Every day you perform all sorts of activities and work that are not directly reimbursed. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start to get paid for the work you do? Well, perhaps now you can.
Chronic Care Management (CCM).
Effective January 1, 2015, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ruled that health care providers can now bill for reimbursement (indirectly) for the non-face-to-face visits and work that providers do This ruling allows for compensation for direct patient activities that include making phone calls to patients, helping patients fill out forms, consulting over the phone and taking calls after hours from patients. The everyday followup items that practitioners do everyday directly with their medicare/medicaid patients will now be eligible for reimbursement. For practitioners who practice chronic care management this a monumental breakthrough to get compensation for previously undocumented time spent on their patients.
There are certain requirements that need to be met in order for the time spent to be eligible for reimbursement.
- Practitioners (or their staff) must have at least 20 minutes of patient interaction per calendar month. Time cannot be added up over multiple months to report 99490.
- Patients must be medicare patients.
- The patient must be diagnosed with 2 or more chronic conditions.
- The patient also has to give written consent.
- There is a non-waivable monthly copay that is the patient’s responsibility.
Meeting the basic eligibility requirements is just the first step. After verifying that the patient has met the requirements the practitioner must also work with the patient to create a “patient-centered care plan” in conjunction with the patient’s values and needs. This care plan must be submitted to CMS and a copy given to the patient prior to reporting 99490 the first time. The care plan will then be in effect until otherwise changed by the practitioner.
CMS 99490 dictates that patients must have 24/7 access to care. The scope of CCM services must include, “enhanced opportunities for the beneficiary and any relevant caregiver to communicate with the practitioner regarding the beneficiary’s care through not only telephone access, but also through the use of secure messaging, Internet, or other asynchronous non face-to-face consultation methods”, according to the CMS. So, 24/7 access doesn’t necessarily mean the practitioner has to be available by phone which allows a great amount of flexibility.
The CMS 99490 is a landmark move that will help practitioners potentially expand their practice and maintain a 360 degree picture of care for their patients. Medicare has been establishing a trend toward compensating practitioners for non-face-to-face care. This is the second landmark decision that will impact how practitioners can care for their patients. It is a promising trend that is sure to provide patients and practitioners alike with a more beneficial care experience.
Are you a member of NPBO™? If so, login to the members area for a detailed reports, directions, templates and more of how to utilize the CCM option in your practice. More at www.NPBusinessOwner.com/join.