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Thinking about outsourcing your CCM program? Tapping outside help is a great option but it’s not without challenges. Identifying the best-fit vendor is a major hurdle to overcoming the headaches associated with inadequate providers.
Before you jump into a relationship, invest the time required to understand if a contractor is truly capable and invested in helping your most vulnerable patient population. The foundation for any productive CCM program must begin with the patient experience and end with a resourced and uplifted clinical team.
Challenges of Outsourcing CCM Services
Potential misrepresentation of clinic
Make sure the provider you hire understands how your clinic wants to present itself to your patient population. If they don’t represent your clinic in a positive manner, it could hurt the patient relationships your staff has worked so hard to build.
Learning a whole new platform/system is only going to frustrate your staff. To make communication between your clinic and a CCM provider work seamlessly, you need technology that works together. Find out if their platform can integrate directly into your EMR system.
Generic scripts and communication with patients
Generic communication between a CCM provider and the patient won’t offer any value to the patient, decreasing enrollment and retention rates for your CCM program. A good CCM partner will customize their assessments and conversations to meet the needs of each individual patient.
Navigating the trust factor
Trust requires a small leap in any new relationship but research can reveal plenty about a potential vendor. Deep-rooted trust is built over time but a few simple questions will help steer the early phases of relationship building. Are they established?
- What are their current partners saying?
- Are they forthcoming with every aspect of their program?
- Do they push for long-term contracts?
The drive to lock in long-term contracts is a red flag in many cases. A true partner delivers performance, adapts to meet the partnership needs and is welcome to continue services based on results and satisfaction from the clinic staff and leadership team. Be wary of locking your clinic into complex, long-term deals.
Implementation and workflow
Covering the cost aspects of outsourcing is important but the implementation and workflow of outsourced CCM programs is where the hard work begins. It’s unrealistic to expect a clinical staff to onboard and train into a new and independent system.
If every CCM program required a high level of training and implementation, the cost and time benefit would favor in-house management programs. Finding a partner that integrates into your existing infrastructure is the most efficient and effective method of implementation.
Your staff shouldn’t need training
Imagine tasking hundreds of busy staff members with learning and implementing a new program. The resource investment is huge and the result is clunky and largely ineffective. Clinical staff members are too busy and don’t have the bandwidth for training that pulls them away from patient care.
So, how quickly can your outsourced program get off the ground? When done properly, almost immediately. H3C works inside of your existing ERM, eliminating the need for software adaptations and training.
Clinical staff members are busy and they deserve a support system rather than another set of tasks to complete on their already overloaded calendars.
Integrating with your clinic’s workflow
Two distinct approaches to integration differentiate outsourcing options. Contractors that operate separate from your clinic workflow come with a higher learning curve and they function in isolation. The separation from nurses and case managers is not designed to uplift employees within the clinic workflow.
The more efficient option favors integration into your clinic’s workflow over isolation. The process is hands-on, smooth and designed to create a family environment where clinical staff and contractors rely on each other. The contractor is a natural extension of the team in this sense.
The trust built through collaboration maximizes care for patient populations by delivering consistent messaging and processes they are accustomed to following. Creating a seamless integration of this nature benefits everyone involved.
Moving beyond the workflow, reporting is a frequent challenge. Complex reports are convoluted and tricky to decipher at every level. Look at the reporting mechanisms before committing to a new CCM program outsourcing partner and find one that makes reporting easy to understand and interpret.
Do the Outsourced CCM Programs Really Need to Understand Patient Needs?
Clinic leaders and staff are often nervous about outsourcing CCM programs because it brings an outside vendor into contact with patient populations. Your in-house CCM systems are more easily aligned with patient needs because they operate under the same roof.
A great CCM vendor will focus heavily on integrating with your clinic messaging to consistently act as an extension of your team, without the cost and start-up times required to build the program internally. They will spend the time making calls and connecting with patients with the same caring attitude as the staff nurses.
Not all vendors are created equal however. Checking references and ensuring they are proactive and genuine when approaching patients is an important step in the vetting process. The best CCM contractors make the calls and give patients the time they deserve.
Costly vs. Cost-Effective CCM Outsourcing Options
Cost and time savings are two high-level benefits to outsourcing CCM programs. Specialized vendors are focused on specific tasks and aspects of time management that make them efficient and valuable.
Quality outsourcing partners should have:
- No start-up costs
- No monthly fees
- No long-term contracts
In actuality, your CCM partner should operate at a profit to your clinic. The relationship is mutually beneficial and nickel-and-dime fee structures are unnecessary.
Learn About Our Solution for Chronic Care Management
H3C operates as a true partner, operating within existing clinical systems in a joint effort. Nurses and case managers are supported inside the clinic ERM, without interruption to their own case work.
Checkup calls, prescription fills, appointment scheduling and community assistance all operate within the same framework, helping nurses with the things they don’t have time to complete. H3C treats partners like family, working together to provide the best care possible for every patient.
According to CMS: Chronic care management is care coordination services done outside of the regular office visit for patients with multiple (two or more) chronic conditions expected to last at least 12 months or longer, and that place the patient at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline. These services are typically non-face-to-face and allow eligible practitioners to bill for at least 20 minutes or more of care coordination services per month.
Yes it can. For many physicians who do not have the professional staff bandwidth to provide continuing chronic care management, outsourcing solves the time-consuming CCM problem.
- Implement a robust CCM program quickly
- Relieve the administrative staff from additional strain
- Additional help to care for your patients
- CCM services are their focus
- No upfront cost
- Less time and effort from your staff
- Potential misrepresentation of clinic
- Disconnected technology
- Generic scripts and communication with patients
- Navigating the trust factor
- Implementation and workflow
H3C is an innovative healthcare solutions company combining exceptional patient-centric care with cutting-edge technology. Working as an extension of your clinic, we provide chronic care management that helps improve patient experiences and outcomes while boosting both clinical value and revenue. Schedule a call and let’s discuss how we can help you.