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Chronic Care Management
Medicare has developed a new and valuable program in January, 2015, called the Chronic Care Management program, or CCM. Medicare is instituting this program with the goal of improving patient care and better controlling health care costs, and it is a covered Medicare benefit.
Current medical care is confusing and hard to access for many patients. It is often hard for a patient to schedule an urgent appointment, there is a lack of communication between the multiple doctors that a patient may be seeing, and there is a lot of waste in the form of duplicated testing, ER referrals, and hospital admissions. It is often hard to obtain medicines because of a maze of prior authorizations constructed by insurance companies. Medicare has recognized that all of these can lead to poor medical care, and unnecessarily high costs of care, and this is the reason that Medicare has decided to implement the CCM program.
In the CCM program, a Medicare patient chooses a single doctor to better coordinate his or her medical care by improving communication between patients and the office, and between the other doctors treating a patient, and between the office and a patient's family or other caregiver. A patient can choose only one physician to be their CCM physician, and does so by written consent. A patient can drop out of the CCM program, or change their CCM doctor. The CCM benefit is covered in the same way that other Medicare services are covered, and we expect that patients having Medicare and a supplement will incur no costs for this program.
To enroll you in this program, Medicare requires that you provide us with your written consent, We urge you to participate in this program, which we are certain will improve your medical care. To do so, please contact our office right away.
Most Frequently asked questions regarding the new Medicare Chronic Care Management Program (CCM):
Chronic Care Management (CCM) is defined as the non-face-to-face services provided to Medicare beneficiaries who have two or more significant chronic conditions. In addition to office visits and other face-to face encounters, these services include communication with the patient and other treating health professionals for care coordination (both electronically and by phone), medication management, and being accessible 24 hours a day to patients and any care providers.
Q: Can I still see specialists?
A: Yes. Under the new CCM program, you can continue to see specialists as you have before.
Q: What happens when I go back up north for the summer?
A: You can see any physicians to continue your care up north.
Q: Can more than one physician participate in the CCM program?
A: Only one physician at a time can be your designated CCM physician based on your consent.
Q: Can I get prescriptions from other physicians?
Q: Is there a cost to me for this service?
A: This is a Medicare sponsored program and can be billed monthly which is covered under your Medicare part B and secondary insurance.
For anyone wanting more detailed information on this program, visit www.cms.gov, then type in the upper right hand corner search box chronic care management. Please let us know if you have further questions!