Health Care Guides, Supplemental Health

Making a Case for Care Management

07/14/2022

There’s been much discussion in healthcare recently around the patient experience, or the level of satisfaction patients feel throughout their entire healthcare journey. For good reason. Healthcare organizations are discovering that the experiences of patients — good and bad — have a direct impact on patient outcomes and the cost of care. Studies show that hospitals with better patient-reported experience scores enjoy higher profitability, and that improving patient comfort and confidence can help improve outcomes1. 

 

Enhancing the patient experience requires a better understanding of what patients want and need from their providers. According to a comprehensive survey of patients conducted by Doctors.com: 

 

  • 82% of patients believe that the healthcare industry should consistently meet or exceed their expectations as a consumer. 
  • 82% ranked customer service as the most important factor influencing their loyalty to a provider. 
  • 86% consider quality customer service to be a key part of their healthcare experience. 
  • 70% consider good patient communication and engagement to be key to an excellent experience2. 

 

In an effort to address these patient expectations and improve the patient experience, a growing number of healthcare organizations are adopting a care management approach — in particular for populations with chronic and complex conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Americans living with chronic physical and mental health conditions account for 90% of the $3.3 trillion spent each year on healthcare3. Care management is proving to be an effective way of lowering these costs while improving the quality of care. 

 

In its simplest terms, care management encompasses a comprehensive range of services that help patients with chronic and complex conditions better manage their health. Beyond basic care, care management takes a more collaborative and patient-centered approach to developing treatment plans, making sure patients and families understand those plans, and helping patients and their families navigate resources to manage their own health. Ultimately, the goal of good care management is to improve the overall health of patients, thus reducing the need for — and cost of — medical services. 

 

From a provider perspective, care management drives efficiency of care by eliminating duplicate activities and simplifying coordination between the care team members. This means a more efficient delivery of care results in faster treatments and lower costs. An effective care management program also integrates patient data captured from a wide range of sources, serving it up to the care team for a complete picture of the patient’s health and history. A care management approach additionally streamlines the entire patient experience and enhances the continuity of care, from scheduling appointments to prescribing medications to providing follow-up care. 

 

Providers who offer care management typically assign a dedicated Care Manager to each patient. As part of the patient’s care team, a Care Manager takes on the role of educating and engaging patients and their families. Care Managers encourage patients to show up for appointments and follow recommended treatments, while helping them access the resources they need to manage their condition for the long-term. This relieves the care team of those added responsibilities, allowing them to focus on diagnosing and treating their patients.  

 

Care Managers also serve as the patient advocate, ensuring that the patient receives clear information and answers from their care team in a timely fashion. Care Managers work to improve the patient experience by keeping patients actively involved in and informed about their conditions and treatment plans. With this increased understanding and participation, patients are more inclined to adhere to treatments, which in turn improves outcomes and lowers costs. 

 

During the pandemic, patients have become more comfortable interacting with providers via virtual telehealth visits. Building on this acceptance and trend, more healthcare organizations are offering care management as part of their telehealth services.  

 

With virtual care management, patients can connect online with their dedicated Care Manager from the comfort of home, at a time that’s most convenient for them. With the click of a mouse or tap of a screen, patients can ask their Care Manager questions, share concerns, and get help finding the information and resources they need — quickly and efficiently. 

 

One such solution that is seeing tremendous benefits from virtual care management is DocDay. An online provider portal, DocDay provides unlimited telehealth visits with doctors, seven days a week. In addition, DocDay also connects users to a dedicated care team including a Care Manager who’s available on-demand to answer questions, help patients manage their health, and support their goals. 

 

At SureCo, we’ve seen how care management and dedicated Care Managers are working to help patients have more confidence in their providers, improve their health, and lower their medical costs. We’re ready to connect you to the advantages of care management today. Call us at (800) 467-4898.  

 

  1. https://www.philips.com/c-dam/b2bhc/master/hts/strategies-to-improve-patient-experience/a-fresh-perspective-from-the-interventional-suite-by-philips-ambient-experience_Feb_2022.pdf  
  2. https://cms.doctor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/patienttrends_report_v1.4.pdf
  3. https://www.phreesia.com/2019/09/16/what-is-care-management/ 

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