Chronic diseases cannot be cured, so patients living with them require ongoing care to keep them under control and from doing further damage to the body. The standard of care for patients with chronic disease is to establish a plan with their doctor(s), follow those instructions in between visits, and return periodically to determine what changes are necessary to remain in good health. However, as the body ages and patients spend less time in good control, it becomes increasingly difficult to remain healthy and ends in a downward spiral of expense and poor quality of life. “More than two-third of Medicare patients already have two or more chronic diseases. As they begin to experience deteriorating health conditions, accelerating complications, and increasing visits to the emergency room or hospital, the challenge is not that their doctors don’t know what to do, the challenge is that they don’t know when a patient is in trouble,” reveals Matt Ethington, a successful serial entrepreneur and seasoned professional with nearly two decades of experience in the healthcare and IT space.
Having been diagnosed with type I diabetes at the age of 31, Ethington learned first-hand how challenging it is for a patient and a doctor to stay synchronized around care. He also realized that the success of chronic care management efforts hinges on keeping the doctors updated on a patient’s conditions dynamically. This is precisely what his firm, ChronicCareIQ, brings to the table. ChronicCareIQ’s innovative technology proactively maintains an on-going dialogue with chronic patients and fragile discharges about their condition in real time.
At a time when the traditional standard of care fails to deliver any mitigation to the rising healthcare costs, ChronicCareIQ strives to address this by unlocking the power of technology with its cloud-based connected care platform. The connected care platform delivers optimal care for patients through Chronic Care Management (CCM), Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), and Transitional Care Management (TCM). ChronicCareIQ’s leading-edge platform empowers doctors to stay connected to their patients and proactively monitor them through technology the patients already have, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and even a landline. The company focuses on a few key elements for effective chronic disease management—identifying patients at risk, collecting the right health data about them at the right time, and providing actionable insights to the doctor’s staff through a simple login on any web-connected computer. Data collected from the patients is analyzed by platform and displayed on a color-coded dashboard, empowering care providers and staff with broader situational awareness of their entire at-risk population and actionable information on those facing immediate risk. Essentially, the company equips physicians with timely information to change the standard of chronic care from reactive to proactive prevention.
“It’s normal today for the same patient to suffer from multiple chronic conditions, take multiple medications, see multiple different doctors, and suffer from various other items like allergies, environmental stressors, etc. To maintain that patient with periodic office visits is impossible, even maintaining a patient with high blood pressure or diabetes with only a few offices visits a year is rare,” says Ethington, the president and CEO at ChronicCareIQ,. “It requires better communication, especially with more fragile and complex patients when things can escalate in a hurry. We’ve shown that doctors can provide much better outcomes for patients when they have the right information at the right time. Both by halting disease progression to keep patients well to begin with and by intervening quickly to prevent an adverse event,”. To that end, ChronicCareIQ’s platform uses algorithm driven protocols that dynamically questions patients according to their disease profile, their health status, and how they responded previously. The goal is to detect variations and determine when and how a patient is trending or if they’ve exceeded certain clinical thresholds relevant to the conditions they suffer or the onset of a new one. It also learns other important information for maintaining their care, such as whether or not they’re following their dietary instructions, are taking their medications or have been prescribed any new ones by someone else.
What makes the company second to none is its ability to deliver documented clinical outcomes. The company provides a single solution for all connected care reimbursement opportunities (TCM, CCM, and RPM), and robust back-end tools that enable doctors and staff to stay focused on patients and patient care, not documentation or non-clinical activity.
Prior ChronicCareIQ, doctors didn’t have the tech to know how their at-risk patients were trending between visits or post-discharge. They usually found out too late, after the patient was in the emergency room or re-admitted
The benefits are tremendous—healthier patients are easier and less complex to manage. Medicare now pays aggressively including monthly recurring reimbursements that can generate as much as $2,000 per patient per year. It’s a bargain when a single hospitalization costs them an average $11,000. In addition to the revenue, it cuts down on the work and documentation that doctors, staff, and administration have to do since it builds its own documentation and delivers its own billing reports. For patients, their families, and other doctors, it keeps everyone on the same page with key updates. In a nutshell, it extends a better standard of care, dramatically lowers costs, increases patient outcomes and satisfaction, and delights the doctors.
With CMS’ decision to roll out the Chronic Care Management (CCM) reimbursement program in 2015 and the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) program in 2019, the healthcare industry is witnessing a massive change in the traditional standard of care from reactive to proactive. While RPM has just started at the time of publication, an adept preventive doctor from Virginia was already following best practices as best he could to care for his at-risk patients. When CCM came out, the doctor, alongside other two colleagues in primary care, hired staff, created processes, enrolled hundreds of patients, and established a dedicated phone line for chronic patients. However, they quickly discovered that there was not enough time or staff to engage the patients, keep tabs on their condition(s) and care, document their conversations, and track the minutiae required for the reimbursement. On subscribing to ChronicCareIQ, the practice doubled their enrollment and tripled the reimbursement without adding staff.
In line with the paradigm shift to value-based healthcare delivery, ChronicCareIQ aims to transform healthcare from reactive to proactive to preventative. The company also looks forward to expanding its footprint through white-label and strategic partnerships.