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Analysis

Chronic Care Management Impeded by Lacking Tech, Reimbursements

By Jack O'Brien  
   March 21, 2019

A Sage Growth Partners survey commissioned by Signallamp Health analyzed the obstacles ahead of meaningful chronic care management.

Most healthcare executives believe chronic care management is a top priority for their organization but admit they lack the technological skills and financial resources to effectively deliver care at home, according to a survey released Thursday morning.

The majority of leaders responded that chronic care reimbursements are currently insufficient, according to a Sage Growth Partners study commissioned by Signallamp Health.  

More than 40% of hospital executives indicated that capital constraints and limited technology remain key barriers to providing care delivery in the home, while 63% say they have insufficient human resources.

Physician group leaders reported similar levels of concern, with 60% stating that they also have insufficient human resources while 56% stated that reimbursement rates are insufficient.

Where the two surveyed groups of leaders differ is the ability to capitalize on reimbursement opportunities, as nearly half of physician practices are confident in their abilities while only 26% of hospital executives expressed those sentiments.

Since nearly all respondents listed chronic care management as a priority for their respective organizations, bridging the gap between strategic goals and care delivered remains a crucial task ahead of healthcare executives. 

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Drew Kearney, CEO of Signallamp Health, told HealthLeaders that there is still plenty of room to grow for organizations seeking to improve their chronic care management services.

"Very few organizations are taking advantage of the top line revenue resources that allow [providers] to expand proactive care management services to older, sicker populations that would benefit the most, provide quality service, and a better experience for both patients and providers," Kearney said. "[T]here's top line revenue to support something that's clearly needed and probably leading to a lot of frustration on the front lines."

Ability to manage chronic care:

  • 53% very to extremely well 
  • 42% moderately well
  • 11% slightly to not well at all

Effectiveness at preventing readmissions:

  • 55% moderately well
  • 43% very to extremely well
  • 8% slightly well

As evidenced by the responses, more than 70% of healthcare leaders believe an even mix of technology and staffing can promote effective outcomes in chronic care management.

Related: Walgreens, Microsoft Form Partnership to Transform Healthcare

Kearney urged CFOs to look critically at their chronic care management services to proactively implement solutions that will stem issues in the long-term.

"If we're to believe that value-based payments are the next forefront of healthcare, which is likely because the current model is probably not sustainable, that requires adjusting the way [executives] view the way [their] system operates and the way patients are receiving care," Kearney said. "I think it'd be foolish for us to ignore or not prioritize and leverage the financial resources available to develop these new skill sets."

Additional highlights from the chronic care management survey:

  • Thirty-six percent of respondents have plans for program participation.
  • More than half of respondents have telemedicine programs planned.
  • Nearly all respondents indicated that fostering a trusted relationship with a nurse or clinician is crucial for accruing patient loyalty.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

More than 40% of hospitals indicated that capital constraints and limited technology remain key barriers to providing care delivery in the home.

Fifty-two percent of respondents believe chronic care reimbursements are insufficient, while more than 60% say they have insufficient human resources.

Despite these weaknesses, 53% still reported that they're effectively managing chronic care. 


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