Chronic Care Management (CCM) was introduced beginning of 2015 as a patch to help doctors survive the hefty Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Medicare cut.  As every doctor already knows, the SGR was eliminated from the books last month.  For the first time in months doctors were finally able to exhale and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

What most doctors don’t know (or aren’t taking advantage of) is that the CCM patch is still hanging around and ready for the picking.  In talking with our clients and colleagues I was surprised to learn that NOT ONE is taking advantage of this additional 99490 billing code.  The biggest reasons were that they don’t have time or they feel overwhelmed.  Allow me to let you in on a little secret:

You’re already doing the work.  You’re just not getting paid.

Every private practice nurse can rattle off a list of patients off the top of their head they speak to several times a month about medication questions and symptom concerns.  Every private practice doctor can give you a handful of names of aging patient’s whose family members call that couldn’t make it to the appointment but want to know what they can be doing for their loved one, what next steps should be and what their options are overall.  And so you talk to them.  Because, after all, that’s what its all about.  It’s about addressing their needs and being sure they are getting the best care possible.  You’re probably even writing little notes and tucking them neatly away in their chart to refer to next time, because you are sure there will be a next time.  I guarantee some of those phone calls and acts of care coordination are for patients that are covered under the CCM code.

You’re already doing the work.  You’re just not getting paid.

So what do you do?  Here’s a challenge for you – there must be at least one patient you’ve had in mind as you were reading this article.  Let’s get that patient to sign the CCM release form, and, you know all of those little notes you’ve been writing?  Make an extra copy and give them to your medical biller.  Don’t use hand written notes, you only use an EHR?  Good for you!  True, most EHR’s aren’t equipped for CCM specifically, but don’t let that discourage you.  It took me less than 30 seconds of Googling to find out how other doctors were easily tracking it on our most used EHR.  It’s worth your time.  Depending on the size of your practice, you could be earning $200,000 in additional revenue per year.

There is still time left in May.  Submit just ONE patient by the end of the month and see how easily you can slide this new code into your everyday practice.

You’re already doing the work.  Now it’s time to get paid!

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