Participation in the CCM program was associated with a lower growth in total costs to Medicare than the comparison group. Patients in the CCM program had lower hospital, emergency department and skilled nursing facility costs., along with a reduced likelihood of hospital admission for the ambulatory care sensitive conditions of diabetes, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infection, and pneumonia.
The CCM program was also associated with increased access to advance care planning, 10% among CCM participants versus 1% in the general Medicare population. The study authors concluded that "CCM is having a positive effect on lowering the growth in Medicare expenditures on those that received CCM services."
Interviews with 71 eligible professionals revealed that providers and care managers perceived several positive outcomes for beneficiaries from CCM. They included improved patient satisfaction and adherence to recommended therapies, improved clinician efficiency, and decreased hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
“Most noted patients’ enhanced access to the practice through the care manager, which enabled telephonic condition monitoring between visits and more time for medication monitoring and reconciliation,” the report says. “While several providers, particularly those caring for numerous complex patients, noted that the CCM payment amount was inadequate for the CCM work required, some providers, small practices in particular, were pleased with the new payment policy, noting that they were finally receiving at least some payment.”
Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.