Care Coordination and Wellness programs aim to improve health, provide better care, and reduce costs. Unfortunately, these programs are often lacking in rural communities. However, programs such as Chronic Care Management (CCM) are well-suited for rural populations. Here are six reasons why Rural Health Providers need CCM:
- Higher rates of chronic conditions. Rural areas have higher elderly populations, which further exposes the challenges of chronic conditions. A study from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that rural residents have higher rates of multiple chronic conditions than urban residents:
- High cholesterol – 3.6% increase
- Hypertension – 5.5% increase
- Diabetes – 1.6% increase
- Arthritis – 6% increase
- Higher Mortality. A report from the CDC shows that rural residents are more likely to die from leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cancer, than urban residents.
- Behavioral/Mental Health Challenges. A study funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) found that 53% of the study’s participants likely suffered from depression. It’s easy to see how managing a patient’s physical issues becomes more difficult when behavioral ones are also present.
- Care Management/Coordination Initiatives Work. One program introduced by a large Community Health Center led to improved patient health outcomes and saved the clinic approximately $500,000 per year. This was influenced in part by an increase in patient visits per provider hour, which also resulted from operational improvements introduced by the program.
- Elimination of Barriers. The majority of CCM services are provided through clinically-accredited resources, including Nursing Specialists and Medical Assistants. This reduces the limitations of the shortage of local physicians who are usually stretched thin. The program encourages non-face-to-face engagement between the patient and their clinical care team. Services provided in an office setting do not qualify for the program. Patients can receive care services without the need to travel long distances to visit their health care providers.
- Revenue. The 2023 national payment rate for the CCM program in RHCs and FQHCs is $77.94. Accredited clinicians can manage a group of 200 chronic patients per month and introduce over $100K in new revenue per year for their clinics.
Not only can the CCM program benefit a population in need of care management services, but it can also financially benefit your practice. For more information on the CCM program, please reach out to our team at 601-859-4342.
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