The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) has introduced Connected Care, an educational initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of chronic care management (CCM) services for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions and to provide health care professionals with support to implement CCM programs. Connected Care is a nationwide effort within fee-for-service Medicare that includes a focus on racial and ethnic minorities as well as rural populations, who tend to have higher rates of chronic disease.
Two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions, and one-third have four or more chronic conditions. Many health care professionals are providing these patients with chronic care management, non-face-to-face services such as reviewing test results or coordinating with other providers, but are not aware of the separate payments under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and are not receiving the full separate payments that are now available for CCM services under Medicare Part B.
“This important initiative builds on our efforts to help providers care for patients with multiple chronic conditions. We are excited to be working with the Health Resources and Services Administration to reach vulnerable populations,” said Cara James, PhD, Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health.
As part of the Connected Care education initiative, CMS and HRSA or FORHP developed new resources to help educate patients and provide information for health care professionals. Some of the resources include:
- A toolkit for health care professionals with detailed information about CCM, and resources to help providers implement CCM;
- A partner toolkit that includes downloadable resources and suggested activities to get involved in the Connected Care initiative; and
- Patient education resources, including a poster and postcard that can be used in a clinical or community setting.
All resources are available online at go.cms.gov/ccm and can be ordered at no cost.
“We are thrilled to be joining CMS to educate health care professionals and patients about the value of chronic care management with the goal of improving overall patient care for millions of Americans and reducing overall health care costs,” said Tom Morris, Associate Administrator, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Services Administration.
By offering CCM services, health care professionals can deliver the coordinated care their patients need and deserve and help patients stay on track by getting support between visits.
For more information on how to get involved with the CCM initiative and learn more about chronic care management, visit go.cms.gov/ccm.