According to the World Economic Forum, chronic condition management is the biggest challenge to global health. Currently, one in three adults worldwide suffer from two or more chronic conditions, impacting patients’ wellbeing and straining healthcare systems with increasing treatment costs. As the global population continues to age, that number—and the burden associated with it—is only going up.
Already, non-communicable diseases are the leading causes of death in most industrialized and many developing countries. By 2030, eight out of 10 leading causes of death in the world will be chronic illnesses. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), insufficient technical and operational capacity is one of the top five obstacles to tackling this problem. Even in the United States, almost two-thirds of patients agree that healthcare does not effectively help those with chronic illnesses manage their conditions, and 85% of Americans with a chronic condition say they would get treatment elsewhere if they weren’t satisfied with their provider. New technologies are transforming care management into a practice that better engages patients, improves health outcomes, and lowers costs.
Providers spend more time playing phone tag and digging through charts than delivering care
As wearables and connected home health devices become more common, their popularity is creating an explosion of patient data that current care management approaches are ill-equipped to handle. Providers who rely on manual data collection processes like phone outreach programs lack direct access to patient data and put themselves at the mercy of patients to accurately monitor and report their health data. Even when providers do manage to track down patients and record data, a lack of cross-team organization strands information within various siloes and legacy systems. This reliance on disparate systems forces providers to consolidate patient data from various sources before they can analyze it, making it challenging to gain actionable patient health insights.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Nebraska realized just how inefficient this approach was when they analyzed their existing telephone care management system in 2015. Not only were they missing accurate phone numbers for many of their patients, a significant amount didn’t have a phone number on record. Even worse, because providers were rushed to squeeze phone outreach in between other responsibilities and high caseloads, they were unable to sustain meaningful relationships with patients even when they did have accurate contact information on record.
An intelligent care management solution eliminates these inefficiencies by automatically consolidating and analyzing patient data on a single platform—empowering providers with a holistic view of their patients’ health. By enabling remote care management, providers supplement existing workflows with improved data collection processes and enhanced communication that promotes collaboration and patient self-care.
A reliance on inefficient, reactive care leads to more patients with catastrophic conditions
Without quick access to accurate patient data, providers can’t proactively monitor their patients’ health to prevent problems from developing. Instead, providers must wait for patients to notice irregularities in their health and decide for themselves when to schedule an appointment. While many of these patients may rack up unnecessary operating costs by scheduling an appointment when no action is needed, others will wait too long while their condition worsens. In fact, 67% of patients with catastrophic conditions had not been catastrophic the year before, pointing to the failures of a reactive healthcare approach.
Regardless of when a patient comes in, providers must spend the first several minutes of each appointment collecting patient data and asking patients for updates on their care plan compliance. Not only does this frustrate patients who have less time to ask top-of-mind questions, minutes spent collecting data quickly turns into hours of wasted time, making it harder for health organizations to minimize inefficiencies and save costs, generate new revenue, and accelerate growth. For US-based organizations, this limitation poses an even more direct financial threat as they miss out on Medicare reimbursement opportunities including CPT Code 99091 for Remote Patient Monitoring and CPT Code 99490 for Chronic Care Management.
Leveraging an intelligent care management solution empowers providers to track their patients’ health in real time. With new mobile communication channels extending care outside of the clinic, providers can reach out to patients as needed to adjust their care plan, schedule an appointment, or help them effectively manage their health. This empowers providers to proactively engage patients and eliminate upwards of 5.5 minutes of data collection per patient interaction. With streamlined operations, health providers can reinvest the time and cost savings to further grow their organization and serve more patients. In the United States, a clear record of care provided makes it easier to apply for financial reimbursements.
Empower patients and providers with a powerful patient engagement solution
The Ellie Patient Engagement and Care Management solution, built on the Microsoft cloud, helps individuals and healthcare professionals engage and empower each other by combining information from patients, devices, and apps with existing clinical data for a complete view of a patient’s health. By empowering patients and providers to communicate and share health data remotely, Ellie eliminates the inefficiencies associated with existing care management approaches to save costs and improve outcomes. To try Ellie today, check out the Ellie Patient Engagement and Care Management demo on Appsource.
The Ellie Patient Engagement and Care Management solution is offered as part of Personalized Care, a suite of Microsoft and partner health solutions. To learn more about Ellie and its companion offerings in genomics, clinical analysis, health team collaboration and care coordination, visit the Personalized Care scenario page.