Opportunities for Improving Chronic Care Management to Address Demands for Accessible Accountable Care During and After the Pandemic
THE Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the Chronic Care Management (CCM) payment policy and billing code in January 2015 to strengthen practitioner accountability for Medicare beneficiaries with 2 or more chronic health conditions. The CCM policy is also intended to support the access and care coordination infrastructure practices needed to improve care for these patients. In January 2017, CMS increased payment amounts for CCM through 3 new billing codes.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents further opportunities for improving CCM services. Because of factors such as stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and self-quarantine, the current pandemic has markedly affected access to health care. It has underlined the critical need for patients with multiple conditions to have an identified practitioner who is accessible and accountable for whole-person care and a practice with the capabilities to fulfill this obligation. In a pandemic, these patients need not only personalized advice on managing risks and current symptoms but also safe access to necessary ongoing care.