAs that enable you to increase your monthly reimbursements without incurring any additional cost of hiring additional staff or investing in technology solutions.

 

 

What’s New with CCM? Medicare Reimbursement 2020 Code Changes Explained!

First, let’s have a quick look at what were the codes in 2019.

Beginning January 1, 2019, the CCM codes were as below

CPT 99490 (Non-complex)

Chronic care management services, at least 20 minutes of clinical staff time directed by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional, per calendar month.

CPT 99491

Chronic care management services, provided personally by a physician or nurse practitioner for at least 30 minutes, per calendar month to high-risk patients. Codes 99490 and 99491 cannot be billed in the same month for the same patient so practices will need to decide if this new code is a good use of their doctors’ time and which patients would benefit from it.

CPT 99487 (Complex)

 Complex chronic care management services, with at least 60 minutes of clinical staff time directed by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional, per calendar month

CPT 99489 (Add-on for CPT 99487)

Each additional 30 minutes of clinical staff time directed by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional, per calendar month (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure).

Complex CCM services of less than 60 minutes in duration, in a calendar month, are not reported separately. Report 99489 in conjunction with 99487. Do not report 99489 for care management services of less than 30 minutes in addition to the first 60 minutes of complex CCM services during a calendar month.

The billing practitioner cannot report both complex and regular (non-complex) CCM for a given patient for a given calendar month. In other words, a given patient receives either complex or non-complex CCM during a given service period, not both. Do not report 99491 in the same calendar month as 99487, 99489, 99490.

What’s New?

On Nov 15, 2019, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the CY 2020 Medicare Fee Schedule (MFS). It has revised the current chronic care management reimbursement program and has created a new care management reimbursement program.

Here’s a quick look at 2020 Medicare Reimbursement Codes for Chronic Care Management:

99487, 99489*, 99490, G2058*, 99491

CMS has created an add-on code, HCPCS Code G2058 for non-complex CCM effective Jan 01, 2020.

G2058 Specifications:

A medical practitioner can bill CPT 99490 for the first 20 minutes of clinical staff time spent performing CCM activities (educating the patient or caregiver about the patient’s condition, care plan, and prognosis, etc.) in a given calendar month and can charge HCPCS code G2058 for the second and third 20-minute additions (additional staff time respectively). Use G2058 in conjunction with 99490. Do not report 99490, G2058 in the same calendar month as 99487, 99489, 99491. These CPT codes are tailored toward primary care physicians but can be billed by any physician or by any skilled healthcare professional and get the reimbursement by fulfilling the code requirements.

Payment or reimbursement for the CPT code 99490 is $42.23 while the add-on code G2058 (up to two) pays $37.89. Therefore, total reimbursement for an hour or more of non-complex CCM services is $118.01.  

** Add-on codes are bundled and cannot be billed separately from their base code.

CCM Patient Eligibility

Patients with multiple (two or more) chronic conditions expected to last at least 12 months or until the death of the patient, and that place the patient at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline, are eligible for CCM services.

How does the scope for CCM look like in 2020?

Qualified healthcare professionals have been billing Medicare for providing CCM services like maintaining care plans, handling care transitions between providers to Medicare patients with two or more chronic conditions. Even today CCM continues to be underused.

The epidemic of chronic disease continues to grow and has reached global epidemic proportions. This condition is exerting considerable demand for health systems to adopt an IT solution to provide better care for their chronic patients. This increased demand has become a major concern today. Adapting new technology or operating models is vital for the health systems to provide care differently, more efficiently, and with better patient outcomes.

HealthViewX CCM platform helps individual physicians, practices, billing companies, etc. to provide CCM services seamlessly to their enrolled Medicare patients. The simplified and automated process makes it easy to meet the criteria for CMS billing and reimbursement.

Power your entire system – simplify your workflow, create patient-specific care plans, automate documentation, generate detailed reports, and improve overall efficiency. Hosted in cloud servers, HealthViewX CCM solution is extremely scalable to meet requirements of any operative size and our pricing model keeps overhead cost minimal and manageable.

Schedule a demo and talk to our solution experts today!

Ref: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/ChronicCareManagement.pdf

https://hcpcs.codes/g-codes/G2058/

Top 6 Reasons Why You Need A Referral Management System Even Though You Have An EMR/EHR

When an organization considers purchasing a patient Referral Management System (RMS), one of the first points management considers is whether or not its existing EMR/EHR can provide the missing functionality with an add-on, or perhaps already does but is not being used.

In general, use cases that are exclusive to employed healthcare providers working within the provider system will favor using an EMR alone. However, once an organization wants to do complex tiering of its networks and/or work with provider resources outside its organization, a Referral Management System becomes critical. 

Below, we provide the top 6 reasons a Referral Management System is a necessary tool for a healthcare system in addition to an EHR/EMR.

6. Referral Management Systems Enable Healthy Provider Network Utilization

A healthy referral network should be able to distribute referrals evenly among comparable resources in a given geography. It is essential to maintain active participation among all the providers in the network. Often a favored specialist at the top of the list keeps getting more and more referrals at the expense of others who might be just as qualified. An effective Referral Management System can provide load-balancing algorithms so that referrals are distributed evenly among comparable providers.

5. Referral Management Systems Provide End-to-End Patient Referral Tracking

Part of the clinical opportunity for referral management stems from the fact that referrals typically occur when there is a change of diagnosis or an escalation in care. As such, a referral is often the first indication that a patient will likely trigger significant downstream consumption. A well-implemented patient referral solution enables an organization to track patients in real-time and better guide patients towards high-quality low-cost care settings. Further, the system needs to encourage specialist staff to report appointment attendance or noncompliance, as well as return clinical notes to primary care offices for better patient care and better patient outcomes.

4. Referral Management Systems Facilitate Real-Time Referral Reporting

The ability to report highly granular referral analytics that illustrates referral patterns is essential for any Referral Management System. Organizations taking on risk as well as organizations optimizing referral patterns need to stay vigilant about network performance and network adequacy. Referral analytics should help organizations identify particular areas of concern as well as provide reporting that impacts referral patterns and facilitates change. Furthermore, robust Referral management software should be able to provide this data within the application itself as well as have the ability to export this data in any suitable format. 

3. Referral Management Systems Create Dynamic Referral List Based on Location

Many organizations must be able to manage referrals across large geographic areas. Indeed, the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that many provider organizations enter into with payers as part of risk-sharing arrangements have network requirements that dictate how far away a specialist referral can be for a patient. A patient referral management solution can store the SLAs from the different payers, and then generate a geo-specific list of referral resources that can be based on the primary care provider’s location or the patient’s home.

2. Referral Management Systems Create Dynamic Referral Lists Based on Payer Selection or Plan Design

Referral networks tend to have networks within the network, where different payers or insurance plans have preferences or rules where patients can go for care. A referral management solution can generate a referral list for each patient based on the plan each patient carries.

1. Referral Management Systems Connect Healthcare Clinics Across Different EMRs

Once an organization wants to manage referrals across networks (e.g. among affiliates), chances are high that many offices will be using different EMRs. An effective referral management solution will be able to provide workflow and integration solutions that can work across multiple different EMR/EHR vendors and networks. 

How has HealthViewX added value to referring physicians’ patient referral problems?

1) Automating the insurance pre-authorization process 

HealthViewX platform has a payer management module that maintains and manages 

  • Different payer details
  • Modes of prior authorization
  • Direct authorization procedures
  • Payer forms 
  • Online portal links
  • With this information already present, it provides the referral coordinator with the capability to automate 
  • Prior authorization submission
  • Status checks coupled 
  • Fax integration

It simplifies the process of insurance pre-authorization. The referral coordinator need not waste time on the process anymore.

2) Intelligent Provider Match 

Our “Smart Search” feature makes it easy for the referring provider in finding the right provider. It has smart filters and search options that help in narrowing down the specialist based on the requirements.

3) Establishing best practices

After using our HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System, physicians were automatically alerted to

  • Appointments
  • Referral status
  • Patient diagnostic reports
  • Referral completion 

As a result, we can cut down on miscommunications and bridge the gaps between the specialist and the physician community. The system also assembles a patient encounter record from the EMR/EHR and pushes it directly to the physician.

4) Forming a close-knit of trusted referral receiving centers

Our system helps in strengthening ties with the medical community. From a history referral experiences the PCPs can from a close-knit of referral receiving providers. Physicians can now refer patients to hospitals they can rely on. 

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution helps the referring physicians in handling and managing their referrals. Are you an inbound referral heavy practice looking for an end-to-end referral management solution? Schedule a demo with us. Our patient referral management experts will guide you through our HIPAA compliant solution.

How Can Automated Referral Workflows Increase Patient Satisfaction?

Today’s healthcare model demands that services be centered around patients. This model faces additional challenges when care needs to be coordinated among multiple providers. Between 1999 and 2009, the number of primary care visits resulting in referral has increased by 159%. 

Problems with the existing referral workflow

Research strongly indicates that referring physicians need to improve the quality of information they provide to consulting physicians. When surveyed, 63% of PCPs and 35% of specialists report dissatisfaction with the current referral process because,

  • Paper referrals often do not provide adequate information
  • Consult reports are not delivered in a timely manner
  • Many referrals do not even include transmission of information, either to or from specialists

Consequently, PCPs are always not aware if a patient has seen a specialist. To add to this, up to 80% of ACO clinicians report the lack of interoperability among data systems is the greatest challenge. It happens particularly when they are attempting to locate information from out-of-network providers. Physicians consistently indicate that improvements are needed in the referral system to optimize patient care.

Why are automated workflows important?

Did you know? Among all patient referrals from PCP to the specialist, it is estimated that only half as many patients show up for their specialty care appointment. Furthermore, “self-referral” patients who see specialists without a recommendation from a PCP are associated with higher patient dissatisfaction and poorer continuity of care with the primary care doctor. A study states that 70% of specialists rate the referral information they receive from Primary Care Providers as fair or poor. 

In a patient-centric healthcare environment, patient satisfaction is the major concern of many practices. An automated referral workflow provides a way for physicians to ensure that patients are getting the care they need when they need it. As PCPs refer more patients to specialists each year, coordinated care and automated referral workflow become an urgent issue for both independent and hospital-based practices.

How can an Electronic Referral System help?

Information Technology enables patient referral workflow automation. HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System simplifies the process and closes the referral loop on time.

  1. The Primary Care Provider (PCP) identifies the need for a referral and initiates the same through the EHR system.
  2. The referral coordination team then validates the referral and does the insurance pre-authorization with the help of HealthViewX solution.
  3. The Intelligent Provider Smart Search feature of HealthViewX Patient Referral Management System helps in finding the right specialist or imaging center easily.
  4. The referral coordination team then sends the referral with the necessary documents to the relevant specialist or imaging center through the HealthViewX platform.
  5. The receiving provider gets notified about the referral and can schedule appointments with the patient.
  6. The patient and the receiving provider get reminders of the appointments thus reducing no-show rates.
  7. The referring provider is also notified about the status of the referral and how it is progressing. HealthViewX timeline view makes tracking and managing the referral lifecycle easier.
  8. HealthViewX tracks and sends reminders to the receiving provider to update the diagnosis, treatment recommendations, care plans in the referral.
  9. HealthViewX makes it easy for the referring provider by automatically updating this information back to the EHR system.
  10. Thus the HealthViewX solution closes the referral loop on time and helps in easy monitoring of the same.

Impacts of implementing an electronic referral management system

After the implementation of an electronic referral system, providers have observed, 

  • Enhanced direct communication between PCPs and specialists regarding their mutual patients
  • Better appointment tracking
  • Improved access to specialty care
  • Increased consult report compliance and follow-up

In addition, referral systems appeal to front-office staff because of its intuitive user interface and human-centered design. When providers can easily access needed information, they’re empowered to deliver better care.

Benefits of automating the referral workflow

  1. Increased Medicare reimbursements –  Medicare considers closing medical referral loop as a benchmark for giving reimbursements. Closed medical referral loops increase the opportunities for Medicare reimbursements for referral marketing.
  2. Streamline referral management – With HealthViewX Patient Referral System in place, the referral workflow is automated and streamlined.
  3. Improved patient care – Reduced waiting time gives patient satisfaction thereby improving the care quality.
  4. Increased productivity – Reduced operational time improves the efficiency of the patient referral system.

 

Reference

3 Ways Through Which A Practice Can Enhance Patient Experience And Improve Patient Engagement

Patient experience is not just about the quality of care measurements and outcomes. Today, there are about 10 aspects that define the patient experience, and each one has its own impact to attract and retain patients within the network.

Patient experience and engagement can be defined by the following aspects,

  1. Meeting with a doctor
  2. Wait time
  3. Billing
  4. Scheduling appointments
  5. Appointment follow-up
  6. Staff interactions
  7. Pharmacy
  8. Online reviews
  9. Social media
  10. Website

Let us explore a few tips that will enhance the patient experience, improve patient engagement, drive better outcomes and keep staff engaged. We know patients actively involved in their health tend to have better outcomes, report higher overall satisfaction, and experience lower health-related costs.

Enhancing and transforming the patient experience and providing first-rate, patient-centered care revolves around the consistent development of processes to meet patients’ expectations and needs. Understanding patients’ preferences and priorities will allow practices to identify and optimize opportunities to increase comfort and reduce suffering which will ultimately strengthen the patient-provider relationship.

Let us first define exactly what patient engagement is and break down top-level strategies that practices can use to stay connected with their patients outside traditional clinic walls.

What is the difference between patient engagement and patient experience?

The patient experience is influenced by the perception of the care they received. Ultimately, patient experience represents the overall satisfaction of their personal experience with the practice, which, more often than not, is beyond control.  

Patient engagement, however, relates to the way a patient mobilizes their healthcare experience. What actions do they take that allow them to take an active role in their healthcare? What tools, technologies, and programs are available to encourage patients, caregivers, and families to play a more engaged role in administering their long-term health and wellness?

To improve patient engagement, a practice must recognize that engaging with patients is a triangular synergy between the physician, the patient, and the practice. It is about encouraging interaction between patients and providing meaningful opportunities for your patients to engage in the ways they know and are comfortable with.

1) Keeping patients engaged after they leave

Patient engagement is no rocket science. Patients want any practice to be accessible. They desire simple ways to schedule appointments, and perhaps most important of all, they want transparent and straightforward billing.

Technology has its purpose, but nothing can substitute for genuine interpersonal communication. Compassion and empathy are not something patients can get from AI or an app; they are, however, things the practice and their staff can use to promote greater engagement.

If a practice has the latest technological gadgets, it doesn’t mean that they can check patient engagement off your to-do list. Improving patient engagement is about that personal touch, human connection, feeling like taking an active role in managing healthcare delivery.

Therefore, how can a practice engage their patients? The answer lies in the space between a doctor’s visit and the following chapter in a patient’s care.

Patients have climbed on the digital bandwagon and ready for technological engagement. Patients already interact daily with different technologies, so practice should consider employing those to boost engagement. Here are some ideas that will work:

  1. Smartwatch health data monitoring
  2. Real-time educational opportunities through the website or Alexa-like devices
  3. Push notifications to remind patients to exercise, pick up their prescriptions, or invite them to special events or seminars

To impact patient experience, satisfaction, and engagement, it will be critical to concentrate on the tiny adjustments within the practice’s workflow that will have a significant impact on the patient.

2) Leverage Artificial Intelligence

Three-quarters of aging households are expected to adopt voice-assisted technology by 2020 making artificial intelligence (AI) the tech frontrunner to enhance patient engagement.

Not inconceivable is the presence of an Alexa like Bluetooth speaker running through exam rooms, performing like closed-loop HIPAA-compliant systems. Patients would be able to ask questions related to their file and diagnosis, change the TV channel or dim the lighting in the room.

Virtual reality (VR) can also drive patient engagement. Some hospitals in California are employing VR to show patients how specific brain surgeries will be performed, thus elevating patient satisfaction scores as well as reimbursements. There’s a real possibility of home care and wound care with patient and provider interacting one-on-one from different locations is just around the corner.

3) Remember who you are talking to

The language also has a great impact on patient engagement. Instead of focusing on “adherence and compliance,” the practice should try to discern the underlying social or environmental factors hindering a patient from complying with medical recommendations.

Why is a particular patient unable to comply? A practice must take the time to connect with and understand their patients. They need to have conversations, put themselves in their patients’ shoes, and then find methods to boost patient engagement and enhance overall patient satisfaction.  

Roughly 40 million U.S. adults read at a junior high school level. However, most healthcare directions are written in much more complex language (usually in tiny fonts) which cause confusion and increase non-compliance, particularly among aging populations. To fully engage patients, practices must make sure they can comprehend the instructions we’re giving them.

What does it all mean?

At the end of the day, an engaged patient has superior outcomes, reduced costs of care, and greater satisfaction overall. The more a practice develops a culture beyond the clinical atmosphere to one that connects both patient and provider through a digital culture of wellness, communication and personalization, the more the patients and the practice will benefit.

Patients demand experiences be more custom to them, and one of the best ways to deliver is to keep them engaged outside of the office, leverage technology and utilize the proper language to drive your points and treatment plans home.

Relevance and use of patient referral management software to FQHCs and large enterprise hospitals

Money inflow is very important for medical practices. Without a constant source of revenue, medical practices cannot pay bills, pay employees or take care of patients. Importance of revenue is no different for Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Clinics, Large Enterprise, and Specialty Hospitals. One way to ensure constant revenue is by retaining patients within the hospital network and providing optimal patient care. To do this efficiently, hospitals use patient referral management software.

Role of FQHCs:

FQHCs play an important role in supporting their community and providing care services to the underserved. Due to this, they may experience financial issues at uncertain times. When budgetary resources are strained, it is critical for an FQHC to

  • Operate with maximum operational efficiency
  • Preserve financial security
  • Maintain staffing levels to continue operations

Inefficient and improper business processes will lead to patient dissatisfaction which will result in patients leaving the practice. FQHCs must concentrate on

  • Maximizing their business and staff efficiency
  • Minimizing financial risks

The relevance of patient referral management software to FQHCs

It is important for FQHCs to take good care of their patients. Factors such as waiting time, improper schedules, referring to the wrong provider, etc create patient dissatisfaction. Using referral management software, providers can access patient health records, schedule appointments and choose providers based on diagnosis and preferences. FQHCs can reduce patient-show rates, decrease referral leakage and also improve patient satisfaction.

FQHCs traditionally prefer working with EMR/EHR systems because they are comfortable with it. An EHR/EMR system has many advantages but when it is complemented with a Referral Management software practices can experience many more benefits.

The relevance of patient referral management software to Enterprise Hospitals

The following challenges in the patient referral workflow are common in enterprise hospitals across the USA.

  • Limited provider information – Physicians do not have information about the providers within their network. This is to blame for unnecessary out of network referrals. Providers who refer out of network could avoid at least one-third of these if they had access to more robust information about providers in their networks. Even when physicians have access to their health system’s provider directories, they are not using the directories because they don’t have the level of information that is needed.
  • Inadequate referral information – Even when physicians refer their patients out-of-network, the chances of a successful referral are less. This is because many providers who receive referrals rate referral information as poor. Without referral information, receiving providers cannot treat their patients effectively.
  • Inefficient patient appointment scheduling – For providers who schedule an appointment for the patient, they prefer doing it through the phone to shared electronic health records system. When heavy use of the phone occurs, it is difficult for providers to see capacity in their network to book the next available appointment. So they bypass the network and book the appointment before the patient leaves the office.

For FQHCs and Enterprise Hospitals, additional investment in a patient referral solution is recommended for the following reasons:

  1. Outbound and Inbound Referrals – HealthViewX Referral Management Solution can integrate with both the receiving and referring end. For inbound referrals, it helps in channelizing various sources into one single queue. In the case of outbound referrals, it facilitates integration with the existing system to read the patient data and send out referrals.
  2. Referral Timeline – In HealthViewX Referral Management System, any referral has a timeline, to capture and notify the progress of the referral to all the stakeholders. A referral will be mapped to a status which helps in tracking it better. With this, the providers can always be aware of how the referral is progressing.
  3. Workflow and Task Management – A workflow can be defined by how the referral flow must be(business rules). Tasks can be created to manage referrals by assigning it to the respective person.
  4. Improved communication – HealthViewX Referral Management Solution supports messaging and calling features for the referring and receiving providers to stay connected.
  5. Data Management – The solution is HIPAA compliant and enables secure data exchange of all patient-related documents.
  6. Seamless Integration – The solution can seamlessly integrate with any EMR/EHR/RIS or Third Party application thus providing minimal disruption in the existing referral flow.
  7. Referral History Consolidation – The consolidated data regarding the referrals and the referral history of any patient can be printed as a hard copy at any time in pdf/excel.
  8. Smart Search – HealthViewX Referral Management solution has a smart search facility that helps in finding the right provider for the treatment required.
  9. Referral Data Analytics – Referral data-centric dashboard gives complete data regarding the number of referrals flowing out, the number of referrals in various status, patient follow-ups, etc.

HealthViewX Patient Referral Management solution smooths the referral process and solves most of the inbound and outbound referral challenges for Large Enterprise Hospitals. Do you want to know more about HealthViewX HIPAA compliant Patient Referral Management solution? Schedule a demo with us.